Dealing with the “Silly Season”

As we approach the Christmas holiday season, we all need to ask: will it be the “Silly Season,” where we all eat too much, drink too much, and don’t cope well with all the family situations that may present at this time of year – or will we choose to care for ourselves, look after our bodies and our wellbeing, enjoy and appreciate those around us to the best of our ability, and work to build connection with our loved ones in whatever way that may take shape?

The choice is always ours – it will never be perfect but there is always joy to be found and it will be what we make of it.

Simple choices – like avoiding alcohol, drinking plenty of water, not eating that second or third helping, having smaller servings of dessert or avoiding sugar and sweets altogether – all support our body to stay clear and light. And if we find it hard to make these choices, instead of giving ourselves a hard time we can gently work to understand why. For example, is there something that we don’t want to feel or something we don’t know how to deal with, so we eat or drink to numb ourselves a little (or a lot!). Choosing to feel what is there to feel can short-circuit the choice to have that drink or that extra piece of pudding.

What can also be challenging at this time of year is dealing with family situations where much that has remained unresolved during the year presents itself. This can be challenging but it also presents us with an opportunity to heal what has remained unhealed or unsaid throughout the year. If we can appreciate who the other person is, and not get caught up in their – or our – behaviours or emotional reactions, then a tremendous amount of healing is on offer.

Some tips that can support us during the Christmas season are:

  • Minimising intake or abstaining altogether from alcohol helps us to cope better with everything – physically and emotionally. Alcohol is toxic and if we are totally honest, most of us feel much better when we don’t drink it.
  • Doing our best to minimise sugar, sweets and too much heavy food will also support our body immensely.
  • Getting to bed early, not getting caught up in that extra conversation or sitting in front of the computer or TV supports our body to rest well.
  • Not feeling like we have to ‘please’ everyone. It’s not our job to do everything for everyone – we can focus on just being ourselves, caring for ourselves, feeling what is needed in any situation, what is considerate of everyone including ourselves, and where the load can be shared.
  • Appreciate, appreciate, appreciate! Appreciate ourselves and our amazing qualities (yes, we do have lots!), and appreciate all others that we meet and spend time with. A focus on appreciation reminds us who the other person truly is, adds a great depth of joy to our interactions, and helps us to not get caught up in emotional situations.

Will we be caught up in the ‘Silly Season’ this Christmas, or will we choose to care for ourselves and enjoy and appreciate those around us? These are the ultimate gifts we can give to ourselves and others…

By Kathy Byrne, Nutritionist and Health Practitioner, Brisbane

Related Reading:
What I Love about Christmas
In what Quality do we do Christmas?
Women, excessive tiredness and Christmas stress

520 thoughts on “Dealing with the “Silly Season”

  1. The best Christmas present we can give to ourselves, our body and those around us is to take tender loving care of ourselves in a nurturing way and not get caught up in the shenanigans which now, in the main, have become part and parcel of the festive season.

  2. Being more aware of our body and appreciative of it can really support in being more aware of what food and drink truly supports us, without perfection but continual learning.

  3. Even though what is shared in this article is the very basic common sense of looking after yourself, it is rare to find an article like this published anywhere on mainstream media even at Christmas. Ironically most articles about how to handle Christmas promote more of the methods of checking out and escaping the situation instead of looking after yourself. Says a lot about what also is demanded by society these days.

  4. Christmas and the lead up to it is very intense, and you are right in saying Kathy all that remains unresolved during the year can come to a head around Christmas day, which just adds even more intensity and stress into the mix.

  5. Interesting article Kathy. Yesterday I was reflecting with a friend about the way many people use to celebrate and how abusive are some choices for our body like drinking alcohol or over-eating. Choices that makes no sense as it leaves us exhausted, drained, with constipation or umcomfortable hangovers till the next days…As there is no honesty in how we feel in our daily life to recognize that we are not actually joyful and complete we need to seek these ways to escape with the excuse of celebrating. Thankfully there is another way where we can sit all together and share how we really feel, with no judgment or need to fight. Many gifts and opportunities of healing are on offer when we are honest with each other, even though at times it may be confronting, challenging or may arise situations that don’t fit in the ‘perfect picture’ of having a great time. At these days, having experienced the old ways I prefer being real and loving with myself because in that I’m feeling much more appreciation of myself and others, a true celebration that starts within.

  6. If we are super honest, Christmas can be a very stressful time of the year for most of us, physically, emotionally, mentally and financially. It comes around the same time each and every year with the same stresses, duties, obligations and expectations. When I first pulled myself out of this seemingly endless cycle I inadvertently offended those that were closest to me. However I feel immensely better for it and now those closest to me agree that Christmas time is unnecessarily stressful and have started to make changes during this period also.

  7. We place a lot of expectations on ourselves and on others around Christmas and this is a big part of what goes wrong. We want others to love us more than we love ourselves, and this simply cannot be because we cannot give what we do not have, and if we do not love ourselves then that sets us up for huge disappointment and hence why people overindulge in all sorts of activities that are not supportive for the body at Christmas time.

  8. How great would that be, if we connect with others instead of further disconnect to another by, for example, eating more than we need (which causes us to feel more numb), connect deeper – feeling what comes up and actually opening our heart up more.. Now that would be a true silly season, in its playful way..

  9. I find it interesting how families find it so difficult to spend time together without feeling overwhelmed and as a consequence do everything they can to either avoid topics of conversation or dull themselves in order not to feel the depth of what is going on, if we appreciate what each other brings and accept each other for who we are, there would be a completely different level of joy, and it would be about being together, not about Christmas.

  10. Yes… Just imagine if, how to deal with the silly season, was a headline in all the papers and media as we came close to Christmas… If on the morning news it was a feature, what a change that would be.

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