November is the lead up to Christmas, right? That time when all of us start feeling the pressure to demonstrate our love for everyone we know, by emptying our wallets to give them lots of stuff they could’ve bought for themselves. I have a few issues with this, and I’ve read all the research so I know that it’s the time when there are more suicides, breakdowns and even domestic arguments than any other.
One of the biggest stress factors, the way I see it, is that you can’t give what you don’t have. No, I’m not talking about money, although I know that will be an issue for many this year. I’m talking about love.
If you go into the Christmas season feeling pressured, stressed and overloaded, you’re on the back foot before you even begin. Then you try to live up to the hype and expectation of the ‘perfect’ family celebration (another myth) and everything that goes wrong just makes it worse. Imagine for a moment, though, how it would feel if you went into it with a strong sense of being treasured, cared for and nurtured already. Knowing that the presents and celebrations were icing instead of the whole cake, and that the people you love already know how you feel – like you know how they feel – independent of any ‘holiday traditions’.
Far easier, right? You have the ‘emotional bank balance’ (as Dr John Gray describes it) to be able to make those withdrawals to give to other people, without drawing yourself down into emotional debt.
There’s not a lot in our modern lives that adds to that positive balance, which is probably why so many people struggle this time of year. I have no idea how such a crazy idea started, but apparently you’re not supposed to do nice things for yourself. Pardon the language, but that’s pure baloney. Nurturing doesn’t have to come from someone else. In fact, other people are far more likely to care and nurture you, if they see you as someone who cares for and loves themselves.
So, November is going to be dedicated to giving you tips, quotes and resources to help you feel as nurtured as possible, without suffering through the frustration of having to drop incredibly broad hints that your partner invariably doesn’t pick up on. You simply do nice things for yourself. (A note for the boys, probably a fair few of these will be ‘female-type’ pampering ideas. If you feel uncomfortable doing these personally – although I hear many of you are getting over that and discovering how good they feel – try doing or organising them for your other half. She might just reward you with some pampering in return. Sharing always makes things more fun!)
Most of these updates will be coming daily to you via twitter. I look forward to seeing you join me there at http://twitter.com/crystalsquest