You must all be preparing your end of Year Celebrations, maybe traveling to see your family or friends. For many people , this period is period of Joy, Excitement and Happiness. For many others, this period can be a synonym of High Stress Alert. Stress because of the presents you have to organize, stress because of the food to prepare for everyone, stress because of the decorations, stress because of all the Christmas drinks and diners that you are invited to and that are sabotaging your health and sleep, stress because some family reunions are not that joyful, stress because you have to travel, airports are crowded and it is very difficult to keep calm and stay in peace…. And yes, on top of that, this period can be quite sad for many people who feel lonely, isolated. All those Christmas songs everywhere, those bright Christmas trees and people running around to find the best gifts can actually seem fake, and superficial.
This article is to help you feel better during these celebrations period, whether it is because you can not handle that stress, or because you feel lonely, or because you can’t stand the extreme superficial consumerism going on in every shop of your town.
1. Celebrations’ stress
This is a major cause of…..divorce! Do you know that many people get divorced after NYE because they couldn’t handle the stress anymore? Isn’t it…silly?
To me, all those festivities should be just a “reason” to get together, to share some Love, to tell your loved ones… that you love them. It’s been a couple of years now where I am not offering any gift, besides some healthy superfoods for the ones who I know will appreciate it :-) To me, Christmas shouldn’t be synonym of Gifts’ party. It is so much more than that. You don’t even need to be religious to celebrate it. I think we tend today to forget the basics, where it comes from, what it originally meant, to celebrate Christmas. Many different religions actually have big celebrations at this time of the year, and for all of them, it is about the same thing: sharing Love and Forgiveness. This is all it should be about. Traveling to spend time together should be the best gift ever for everyone, why need to spend more money on superficial things? I personally find this Christmas gifts craziness… crazy! The best gift you can give to someone is Love, and making them feel loved. So no need for vouchers or discount codes on any nice brand out there. Share quality time together, especially with the elderly who often feel lonely during the year, while we are all busy living our lives. Share a good diner together, have good laugh and talk about deep subjects, so that you can re-connect again with your loved ones. How many of you have already spent a Christmas week, realizing afterwards that they don’t know much about what is going on in their family members’ life? So yes, Christmas is beautiful because of the lights, and all the ambiance that is created around it. But if you go deep into yourself and focus on the most important, all superficial stress won’t have its place anymore. That is my personal view on it. I am still attached to some traditional rituals I have had with my family since I was born, but today, I know that the most important is not in those things. It is in making the effort of spending time together, of showing that we might not always be together, but that our Love is there and unconditional. It might even be a good time to forgive some things that may have happened. Every family has their own stories. But you don’t even need to talk about those things. Just be present, loving, caring, and the rest will follow.
So my tip for you if you are too overwhelmed with all those rituals: take it easy, realize what is truly important in that moment, make it something deeply special. Sometimes, a big hug has much more value and power than an expensive high end bag or purse. Realize that what people will appreciate the most, is not in the superficial things but rather the attention you are having for them, the love you will show, your presence.
I can understand that there is some stress regarding the decorations, the diner preparations, etc etc. Regarding this: let everyone participate! It is even more fun. And again, see the good side of things: what a blessing to have those people celebrating with you, giving you so much work for a week…;-) again, take it all easier, AND BREATHE. Get some time for yourself, go out and have a walk in the fresh air. Have some deep belly breathing and don’t underestimate the powerful benefits of just 10-15min of deep belly breathing or meditation. This quiet time is essential, so make it a priority, so that you can enjoy all the craziness even more.
2. If you feel lonely
This happens to more people than we think. Many elderly people are alone during that period. Some families are separated and anger or resentment feelings make it impossible to spend that time together. Some other people just feel a bit more sad because they have lost a dear one recently and those celebrations are always a reminder of how it used to be, when they were all there together.
