Can We Retain a Sense of ‘Enough Already’ in the Face of Excess?

energy exercise food health mindful nutrition self care stress sugar wellness winter Dec 07, 2021

It's easy to lose our sense of satisfaction and need-over-want at this festive time, but finding ways to stay connected can make the whole shebang leave a better taste in our mouths in the aftermath...

So the big question is, can we retain a sense of 'enough already' in the face of excess? The lead up to the main event is a good time to step back, take stock and see how Christmas is permeating our lives and our expectations.

Are you dizzy as a child at the thought of Santa’s touchdown or feeling the heavy burden of endless present-buying or relatives descending? Personally, I tend to feel quite different each year… BC (Before Child) I used to be able to get full-on festive one year and then positively ignore its existence the next, just enjoying some holiday time without the razzamatazz.

Now I’m swept up in the childhood vision of it all, it’s a time to experience with my daughter what I wish it to be; not about buying and getting yet more stuff, but about giving, sharing, joy, lights and singing!

There’s a lovely freedom to be able to define what the holiday period needs to be for you and some key questions to ask and make conscious decisions about the coming journey.

Whether you’re spending the holidays alone, with your family (or someone else’s!) or friends, defining what you can control about your own experience and around your needs at the end of this – erm, “interesting” – year, can mean Christmas rejuvenates rather than depletes you.

It may not be that you have much time that is your own, but carving out pockets of peace and avoiding becoming a martyr to others’ demands really helps change how you look back about it all after the event.

To help chart a steady course without getting lost in all the noise and expectation, consider these self-enquiries, sitting quietly to consider and even make notes or journal, so that any new year’s resolutions aren’t a shock to the system, but an extension of you recognising your true needs and what makes you feel safe and happy:

  • How am I feeling at this transition of autumn into winter?
  • What’s my energy like at the moment, from a range of dull and demotivated to buzzing and whipped up?
  • What do I need to feel a happy good sense of sustainable energy with the ability to relax? See what comes to mind as a quick, intuitive response and recognise that your needs are as important as those of others.
  • Identify what you might need in the here and now – not for Christmas, a time in the future, but whether you need some time alone, with a partner or friend, to go on a long country walk, take a long bath…. Anything that keeps you sane and grounded.
  • Make a note of any areas that get in the way of a happy, relaxed and enjoyable holiday time. These may not be things you can change, but creating space around them and the self-compassion to recover from them, can mean that you face them without a growing sense of resentment, irritation or fatigue.
  • From there, consider what is ‘enough’ for the upcoming festivities – enough to buy as presents, enough food to buy in, enough socialising to leave you feeling fresh in the daytime, enough alcohol drunk to not tip you over the coping edge, enough sugar to feel you’ve had a treat but not set off a shame spiral – any areas where excess creeps in and may leave you feeling out of control. Even make some clear guidelines around those areas to set boundaries where you can have the fun without the fallout.
  • Come back to feeling how you are in this moment….. the more connected to your felt experience and your true needs, the more you can enjoy yourself and help others do so too.

Christmas Temptations & Damage Limitation

A big part of Christmas “enough already” can be around the area of food. When everything suddenly becomes adorned and dressed in festive labels, we can lose our connection with its effects in our bodies.

It’s lovely to have a treat, but less lovely when it affects our immunity, energy, mood and digestion in ways we do not enjoy.

Here are a few tips on how to gain more satisfaction, not just from festive food, but your meals in general, by making small, conscious changes to your eating style:

Mindful Eating – Digestion and Satisfaction