Navigating the Emotional Economics of Christmas

Navigating the Emotional Economics of Christmas

Hello my friend,

How are you today? It’s that time of the year. Carols and bell, joy and singing, family and friends, everyone pretends the year hasn’t kicked them in the butt. We wipe it all clean and resolve to do better in 2024.

As we welcome the festive season, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the emotional rollercoaster that this year has been. The ups, the downs, the twists, and turns, the immeasurable victories and thanksgiving seasons. It’s a celebration of resilience, strength and the light that shines brights inside all of us.

When I think about this season, apart from the obvious celebration for religious reasons, I ponder on the emotional aspects of it and how we gleefully walk into this repetitive cycle of financial recklessness, emotional stress and physical exertion. We walk out sometimes with beautiful memories.

Not everyone can say that though, about the season, some will be filled with dread wondering how to manage that uncle that abused them in childhood, the family secret, the demands for money that is shrinking in value daily, the expectation to please everyone, having front row seats to the wreck that you call family, friends that have betrayed you over and over saying Merry Christmas with hugs and kisses.

It’s not ease and joy for everyone, as much as that’s what mainstream media tells us.

So how do you plan for the emotional economics of Christmas—because just like managing our finances, understanding and nurturing our emotional well-being is crucial, especially during this time of year.

Invest in Gratitude

To get started, consider gratitude, the currency of the heart. Despite the challenges, the setbacks, and the uncertainties, there’s always something to be thankful for. Take a moment to reflect on the small victories, the moments of laughter, and the unexpected joys. Investing in gratitude pays emotional dividends, making your heart richer and your spirit brighter.

Task; Start a daily one line gratitude practice.

“Today I am thankful for a good night rest”.

Gratitude journal/ Alex Elle

Gratitude journal/ Alex Elle

Budget Your Boundaries

In the frenzy of festive preparations, it’s easy to spread yourself too thin. Just like you would budget your time and resources, it’s essential to set emotional boundaries. Recognize your limits, communicate them kindly, and allow yourself the gift of self-care. Saying ‘no’ when needed is not a rejection of others; it’s a loving affirmation of yourself.

Decide early on, what events you will participate in with family, alone, with friends. Who would you like to spend time with? Make a plan. There are several ways to protect your boundaries, one of them is not spending time with people who have proved that they don’t honor your boundaries.

They won’t change, so you have to decide if it’s worth your time, band how much of your time you want to spend with said people. Be Intentional. Do not get drawn into arguments, fights or dividing discussions. Know when to walk away physically, practice how to change topics of conversation.

Task: Make a note of who you would like to spend Christmas day with, and Boxing day, what activities would you be doing with them? Make the call, book it.

Spread the Wealth of Kindness

One of the most beautiful aspects of the holiday season is the spirit of giving. It doesn’t have to be materialistic; the most valuable gifts are often intangible. A kind word, a supportive gesture, or simply being there for someone in need—all these acts contribute to the wealth of kindness circulating in the world.

We only get as much as we put into the relationships around us.

Limit the gifts you spend money buying. Consider gifting different. Gift your time, your talent, your wisdom, random acts of kindness, memories of time spent together etc.

Task: Do a random kindness each day from today, for a stranger or people around you

That act creates a ripple effect. Go for it.

Invest in the Present Moment

In the midst of the hustle and bustle, don’t forget to invest in the present moment. The beauty of Christmas lies in the joy of togetherness. Whether it’s a virtual gathering or a cozy celebration with loved ones, be fully present. Cherish the laughter, savor the flavors, and embrace the warmth of connection.

After all, the present moment is the most valuable asset in our emotional bank accounts, let’s invest actively in seeing, being, experiencing noticing things around us.

Resist the urge to walk quickly when not in a hurry, the urge to raise your voice to communicate, the urge to rush through sensory experiences. Romanticise your life, it’s the only one you have and you are the only one experiencing it, isn’t that special. Calm down, deep breathe, close your eyes, inhale, exhale, open your eyes, smile.

Task: What colours surround you? What colours make you relax? How can you bring more joy into your daily life using colour?

Color Psychology Chart

Celebrate Your Emotional Wins

Take a moment to celebrate your emotional wins. Acknowledge the strength it took to navigate the storms and the courage it required to face the unknown. You are not just surviving; you are thriving in your resilience.

Celebrate your growth, your perseverance, and the beautiful spirit that carried you through. I learnt a new term this year “post traumatic growth” the person that emerges different , more refined, wiser and courageous from an event that by its design could have ruined them.

The growth that comes from going through the difficult thing, staring the lion in the face, declaring the Word even though with a shaky voice…. You know it, I know it. It’s powerful.

Recognise that you have grown and clap for yourself.

Rejoice because the person going into this season is a new being, ready for the walk ahead.

Task: Write down some of the victories you got this year, the battles won. Put them where you can see them, you grew!

Invest in prayers for this season.

The bible says “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:15-17 NIV)”

Prayer is such a strong act of voicing out our deepest thoughts, desires, wants and gratitude. It has been proven to literally lift weights of our shoulders.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7 NIV)”

Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray… (James 5:13 NIV), that is the guidance, that is the direction.

I pray wisdom for you this season.

So, my dear friend, as we step into a mixed season of joy, pain, thanksgiving, confusion, guilt and celebration, let’s be mindful, appreciative and take notice.

Invest in gratitude, budget your boundaries, spread the wealth of kindness, and most importantly, celebrate the abundance of love and healing that surrounds you. Don’t go into deficit emotionally or financially even, be measured and prioritize your wellbeing.

Walk to this season expecting to be seen, heard and loved.  Make a plan that is good for you, prayerfully negotiate the difficulties you may encounter, you will conquer them all.

Isa 41:10
Isa 41:10

Wishing you all the love and light in the world,

Stay wholesome.

Stay authentic

Be yourself and keep getting better at it.

Live wholeheartedly,

Amaka

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