As a GP, I know how Christmas is often a very trying and difficult time for a lot of people I see. There is often a heightened awareness of loneliness in people’s lives as they remember departed loved ones and for others the period is simply hectic and chaotic. It’s not uncommon for people to feel quite low. I’ve been mulling this over and initially, I wrote the reflective piece below just for me – to help me think about others. However, I’d like to share it with you in case there is anything that might strike a chord with you. For me – well, I’m definitely going to pay a lot of attention to the last set of bullet points. x
Dr Ramesh Mehay
GP Ashcroft Surgery
How to flow with the festive period.
This is your gift to yourself. Just stop for a moment and check-in with yourself (something that we rarely do). Where are you now? What are your thoughts like? How are you feeling? Is it a feeling of renewal or a feeling of depletion?
How can we build resilience over the holidays?
When we are resilient we have the capability to adapt to challenges with ease. So – what nourishing activities are there currently in your life? Nourishing activities are things you like to do which re-energise you and make you feel good. Have you dropped some nourishing activities over the last few weeks, months or years? Why? What things are currently getting in the way? Is there anything you’re dreading about the holiday period? Is it possible to restart one or two things that you know are good for you even if you don’t feel like doing them? What things excite you about the holiday season – what would positively feed you, nourish you, renew your emotions and vitality?
Do you want to feel kindness, self-compassion, appreciation, energised or something else? Spend some time now and think carefully how you want to feel. If you find this difficult, simply think about someone you care deeply about or love. If this is too is too difficult, simply think about positively impacting on others. Pick one thing. Have you chosen something?
Now, gently close your eyes and imagine how that makes you feel. Breathe in for 5 secs, then slowly breathe out for 5 secs. Whilst breathing, imagine breathing into and out of your heart or chest area. On each out-breath, think about the way you want to feel (or the person you love or about positively impacting on others). For those of you who have a religious belief, perhaps think about God and feeling God’s presence on the in-breath. Remember, on each out-breath try and make a sincere attempt to experience a regenerative feeling (such as self-appreciation, self-compassion, energised, or simply experience the feeling you have for someone you love).
And as for presents during the festive period…
- Be present rather than buy presents
- Instead of wrapping presents, wrap someone in a hug
- Instead of sending gifts, send peace, compassion and love.
- Instead of going to see the lights, be the light.