We all know that Christmas can be an amazing, enjoyable, delightful time, spent with family and friends, relaxing away from work. But we also know that it can be an aggravating, infuriating, depressing time, spent arguing with family and friends, wishing we were back at work.
We’ve written before about the ‘rest, regroup and refocus’ technique, one which we regularly use with clients from all walks of life. This is our (slightly tongue-in-cheek) guide to how we’d apply this to your festive preparations.
Step one – Rest
In the run-up to Christmas, book some time in your diary that’s just for you. What we mean particularly is find an opportunity to rest your brain. It could be having a pyjama day to watch cheesy Christmas movies with the kids, booking yourself in for a spa treatment or even a peaceful walk somewhere. Set your ‘out of office’ message, turn off your phone and give yourself permission to go off the radar, just for a short while. At this hectic time, giving yourself some ‘head space’ will allow your subconscious to process all that’s going on. Your conscious brain can take time-out from thinking about it all. This will mean you’re calmer and happier and ready to go on to step two.
Step two – Regroup
Switch on that Michael Buble Christmas album (or other artists that may be available), break out that little something just for you to enjoy. Embrace this calm feeling while it lasts! And now, grasp that pen and paper and take some time to make your festive ‘To Do’ list. You may find it helps to work backwards from key events or separate tasks according to the day you need to do them – or both! Although it might be slightly scary, try to write down everything; it will help stop all those thoughts spinning around in your head. Work out if you could delegate any of the tasks to anyone else. Put the list in a very safe (but obvious!) place. And don’t forget to write “Enjoy myself!” on the top of that list!!
Step three – Refocus.
OK – you’re calm, you’re prepared; now it’s time to get on with it! Armed with a calm and collected perspective – and the mother of all ‘To Do’ lists! – there is nothing that you cannot take in your stride. And if things do start to become overwhelming recall that feeling of rest from step one or the sense of readiness from step two. Enjoy those feelings as you ‘have yourself, a very Merry Christmas!’