As the days creep ever closer to the 25th, the streets are emptying and the shops are filling. Our suburb is definitely quieter. Fewer cars. Fewer people. The loudest mouths on the block are the hadedas, long beaked, stubby bodied, larger than life Ibises with very loud “Caw!” calls.
The five member feathered family who have made themselves comfortable in the oak tree right outside our bedroom, insist on waking the neighbourhood up at 5am every morning. It sounds as if they are inside our room. A discordant and unwelcome alarm clock.
Don’t they know we are all on holiday? Even if we aren’t actually on leave, we may, just may, want to get a little bit more sleep now that the school / work run is over for the year!
Taking time out is essential for our wellbeing
Less structure, more leisure
Already our days are less structured and more leisurely. Time has a different meaning. The summer days are deliciously longer, the meal plans are more at a whim than set, and the exercise routine is more stretch and yawn flexible than get up and go sweat.
There is more socialising, and with that more eating and drinking. Christmas mince pies have to be taste-tested, cheese and biscuits have become standard fare and chocolate is a Thing. Come on, it's the festive season.
It is good to take a break. Rest is vital. This year has been very testing. But before we all throw caution to the crisp breeze and spend the money we don’t have, gorge on treats we normally avoid, and skip the walk / gym / yoga session let’s remember that it’s consistency not a quick fix, that keeps things in place. Things like our physical health, mental wellbeing and financial state.
Keep it consistent this holiday
Consistency, not a quick fix
This month is trumpeted by the flashy marketers as a time of family, togetherness and joy. In reality it can be filled with loneliness, sadness and concern. Family get-togethers can be fraught with tension, being alone brings clouds of depression and wanting to give or do more, but not being able to. can cause anxiety and despair.
One answer is to, with consistency, attend to your needs as well as others’, listen to your body, honour your energy levels. Do what you can with what you have. No quick fix will be needed when you emerge from the holidays.
Our wish for you is to take things slow this festive season. Be kind to yourself and considerate to others. Don’t overdo anything and yet do something, however small, to keep the productive muscle in shape. However tempting that couch or beach is, however alluring the screen, parcel some small time to clean out a cupboard, or file away the full intray. You’ll feel happier and clearer returning to work.
Our wish is for you to take things slow. What is your wish for you?
What can you do differently
Consider what you can do differently during this time. Chantal is seeing what it feels like to be okay with a little chaos in her life. Matthew is finding his flow and how to go with it. All with lightness and humour, it’s the thing that has helped secure us to the pole in the midst of some terrible storms.
Even as you take this time out to connect with yourself and your loved ones, some restraint may be required to allow yourself to go gently into the future that remains, as always, unpredictable and persistently uncertain. Go gently, and remember the “ABC of life”: Act like a tree, Bring the light and Choose love, always.
Until next time.
Yours in feeling,
Chantal & Matthew
About the author
5th Place offers specialised psychological services in the form of coaching and therapy for immediate relief from stress, anxiety, & other mental health challenges. It works fast, deep and quick. For individuals and groups, children, teens and adults.