Michele Scherr

With only a few weeks until the end of the year and even less until the Christmas break here in Australia, everywhere I turn at the moment I watch people who are stressed, frustrated, tired and so many other things.  

  • Is it the culmination of 2021? 
  • Is it the weather? (yea! Summer has actually arrived here in Canberra)
  • Is it expectations of what they should and shouldn’t be doing?

It’s probably a combination of all of the above and more.  The whole situation eats at their confidence because they get run-down and overwhelmed.

So what can you do to successfully find some peace for yourself this ‘silly’ season?  

Here are my tips:

Schedule time that is for YOU and you alone – doing something that will refresh you, whatever that may be.  Make sure that everyone around you knows that the scheduled time is off limits to them. It will absolutely help you to regain clarity on what’s really important to you.

Set boundaries around how many functions you’ll attend and for how long. You don’t HAVE to go to everything you’ve been asked to attend. If you feel that you must attend everything, do you have to go for the full event? If you are feeling overwhelmed, do yourself a pro / con (benefit / cost or for / against) list to gain clarity. In the style of Marie Kondo, only choose that which will bring you joy.

Delegate. Who said that you HAVE to do everything for everyone? Sure it likely won’t be done the way you want it or would have done it. Get others involved – physically and emotionally. Share the load. Don’t expect others to know what to do / read your mind. Ask them.

Boundaries can be for people too. Going to a family event and just know that your brother/sister/mother/father/aunt/uncle/in-laws/etc will take great pride in throwing ‘barbs’ and taunting you until you explode? Or maybe you find their expectations of what they want you to do to be just too much. You DO NOT have to repeat old patterns of responses.  You can opt to react differently by putting in boundaries. Don’t spend lots of time in their presence. You might opt to not spend any time in their presence. Saying no to them, allows you to say YES to you, your joy and your peace.

Intentions. Be really clear about why you’re doing something or going somewhere. Having an intention helps you to say no to what doesn’t bring you closer to your intention and yes to the things that will. You actually DO NOT have to explain anything to anyone – you can say that you have another commitment (a commitment to be gentle and kind to yourself, not tolerating things that make you unhappy). For example:

Your intention for a work party might be to celebrate the year and congratulate others on their achievements. So go to the party, do that and leave.  You don’t have to hang around making small talk, feeling out of place or go pub-crawling/night-clubbing with work colleagues if you don’t want to.

Your intention for a family get-together is to spend time with your parents but your sibling/s who always upset you are going. Maybe you can organise to have separate time with your parents and attend for the length of time that you can tolerate (without compromising your happiness and joy) then leave.

Self-love is the way you think about yourself, self-care is the way you treat yourself. In the season that is traditionally about love, celebration, healing and renewed strength, you do not have to run yourself down to make everyone else feel good.  You DESERVE to feel good as well. You might feel guilty. You might actually feel joy. Use the tips above and see how you go.

Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for the coming year.

Michele Scherr