5 Ways To Survive This Christmas
Christmas is in less than 2 weeks. You can’t get away from it. Every shop is filled with tinsel, colourful Christmas tree decorations and everywhere you go, you hear Christmas songs. Every street you go down has houses decorated with rows of twinkling coloured lights and town centres are dressed for festivity. That is great if you love Christmas and can’t wait for it, but the jolly santas and fake snow often hide a stark and cold reality. It can be the loneliest and saddest time of the year too. Are you dreading Christmas?
You are expected for feel merry, jolly, excited and loving towards everyone. But how do you put anxiety and depression on hold just because you are expected to do so? How do you put grief aside to feel festive? How do you suddenly feel peaceful towards family members who you have conflict with? The message of Christmas is peace and goodwill, but it is easier said than done.
The pressure to have a picture postcard perfect celebration is huge. It can cause a lot of stress. When we get together with family, unresolved feels often rumble away below the surface and it takes little for them to erupt. Perhaps you find that as soon as you are with your family, old jealousies and rivalries surface which have never been resolved and they kick up every year about the same subjects. Maybe you are dreading the arguments with and bad behaviour of, certain family members.
Do you find that your personality actually changes over Christmas and you don’t know why?
I have put together a list of 5 ways to survive spending loads of time with your family this Christmas and the challenge of being Jolly.
No. 1 – Make Sure Other Family Members Don’t Drag You Down
When you are together with family members, you can end up feeling like a waterlogged sponge. Heavy, overloaded and unable to take any more of their company. When other people don’t deal with their own fears, anxieties and negative opinions, you can pick up their mood and keep on carrying it, affecting your ability to enjoy yourself. If your mum or dad complain a lot or your brother or sister are stuck in self-defeating habits, it can be very hard to keep your own mood positive and balanced. You can soak it all up and then it has nowhere to go; just like a sponge. Your family has transferred their emotional baggage onto you and you can get stuck with it for the rest of Christmas. That is a very unhappy way to spend the festive season.
I am sure you have heard of good vibrations, but what does it actually mean? Have you ever noticed how when you feel angry or frustrated, it takes a lot out of you? Do you find feeling anxious to be exhausting? The reason you do is because emotions like anxiety, anger and frustration cause low vibrations in your body. When you are surrounded by other people who have low vibrations, it is a real challenge to raise your own. So it is more accurate to say you need high vibrations to raise your mood. Emotions are a form of energy and they are powerful, that is why you can get so affected by the mood of others.
My top tip is to use the Hawaiian Prayer of Forgiveness. The Hawaiians call it Ho’oponopono and it means ‘to make right’. At this time of year it is a beautiful way of starting the healing process with your family members. The Prayer of Forgiveness has the power to change the low vibrations you have soaked up, into high vibrations. It activates 4 key energies which change the atmosphere around you. By transforming heavy emotions and negative thinking these 4 key energies can promote a relaxed and happy mood.
These 4 key energies are positive emotions and they are repentance, forgiveness, gratitude and love and they all carry high, light vibrations.
Way 1 – Use the Ho’oponopono – Hawaiian Prayer of Forgiveness before, during and after Christmas.
Hawaiian Prayer of Forgiveness
I love you,
Please forgive me,
No. 2 – Stand in Your Power, Own Your Throne
There are status dynamics within a family and that means you are expected to behave a certain way at social gatherings like Christmas. The challenge comes when you are still treated like a little child even though you have a responsible job and are successful at it. You might even have children of your own but find that every year you get irritated by how you get treated in the family home.
Do you own your throne? What do I mean by that? Do you ever find yourself in a situation where your authority gets challenged? When you feel you are not allowed to lead, suggest, initiate, create or express yourself within your family? Does your mother or sister have a habit of taking over the conversation you are having and shutting you out? How do you deal with it? Do you fume inside, feel disempowered but secretly somewhere deep inside sense that they have a right to do that? How you feel can also compromise your authority with your children, as they see how you are treated and cause them not to respect you when you get home. It can also leave you feeling doubtful and disempowered when you walk in to your job after your break. Spending time with family can be paralysing when even though you have good intentions to stand up for yourself, you can’t do it when you are actually there.
When you give in to the role your family sees you in, you send out a message to them energetically. Just as dogs sense our fear, other people feel that you are expecting to be dominated, ignored or pushed out. As a person, you take up a physical and energetic space within your family. As humans, we are territorial and power plays happen all the time within families. Become aware of what energy you are bringing into the space at Christmas. If you find you have the urge to ‘step off your throne’ when your place is challenged, ask yourself why that is.
Way 2 – Prepare yourself before Christmas. Dig deep and think about how you value yourself. As you value yourself, so will others value you. A good exercise is to write a list beginning…
I bring unique value to my family by…
You might be a great listener, strong, compassionate, creative, soothing. Uncover your great assets and go back to your list if you feel challenged over Christmas. Feel good about yourself.
No. 3 – Practice Active Gratitude
Gratitude is a very powerful tool of survival over Christmas. Start with recognising the abundance that you already have in your life. One of the best ways of doing this is by having a daily Active Gratitude Practice. By recognising the abundance that you already have in your life and focusing your attention on it, you are creating a state where more can come in. That can have a great healing effect on your family too. Gratefulness sweetens your mood and others are much more likely to treat you well.
Way 3 – Start your day by bringing to your conscious awareness all the things you are grateful for and feel the sense of satisfaction and happiness for having them. You can start with the smallest thing, like the comfy bed you just slept in, or the fact you received a Facebook message from a friend. It all counts. So how can you bring even more positive energy into that experience? Breath into the good feelings your thoughts create. Then explore what you receive from your family. Lessons, challenges, strength, value and feel that inside your body. Then radiate out that energy of gratitude to your family before you see them. They will feel your good energy and you might be surprised at how differently you get treated, with kindness, tenderness and love.
No. 4 – Listen Properly To Others
Most people have a habit of spending the time when someone is talking to them, thinking about what they are going to say next and therefore do not hear a lot of what is important. When you watch a conversation between other people it is amazing to see how often peoples’ answers bear no relevance to what has just been said by the other person. We all appreciate being listened to. People pay a lot of money to go to see somebody professionally who will listen to them. How often have you felt that you were not being listened to or heard by your family? Misunderstandings arise from the inability, or unwillingness, to listen and result in a feeling of separation from others. If you feel separated from your family members you are more likely also to find it difficult to empathise with their feelings and feel like you don’t belong.
Way 4 – Listen properly to others. During Christmas, when you are having a conversation with a family member, fight the impulse to start talking and really listen to what they are saying. Pay attention to the way that they talk. Is there emotion in their voice? Does their voice modulate in tone? What are they actually saying to you? You can understand a lot about a person when they express themselves through speech. The more that you understand somebody else, the more you identify with them, even if you do not agree with what they are actually are saying. That helps your family harmony.
No. 5 – Eat for Joy
What you spend the majority of your time thinking about, is what is going to show up in your life. That is why it is essential to focus on what makes you feel good, creates harmony, understanding and joy. That is the energy you need to maintain during Christmas. But it is challenging when there is so much going on with other people and what they are spending their time focusing on.
Remember that emotions and thoughts carry an energy and they are very powerful catalysts in our lives. By clearing all your negative feelings and black thoughts you will establish an high vibration, which will attract great festive experiences.
Way 5 – Use your meal times during Christmas. When you are eating, imagine feeding your Joy at the same time. Each time you take a mouthful, feel the food transforming into gratitude, love, joy, peace and harmony.