The end of the year festivities is fast upon us. Lights in stores are twinkling and there is the wonder of ice rinks and mulled wine, hot chocolate and dashes after work to the parties.
I really like this time of year, it is especially nice crossing the bridges of London on foot and catching all the intangible excitement in the air. It could only happen at this time of year, the very last month, when it can often feel like being in the eye of the storm.
I know from experience in my practice, that the festive season and end of year celebrations can bring along quite a bit of stress. Stress at trying to fit all the meals and drinks in an already busy schedule, stress at shopping in the crowds, and stress at the human relationships that can sometimes feel overwrought with the extra added stress.
It can be easy to forget the meaning of December. Take away the cultural and religious significance and what you have is a time for us to be able to reflect. This is the bookend of the year where you can think about what the previous twelve months have brought.
What always surprises me is that when you take the time to have a brief moment and step away from the whirlwind that is life, a sudden onset of exhaustion can appear. One second you’re running from place to place, juggling the many hats we all wear in modern life and when you stop to think it can seem quite remarkable what we achieve in a day, in a week, in a year.
For some of us, the festivities are a joy – the busy buzziness of the season is something to relish. But for others it can be a bit too much or you may find yourself in the company of someone who isn’t the joy of the party. Other times a melting pot of stress and fatigue can turn into an explosion of unmeant words or actions. In those moments deep breathing and smiles really do wonders.
It is important to remember that while being the charming diplomat is always nice, it is not your job to make literally everybody happy. This is your time as well so enjoy the lights and have a wonderful December!
Image: Flickr, Harry Koopman