It’s that time of the year which can get pretty crazy.
When I was working in clinics I used to see a lot of people at this time of year who were worn down and stressed out.
All of a sudden their back went out or an old pain flared up. “Hadn’t happened since this time last year”.
Too often the story was that they had worked hard all year and not really taken the time off that they wanted to.
They pushed themselves to get through this far.
Just as the holiday season is in sight it feels like the demands of life ramp up and the break is just a bit too far off.
And then the body says enough is enough.
The end of the year is a natural reflection time and it can be easy to focus on all the things that went wrong.
The priorities not met. The resolutions not kept.
The balance not realised. The dreams unmaterialised.
And if it’s a once off, fair enough. But if this is your pattern, ending every year in a frazzle or a slump, not quite making the hurdles in the race to the end-of-year, then perhaps it’s time to change it.
You just have to change something.
I finally noticed one year that for me it always October. That was my month of “too much”. Life was too much. I looked back over journal entries from October’s past and they all told the same story – I’m hopeless, bored, fat, lazy, unclear, lost and depressed.
Hmm. Funny that 11 other months of the year didn’t back up the story. Perhaps it was time to change that.
So I vowed to change Octobers. To schedule a holiday and take a break. To get the hell out of whatever was dragging me into a month of darkness.
I started with a study trip to Thailand one year, then a roadtrip up the west coast of Australia the next, a meditation and yoga retreat in Thailand, a Transformational Tour to Arizona and California, another Transformational Tour to the Kimberleys of Australia.
My Octobers became full of connection and beauty. It was still more on an introverted time than other times of the year, that seemed to be the energy that was calling me. A time to turn inwards even if I was around other people. Once I got okay with that, it became very soft and compassionate time.
For a number of years I had to make the conscious effort to change it up in October and plan a get away. Even if I had just taken a new job I still stuck to it. Unpaid leave don’t bother me. My mental health will serve my workplace more than they could know.
In recent years I haven’t had to plan the changes, they naturally occur. I just keep a tab that I’m looking after myself, checking in, nurturing.
Perhaps choosing what “end of the year” means to you helps as well.
I don’t feel compelled to get caught up in the “silly season” activities if it doesn’t enrich my life or others. If I do then it’s a choice from a place of joy and celebration. It really is meant to be fun and loving after all. If you look deeper we’re globally celebrating that there is light in the world.
So how do you look after yourself as the end of year approaches?
A holiday is not the only answer of course. It worked for me not because it was a foreign place or something exciting. It worked because in nature I find connection, in different cultures I reflect on a bigger picture and in meditation and yoga I discover different aspects of myself. In all of them I remember the beauty of life and myself as a part of that.
I have seen some people make a physical change, and nothing actually changes. It’s important to actually work out what is the basic need that is missing that you need to address by the change. And to invite the change that nourishes you in the way that your being longs to be nourished.
If you are strung out worrying about upcoming family encounters or lonely holiday times then escaping to a beach to drink cocktails and ignore the emotion might not help the system!
If you are looking for a way to change it up this year … the online course that we have starting soon and going until the week before Christmas can be a great way to stay centred and nurture yourself.
It’s full of yoga videos, relaxation practices and hypnosis audios.
It centres around a loving and nurturing relationship between you, your body and your food. Foundational stuff.
We’d love to share the end of the year with you.
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