“Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”

It’s here!  The countdown has begun.  The spending frenzy is in flow. The emotions are running high. Excitement for time with family and friends is confused with resentment for expectations of us. The Christmas rollercoaster of emotions is in full swing.

We cannot stop it but we can control how we think about it!

If yBreeathou are feeling stressed and anxious about all that still needs doing before the 25th December 2016, relax breath and know that stress is normal!  It is the volume and duration of stress that creates real problems.

So, how can we avoid the “oil lights flashing on the dashboard”?

During this Christmas period we want a healthy state of mind with good energy so that we can enjoy precious time with loved ones.  Caring for others is important. Remember the advice from cabin crew in a flight briefing, “always place your own oxygen mask on first before assisting” another person.

Avoid setting unrealistic expectations of yourself at this time.  Keep it simple and keep it real.

If you are starting to feel stressed and anxious about all that you have on your plate here is a simple technique to help you get back on track.

  • Stop
  • Normalise the situation (Think about what is going on and recognise why you are feeling like this.  What has created this feeling?  Are you being sensible? What can be removed from your to-do list? Recognise that this feeling can be managed if you choose to delegate or stop taking on board more actions.  There are only so many minutes in any one day. Prioritise what you want to do with your precious time and for whom.)
  • Reappraise the situation (What can I do differently?  How can I think about this situation differently and more positively?)
  • Take time to yourself to breath and recharge (Now that you have normalised the situation. Enjoy time to yourself and plan your way forward)take-a-deep-breath
  • Step forward
  • Enjoy being mindfully resilient during the festive season!

Remember, when we are feeling good about ourselves, the milk of human kindness flows easily and when we are feeling stressed we depersonalise ourselves and become self-focussed and shut down on our ability to focus on other people.  Not a great recipe for any time of year.

To remain resilient remember take control of your emotions. Viktor Frankl explains this in his book “Man’s Search for Meaning” that we have a choice to choose how we respond to any situation. Hit the “Pause” button in your mind to avoid getting angry or stressed.