Forget reindeer that prance and dance. ‘Tis actually the season to be buzzing around like blue-arsed flies. It’s not that we want to be that busy, but not wanting to (or at least not pretending to) can carry a larger penalty: being perceived as not being a team player, not pulling one’s weight or, worse, not being festive. Toss in our fear of job loss or social exclusion and the result is, literally, overwhelming. Anxiety, burnout and stress can all combine to have a pernicious effect on our lives, unless we establish small but regular personal boundaries.
Ironically, in turning something down, we disappoint fewer people – and, most importantly, we don’t disappoint ourselves. Unless you’re privy to some sort of cloning device that’ll help you decorate the tree, bake four dozen iced fairy cakes for charity, attend the office Christmas party, entertain your in-laws and somehow make it to your kid’s nativity play all on the same day, chances are something’s gotta give. Establishing stronger boundaries on how we use our time frees us up to concentrate on what’s most important. By becoming more deliberate about what you expect from those 24 hours in a day, you’re better positioned to make easier decisions about how to use it and manage any lingering regret or fear of missing out. (Oh, FOMO – you’re a wagon!). It’s up to you to decide what makes the cut.
My intention this Christmas is to be ruthless (correction: a practical Poinsettia) about what’s really important. From social RSVPs to pointless bullets on my ‘to do’ list’ – if it’s not adding value to my week, it’s just not gonna happen. Strict? Not so much. It’s in limiting choice that we create the most space and ease. Trust me on this one: I use the same process of elimination with my closet and it’s never been happier.
Make it a season you remember for all the right reasons. Oh, and look amazing while you do it!