Coping with End of Year Pressure
Let’s be honest. Spending time with family, friends and colleagues at Christmas is not always all that it’s cracked up to be.
The festive season is often a time of heightened stress and anxiety. It is also associated with financial and social pressure and, for some it can also be a time of loneliness or missing loved ones.
The end of the year is also synonymous with excess. Too many late nights, perhaps overeating or drinking too much. The increased cost-of-living is also adding to the pressures that many are under this year.
Setting boundaries involves saying no. It means having realistic expectations about what IS possible as much as what is NOT possible. Keep in mind that every time you say ‘yes’ to something, you are also saying ‘no’ to something else.
This applies to relationships, work,spending alcohol consumption and more.
In our efforts to please others, we can easily forget that we are saying no to our own needs, typically for rest or down time. Setting boundaries also tends to mean that we must tolerate possibly upsetting others, or at least disappointing them.
Some people find this more challenging than others. If you are inclined to be a ‘people-pleaser’, this is particularly hard for you. You are probably inclined to sacrifice your own needs, above the needs of others, which can sometimes leave you feeling burnt out and resentful.
All relationships involve compromise. People who have strong relationships are experts at navigating conflict. In all relationships, we have to sometimes do things that we would rather not. The trick is finding ways to compromise whilst still holding onto some of what you need.
If you can’t change it, let go and move on.
When it comes to family and close friends though, sometimes there is no changing anyone. Our families can really push our buttons, just as we can push theirs! Afterall, most of our buttons were probably programmed within our families.
No one is perfect. We all let others down, misread situations and say clumsy, insensitive things at times. Of course, we can’t change others. No amount of wishing, cajoling, arguing or teaching can make this happen. So much distress arises when we fail to accept others as they are. Exactly as they are.
Yet, the ability to forgive others their imperfections is wonderful practice for the art of forgiving ourselves for our own mistakes.
So just try it. Just take a deep breath. And then one more.
Remind yourself to let go, and try to see the actual person before you, not the person you wish that they were. Look for the ways that this person suffers, just as you do. And try to see what they care about and how they come to be the way they are today.