A Word on Festive Stress: You Don't Have to do it All
I´m noticing signs of seasonal stress these days (which isn´t my fave type of vibe fyi). Jostled roughly by a bunch of bags (not a euphemism!), clapped on the backside by another, a few ankle rams and kicks from enthusiastic shoppers, peeved that i´m walking too slow and in their path to the entrance for their next store, hurried impatient ushering through the supermarket with a few tsks here and there: it´s a busy time of year. Busy busy. Blah blah.
Perhaps it´s because i don´t have the funds to go on a shopping bender but i´m far from being swept into the panic that envelopes so many around this time. In fact, i dread it, often stunned into disbelief of the urgency to "complete your christmas shopping first because there are only such and such many shopping days until xmas"...yawn.
I´m not hating on the organised, rather, i resent the pressure to do what everybody else is doing just because "that´s what we are supposed to do", following the absurd rules military-style and with awkward appropriation of a weirdly commercialised concept (#hygge anyone?!). Where´s the meaning? What´s the reason? How are you...feeling?
Of course, the reality is i AM swept into the panic, because i can feel it and see it all around. All focus feels like it´s on making sure Christmas is alright so we can forget about the mess of 2017. I´m not hating on that either. And i´m not against people finding ways to feel better that work for them. Why not plunge some effort into making something beautiful. I´m here for it. But if it´s ending up stressing us out, and/or belittling others, surely it misses the point?
So this week we´ve been entertaining the idea of "not having to do it all".
I think this works on so many levels. In a world urging us to buy this or that in an attempt to make up for an authentic connection or to mask over that unspoken rift that´s been bubbling under the surface but is never spoken, in a job that squeezes us in ways that hurts, in a yoga class that seems to be full of gymnasts whilst we feel like the tinman - surely we could all benefit from taking a step back from the noise to examine what really matters. Are you connected? To yourself, and to the things that matter? Are you supporting yourself in a way that feels nourishing - and if that´s not possible, can you reach out for support so that you can? Getting right with yourself is where everything else begins. I catch myself sometimes when i´m not feeling very connected - the need to somehow keep up takes over. A worry blurted out that really comes from a place of lack - which really comes from a place of thinking i need to be keeping up with someone else who´s on a completely different road. It´s absurd really isn´t it?
The bottom line?
We´re all coasting around in these meat suits, hovering on a planet that´s suspended in the universe somewhere. Here we are, magical beans, made of stars and dirt and excellent stuff, caught up in stress and comparison. We know it´s the thief of joy, right?
So this week, a challenge (and as much for me as an offering for anyone else who needs it!)
Can you find a way to stay close to yourself? That might be through an activity that makes you feel more "you", or exploring a way of listening deeply to what´s really true for you, or perhaps it´s dog whispering. Or a combination of those things and more.
Listen deeply to yourself. Create the rituals that work for you, regardless or not if they fit in with everybody else's.
If you´re feeling the pressure to keep up, or if stress is biting at your heels, try doing the opposite and slowing down instead - the best time to self care is when we don´t have time for it! It will give you a chance to take stock and get clear, plus you´ll surely feel more "you" afterwards!
Don´t feel bad for being selective - your energy is precious, spend it wisely (and in ways that are most meaningful to you!)
And if it´s difficult, start with a smaller morsel - perhaps a simple reminder to yourself regularly that you don´t have to do it all.
You are enough.
Keep it spacious babes!
P.S here´s a practice for the busy season, should you fancy making some space for yourself!