If you hear “Ho Ho Ho” and think “Horrible Horrible Horrible”, you’re not alone! Christmas is a tricky time of year for a lot of people. The combination of unrealistic expectations, intense consumerism, over-scheduled calendars and the prospect of locking horns with otherwise-distant family members over the dinner table can bring even the most zen yogi undone.
Today’s article is about four of the biggest triggers at Christmas and how you can handle them with a tad more grace.
Christmas Stress #1: Your life doesn’t look like it does in the movies / on Instagram
Yeah, well… That stuff is all fake anyway. #sorrynotsorry
As an Aussie who has spent most of her life celebrating Christmas in shorts and t-shirts, a bit flushed and sweaty due to the heat, I always yearned for a ‘proper’ white Christmas. When I lived in New York City, I got exactly that. A week before Christmas, a blizzard snowed-in the entire city.
And do you know what happened? Rubbish accumulated because services were brought to a grinding halt, all the rodents sought shelter indoors (I found dead mice on my bedroom floor) and homeless people died. And then the snow turned into dirty sludge (ugly) that melted and refroze (treacherously slippery) and melted again before revealing the drab grey concrete underneath.
(They don’t show that on the movies, do they?)
Ok, so I’m being a tad dramatic, but I think I make a good point. Yes, the Christmas / New Year period is definitely a time for reflection. And reflection is necessary and important. But make sure you’re reflecting with clear vision and not through rose-tinted expectations.
Next time you enviously eye off someone else’s life, remember this: social media is a highlight reel. And the next time you wonder why your family Christmas is less Brady Bunch and more August: Osage County, remember this: films are fiction and movies are make-believe. (Even documentaries are edited.)
What to tap on:
“Even though I feel like a failure because my life isn’t Insta-perfect…”
“Even though I feel jealous because I don’t have XXX…”
“Even though my life doesn’t look like it does in the movies but I’m expecting a Brady Bunch Christmas…”
(If you’re new to tapping, you can jump straight in with my quick-start guide. Click here to download your copy of “A Beginner’s Guide To EFT”)
Christmas Stress #2: Your family is crazy / drives you crazy / makes you crazy
Christmas time is family time. And… No one pushes your buttons more than your family. No one triggers you more effectively or more intensely than your family. No one throws more salt into your festering old emotional wounds than your family.
That is a Life Fact.
Another Life Fact is that you can’t change your family. Not now and not ever. Change has to be 100% self-selected. They won’t change if you purse your lips with disapproval, they won’t change if you yell at them and they certainly won’t change if you systematically point out every single one of their flaws and share your theory on why they are like they are. (So stop that!)
The easiest thing to do is make peace with the fact that your family offers you a powerful opportunity. They offer you the opportunity to see where you most need to shine your healing light. Where you most need to grow and evolve and mature. Where you most need to get real with yourself.
The next time you feel your shoulders tighten because of your family, say a silent “thank you” and then get tapping.
What to tap on:
Make a list of at least 10 things that your family members do that are crazy or annoying or offensive or outrageously wrong (in your humble expert opinion) and then systematically tap through each of them.
Forgiveness tapping is also a powerful tool. Choose a family member and focus on them – visualise them in front of you – whilst you tap through the points and recite the Ho’oponopono mantra: I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you.
Christmas Stress #3: You’re overeating and feeling yuck
The silly season is chock-full of parties that are overflowing with food and drink. And that means December is all about waking up to the bloated bellies, aching heads and pangs of regret that come from over-indulging the night before.
If you are ready for a different experience, start by taking stock of your underlying motivations for eating and drinking to excess. A grown-up form of ‘peer pressure’ can often be at play in these situations. Do you eat just because everyone else is eating? Do you drink so you don’t feel left out? Do you drink to take the edge off social anxiety? Do you feel “bad” if you don’t eat what your host has provided, even if it doesn’t agree with your body?
What to tap on:
“Even though I automatically eat whatever is offered to me…”
“Even though all the food looks so good and I eat it even though I’m not hungry…”
“Even though it would be rude not to eat dessert…”
Christmas Stress #4: You’ve got budget woes
Retailers rub their hands together in glee at the prospect of Christmas because we all go credit-card crazy and buy big in the lead up to the 25th December. Culturally, there’s a lot of expectation around exchanging gifts, splashing out when you catch up with loved ones and decking your halls with expensive decorations.
Firstly, take a deep breath. You’re not alone. A Roy Morgan survey released in November 2016 revealed that half of all Australian families will experience financial stress this Christmas. HALF.
Secondly, get connected to the power of the expression “every dollar is a vote”. What do you want to vote for this Christmas? Take a moment to reflect on your values and priorities. If you prioritise protecting the environment, could you buy second-hand items as a way of ‘recycling’? If you value connection, could you create a low-cost experience for your sister and spend some quality time together instead of giving her something that will be gathering dust in the back of the cupboard by Easter? Get creative and remember: your money = your choice.
What to tap on:
“Even though I feel all this pressure to spend a lot of money at Christmas…”
“Even though I feel this expectation to buy expensive presents…”
“Even though I’m feeling all this money stress right now…”
Bonus Tip: How do you want to feel this Christmas?
Lots of us get sucked into stressing about how Christmas should look. And that creates a tornado of stress, pressure and frenzied do-do-do.
Instead, ask yourself how you want to feel this Christmas. And what feelings do you want others to experience if they spend time with you?
Connected. Joyful. Free. Loving. Expressive. Creative. Generous. Kindness. (Those words are delicious, aren’t they!)
Get clear on how you want to feel and make decisions in alignment with those feelings. (And if you want to dive deeper into the power of desired feelings, check out the brilliant work of Danielle LaPorte.)
What about you?
Which tip was most powerful for you? Share below; I’d love to hear from you!
PS. Remember, tap tap tappy = hap hap happy! (Or, at the very least, tap tap tappy = sa sa saner. But that doesn’t rhyme, so can we go with the tappy/happy combo? Awesome, thanks.)
PPS. If you’re ready for some support in clearing out old Christmas memories from your system, EFT coaching could be perfect for you. Feel free to enquire here: firstname.lastname@example.org