Written by Daz Burns
2024… we go again!
It is a time when…
Clocks seem to speed up.
Calendar pages turn faster.
Personal wellbeing evaporates.
People seem to move quicker.
And, the general consensus is that we all feel ten steps behind where we want to be.
I have learnt that Christmas is a time for perspective.
But perspective relies on the ability to take a step back.
To zoom out the camera lens.
To see the wood for the trees.
To breathe and reflect.
But, the ability to take a step back relies heavily on you being able to have that time to do it!
Or, more so, it relies on you deciding to give yourself time to do it.
Christmas has morphed many times for me over the years.
I was an only child with zero responsibilities at Christmas, other than to show up and have fun.
Now I am an adult, mother of three, wife, daughter, boss and friend and not only is that a lot of responsibility to be present where I am.
It is also a lot of people’s Christmas I am responsible for and have the ability to impact.
For worse or for better!
- For my children, I want them to enjoy the lead up to Christmas and for their excitement levels to be increasing.
- For my husband, I want him to finish the year with his team content that they have done enough without carrying stress into the down time.
- For my parents, I want them to enjoy time with their Grandbabies and create special memories.
- For my team, I want them to finish the year stress free, not overloaded trying to cram all their mahi in and not worried about finances.
- For my friends, I want them to know I love them and am here if they need me / want me.
- For myself, I want to know that I have taken time throughout the WHOLE year to contribute to and prioritize everything and everyone above.
With the “lot’s of responsibility” period of your life, so much comes with that, right?
Managing tiredness (your own and everyone else’s).
Same amount of time available.
Extra communication to organize others.
Pending school holiday juggle.
Elf on the shelf.
It goes on.
But the nutshell of it is – life ramps up, like you are on a lime scooter that keeps speeding up uncontrollably and the ramp ahead is quickly getting shorter and you can’t slow it down!
The cycle repeats year after year, right?
We say we will make changes for the following year.
Because this stress is unsustainable.
All of a sudden.
You blink and it’s February!
You’re knee deep in the “usual”.
And life flies by again and soon you’ll be wondering how Christmas 2024 came around so bloody quickly…again!
If you can, as you fly into the end of the year, take the time to ask yourself…
- Do you hang out for a rest?
- Do you slide into Christmas sideways?
- Do you take a few days to switch out of work mode when the holidays start?
- Do you only just ‘recover’ over the summer break and then head back to work?
- Do you wonder where the days go?
- Do you wish you had another week?
So, taking a few more moments, let’s go back to that perspective.
- How can you be more aware of yourself?
- How can you be more aware of others?
Christmas can be the best time of the year for some.
But Christmas can also be the hardest time of year for others.
The triggers around food.
The triggers around alcohol.
The triggers around finances.
The triggers around tumultuous whānau relationships.
So, if you can, please, heed my words.
Break the circuit.
Don’t wait until 2024 to try to make the lead up to Christmas 2024 better for you and your families mental health.
Give yourself that gift of time.
Take a moment.
Take a few moments.
And in those moments, be present.
For yourself and for the people you love.
Be where your feet are.
Find a way to open your thinking.
Take a breath.
Take a few.
Zoom the camera lens out to look at life from a wide angle.
Find micro moments to enjoy the process.
Give yourself the time to shift perspective.
And in 2024.
Finish the year with no regrets.
Give what you can.
When you hug someone, be the last to let go.
When you’re with your people, give them eye contact, don’t check your phone.
When you’re with yourself, be your own best friend in the chaos.
When you’re in the grind, when the lime scooter is speeding up.
You are responsible to participate in your own rescue.
Tuck and roll.
Stop and remember that you impact so many different people’s Christmas’, not just in December.
And remember that having perspective relies on your ability to take the time to take a step back.
Because really, that is the most important job that must be done.