For all those reasons, and much more, some people can feel quite isolated, and even a bit depressed during that time. And it makes it even harder to see the other ones having so much fun and singing out loud how happy they are for the whole month…! I think it is normal to feel like that, I think the best to do is to enjoy that time off to just get back in touch with yourself, connect to you inner self again through MEDITATION for example, or just by doing some deep belly breathing exercises. Connecting back with your Inner Self will just show you that Happiness is IN YOU, that this time of the Year has its Ups and Downs, but that the way you react to them only depends on you. Make it a time for self-reflection, for some self-love. If you are actually alone, make it your own celebration. We should all be able to be alone sometimes, enjoying this time just with ourselves, and be fulfilled with it. Stop comparing yourself to anyone else. You are unique and different, the only person you should be comparing yourself to is yourself, the way you were yesterday or last year. Again, make every day count, and don’t beat yourself up with negative thoughts and energy. Life is not meant to be easy or fair, but for sure it is always worth it.
3. The shopping rush you cannot stand
Everyone is telling me at the moment: “London must be so beautiful with all Christmas decorations!” But when you live here, you cannot even enjoy a normal walk through the city: it seems like every Londoner is getting crazy and running after this so needed gift, and their life depends on it…. I admit, because I have changed quite a while, I am not into that Consumerism craziness anymore. I still LOVE to make gifts and presents, but it doesn’t need to be at Christmas time, and it doesn’t need to be expensive objects/tools/accessories that no one will remember in a couple of months anyway. My personal view on this is simple: The End of Year should be a LOVE time, a time we spend with people we don’t see that often during the year because we are all busy with our own life. So the best gift people can do to me is just to be present, and to be willing to share quality time with me: at home, having a cup of tea, having a walking conversation time…. Honestly, no space for expensive useless things here. What I like to give to my family is things that maybe they don’t know would be good for them J Some kind of Superfoods, or Holistic Health tips they don’t know about and that they will be able to use and take back home and it will help them feel better throughout the year. Obviously there are some good sides in traditional gifts as well J It can be a way of showing love when we don’t know how to express it any other way. It can be a way of showing that we have been thinking about that person. I just don’t think it is necessary to stress about it. Show Love the whole year through. Show appreciation the whole year through. Again, in some situations, a smile, a Hug, a loving look, can make much more wonders.
If you have to travel during that time of the year, you will surely have to control your impatience at the Check controls in the airports, the rush of lost people in the train stations, and everyone carrying at least 6 big bags of big presents for their whole hometown….;-) Well there is no secret here. Take it easy! Deep belly breathing technique works perfectly, even in the middle of a crowded airport.
Make sure you have some good nutritious food with you when you travel, especially if you have a long trip ahead. Plan your organic food box to eat on the go, I personally always have some avocado and pink Himalayan Salt with me: easy to carry and it feels amazing. I also have a list of supplements I never travel without. My survival kit is mainly made of:
- Oreganol P73 to not get sick in those airports, train stations, in the cold….
- MAPs: these are my super aminos, pre-digested proteins, I take them with some Avocado to make a perfect balanced meal on the go!
- Kamut wheatgrass: to avoid headache and keep your internal system balanced, detoxified and strong
- Spirulina: my go-to snack for its energizing and healing effects
- Pink Himalayan Salt I add to my bottle of Mineral Water
- Some pumpkin seeds or macadamia nuts, great to snack when you are running everywhere
- The book “Power of Now” from Eckhart Tolle to keep the calm within and become better at it while traveling :-)
This is my main personal list of must-have in my backpack :-) .
With this article, I just want to share my feelings about all those crazy end of year celebrations. I actually like to see people concerned about getting together and making each other happy with great presents. My only point is: don’t forget the true deep point of it. Don’t lose track with what is truly important. Take care of everyone around you, and not only during that time. Make it each year a good time to step back, see what you have accomplished, see what you have missed and make it even better next year. And keep in mind that after all, happiness is within. If you are happy within and in peace with yourself, you can give it back to others, and help them be happy as well. We all tend to forget about the superficial things we are offered. We never forget true moments shared together.
Have a Wonderful, Beautiful, Christmas everyone,