Surviving The Christmas to New Year Period
A know for a few of my readers that awkward period between Christmas and New Year where you don’t know what day it and what you are meant to be doing is hard, in fact really hard. Even if there is not a precursor towards Christmas, generally the consensus is it can a bit of a funny time.
Truth speaking, for many years of my life I used to struggle with this period and it is during this time now, reflecting upon it, that I am able to offer a little insight in what worked for me to make it tolerable, ok.. Even enjoyable (or less stressful with means enjoyable for me) at times.
Firstly, where I am now post Eating Disorder, it did take quite a few years to establish, times of trial and error (my greatest teachers) and some what moments of the dark night but what I can tell you waiting on the other side is extraordinary. I can’t say it happened over night, but it did happen.
Generally there is a heighted lead up to Christmas that creates a lot of stress, anxiety and tension in general. It is just one day, however, that one day has the ability to make of break some.
The period after Christmas leading up to the New Year, cosmically speaking there is a lot of change and thus a lot of us switch into having expectations of ourselves of trying to recreate for the next year ahead. Yes, this is the ability to give a clean slate and a fresh start and am I right or is there all of a sudden that burst of inspiration and energy come back at a higher level? But doesn’t mean having to have black and white thinking which with high expectations, this is quite a common way to view.
What I have found this a great time to work out what you want from the next year as a whole and reassessing, and if this is too much, trying to figure out things you want to let go. A great time to clear out social media, let go of things that are not serving you and think about bringing in the new. This time is actually my most creative time. I come up with a lot of blog topics, I commit and lock in some of my next business ventures by the end of the year and tend to do a lot of updating website wise and a total clear out.. yes we can think these things up during this time but I encourage you to act on them too, that was my they are set... you can always back track later if need be but this way it puts it in stone. My suggestions on how to get through this period are:
1. Keep a routine – it is easy to become frazzled and over the place and unsure of what to do or be down on yourself if you don’t. I have much of my daily routine down to a tee but TRUST me, there will always be disruptions and things will change. What I am encouraging is to pick a few non negotiable. For me a few are I start the morning with lemon water and probiotics and get on my mat to practice Yoga (yes I have a toddler and when she is me I tend to her first) but over the last year and half it has become normal to her to know this is part of morning routine. I then go for a walk/run depending on energy and a lot of inspiration is flowing by this time and home for Breakfast. Afternoons I write and try to be in bed early. During this period I tend to be away at beach, I have always been a morning person but it particularly nice to be up so early this time of year. Also, if you need to keep busy please do, I used to opt to work on Christmas and Public holidays. I have only really learnt to step back not too long ago, plus the fun thing is all new. I actually have an assignment due next Sunday and start Summer Semester on Jan 2nd – however this is just my personality type.
2. Family in small doses – If family is your thing please disregard but I know can be challenging for some. For me personally, it has been the first year I have been able to tolerate being at beach with a house full of 6 people. I live alone (besides Mabel) and like to be alone a lot so coming to a space like this and when we are related it can be tough. I encourage you to step away and take time out. The best way to do this is speak up and establish it prior to spending time if this is what you need. It also helps to have that one person you can eye roll at and have a secret code that indicates “WTF”. For me this person is my Mum and our code was "Lapland" this year, referring to when we leave everyone behind and go to Christmas in Europe. Families say the strangest things right?!
3. Go for a walk – yes a walk but not in an exercise way if this sets you off. I actually need to move a way of processing. It is really rare to see me sitting still for long periods, as I get stagnant. Seriously at Uni, every hour, I will get up in the middle of a lecture and lap to block to reset again. During the period there can be a lot of sitting around whilst family still comes to visit and because it is a “break” but it important for mental wellbeing to keep circulating as well often “fat” gets mistaken for stagnant which a lot of people get confused about after Christmas. Going for a walk or getting out of the house there is a dose of fresh air; sunlight and some chemical reactions in the body taking place as well. Also.. This is where I choreograph all my dance moves to tunes and don’t actually care because so many people are in “holiday mode” aka don’t give a fuck mode plus everyone is in their own world anyway.
4. Music – because what cant it cure? I am a huge fan of music and there is no time like this period to be able to discover some new tunes. I am currently listening to the play list “Summer Waves” on Spotify. Whack it on and have a dance, it will shake you up and reset you again. Singing your heart out too helps.
5. Make Peace – This period marks grand ideas to liberate humanity. There may be an urge to reach out and amend things with people or they might pop up in your mind. I had a situation this year where things ended on a not nice term, which was very hard because at the end of the day, we were nice people but situations happen and then comes our own story in our head. So Christmas Eve, I took a chance and I messaged the guy.. It could have gone horribly wrong and I would have looked like an idiot (again) but I was shocked when he had replied the next day and peace was made. It really is a nice time to clear the slate and what is the old saying - if you can’t say it at Christmas time, when can you? You might be surprised… I sure was. Also time to catch up on proper communication in general.
6. Get Creative – write, draw, read, sing, update your blog, whatever is your thing this is the time. It really is a stage of renewal and you will be surprised once you start how it just flows and thus starts to realign you again and maybe able to see clearly your own personal vision for the next. It is a good way to check in with you again. Remember what you love to do again and we all have this element even if we think we don't. I say this because I myself I have been proven wrong!
Overall, the key is to find it in yourself. I know that gets thrown around a lot but it really is, and you know what you will get there too.. why do you think the Universe gave you this challenge? To get to the other side. I Yoga to keep me in balance, to take time for myself, breathe and bring myself into the now. My family knows I am a much nicer person to be around so the have never question it and most come from a background of Medicine.
I want you to know this time can be enjoyable. It has become my favorite. Not in the stereotypical idea way of Christmas / New Year that is presented but in a sense, there is something in the air that allows us to slow down a bit, even if we are working you cant help but notice. I love the flow of ideas and the general reset. I know I have a bit 2018 coming up (watch this space) so am completely in restore mode and it is bliss!
If you are reading this, I just want to let you know you are doing great and have almost made it through. If you need to keep busy, keep doing that. For every weird period, there is a better one on the other side. If you got anything from this blog it is that those times are not forever and you will find this place. You do you and the rest will follow N.B does take hard work but worth it.
Love Lexi x Song “Chateau” by Angus & Julia Stone