Tis’ the Season to be Merry! – Part 2
Well here we are now in full swing of the Merry Season! I hope all your Christmas preparations and plans are coming to fruition and your lists have on them, big ticks and strike through lines galore.
For this instalment you had better brace yourselves people, I’m getting into the real knitty gritty now! This is your Ultimate Guide for you guessed it…SURVIVING CHRISTMAS!!!
As I said in the previous instalment I love Christmas but let’s call a spade a spade, it has its downsides sometimes and that’s where my Merry self comes in. As a Professional Coach, it’s important to help people to look ahead, spot anything that may push them off track and I look upon this festive period no differently. So here goes…
Love ‘em or hate ‘em you’re stuck with ‘em! And more than likely you will end up spending more time with them than you normally would over Christmas. Families come in all shapes and sizes and who are we kidding, they can be damn well complicated at times. So if you’re truly blessed with an amazing family that never fights or never experiences tension, pass GO and collect €200!! You have the monopoly and you can count yourself very lucky!
Avoiding tension and confrontation
In my experience, if there is tension among family there is a root cause. You could be stuck in the middle of it or just an innocent bystander.
If you’re at the centre of the tension, there are two aspects to it. Either there could be years of animosity over something that happened in the past or maybe some small slight that you’re both too stubborn to bury the hatchet over. If it’s the latter, I suggest you swallow your pride, be the bigger person and make the first move to sort it out. Send a text or just ring the person before you’re due to come across them, I’m sure they would be just as relieved as you would to have it sorted and these things always seem much bigger in our heads than they actually are in reality!
If it is something that runs a bit deeper and is going to make it awkward for other people, you have to look at the situation realistically. Is it worth this tension and making it awkward for family members involved? What are your options? Have an awkward family interaction with the person in question there or stay away entirely. It’s not an easy decision but what I find helps in decision making dilemma is to weigh up the pro’s and con’s of each decision.
If you’re an innocent bystander and “the shit hits the fan” then my friend, my best advice is to leave them at it and walk away. Unless their literally at each-other’s throats, that may be a good time to call a halt.
When people are having a confrontation, re-action is involved and re-action comes from your emotional brain (which we have very little control over), so it is going to be very hard to talk any sense into somebody when they’re reacting to someone or something unconsciously. Let the situation calm down and hopefully whoever is involved will look at the situation with some understanding and reach some common ground. If all else fails, never underestimate the value of a decent exit strategy!!
Loneliness is something that we blissfully ignore until it reaches our door. It can be an exceptionally hard thing to cope with which can be greatly magnified during the Christmas period. Also I may add, you do NOT have to be alone to experience loneliness. It can hit us in a crowded room, full with people. All it takes is a feeling of not being listened to or understood.
My advice here would be don’t sit with your thoughts about being lonely for too long, try to do something about it. Over the Christmas period or any other time for that matter, there are lots of things that you could do.
Re-connect with people you haven’t been in touch with for a while. I love nothing more than hearing from a friend I haven’t spoken to in ages.
Volunteering – help a charity out and meet new people.
Check out Meetup.com – There are lots of great weekly meet ups and activities that welcome new additions to their groups and Meetup.com has everything from book clubs to beliefs to business groups, honestly, give it a go, you won’t regret it!
Talk to somebody who will genuinely listen. It doesn’t even have to be face to face,
The Samaritans are open 24/7 (call 116 123) they are there to listen, they are non-judgemental and they don’t give advice.
Whether it is food or alcohol, it’s never a good idea really is it? Christmas is the one time of year where people feel they have a free pass to over indulge and sadly it catches up on them before long. So here are my top tips –
- Don’t deny yourself anything but do eat everything in moderation.
- Don’t fill your plate up too much, put away the plate when your nicely full, not when the button of your pants is about to burst!
- Have a treat here and there but don’t overdo-it, that’s why it’s called a treat, it’s for having the odd time and when you have too much of it, it takes the goodness and value away.
- Exercise. Even if it’s a brisk 10 minute walk. It will get the blood flowing and the metabolism going.
Obviously moderation is the key here. We are a nation of binge drinkers and with age and experience, I have begun to question why that is. I think unconsciously, we (and I am including myself because I was the ultimate binge drinker) drink to excess, first of all because we are chasing that wonderful Merry feeling, second of all to give us that feeling of being free, confident, able to engage in really meaningful conversations with just about anybody and lastly to block out any psychological pain we may or may not be consciously experiencing at the time. All of these feelings do not last for long and the more we binge, the more we lose our bodily functions, our memory and our dignity. I don’t know about you, but that just ain’t appealing to me anymore.
- Stay hydrated by having a glass of water here and there, it won’t kill you, the Merry feeling will last longer and the hangover won’t be as bad either. I tried and tested this method myself and it works!
- I recently read that in health food shops, you can buy magnesium drops to put in a pint of water and drink it before you go to bed, apparently when you wake up, the hangover will be less severe. I haven’t tried this out though.
- The following day drink lots of water and eat healthy food. The “fry up” may taste good and in theory the “hair of the dog” might look like the best option but you’re only going to suffer worse in the long run. Bad fats are really hard to digest and don’t do the stomach any favours and “the cure” is only going to dehydrate you further.
Above all try to have fun, do eat and be Merry, spend time with your loved ones if you are lucky enough to have them nearby and enjoy the Christmas Cheer.
I hope that this guide will be a help, I try to keep things positive as much as possible in this blog but the reality is life isn’t always easy, it’s how we cope and support ourselves through the tough times is what sees us through to the great times! If your a fan or found this helpful, please share this post, hopefully more will benefit…
I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas, thank you for reading and keep an eye out for the final instalment theres treats in it for you! In the meantime let me know how your Christmas is going, I would love to hear from you!