Christmas can be challenging at the best of times, let alone during a global health crisis, lockdowns, political upheaval and humanitarian activism. Christmas 2020 may bring up some inner conflicts, so let’s expect (and accept) them now, rather than get to December 25th and throw our candy canes out the pram.
For many this Christmas will illuminate brighter than the star on your tree, the distance between you and your loved ones. This may be the physical distance of not being able to travel, or a mental distance brought up by differing views, responses, and emotional states in response to current world events. You may find yourself simultaneously craving family connection, yet also struggling to relate, discuss and interact.
So how can we best support each other?
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that things don’t always go to plan and that they can change quickly. Try not to get too hung up on one particular plan for the day to avoid unnecessary disappointment or pressuring others with expectations. If a family member suddenly can’t (or doesn’t want) to make it? Video call them in. If your Aunt would rather not hug? Respect it and know they still love you. If your brother forgets the side dish? It’s not the end of the world. If things don’t feel as “jolly” as usual – it’s not you.
Choose to be gentle
It may sound wishy washy but just give yourself and others a wider berth of compassion this year. Try not to take things personally and try to hold your tongue over small petty irritations. This may look like stepping out of the room, taking a conscious deep breath, offering to help, or entertaining the kids to give someone else some space.
Put down the debates for the day
With everything that we’ve been served this year, it’s likely that some heated topics could come up over the passionfruit pav. If things are getting tense or causing unhappiness remember that none of us have to be right or fight every fight – there’s plenty of that already around so perhaps agree to put down the debates for the day.
Be a surrogate family
This may be the most meaningful gift you can give someone this year. Open your home and your compassion for a friend, your hairdresser, the babysitter, your kids Uni mate who doesn’t have family close by or can’t travel. They will appreciate it more than you know.
Call your grandparents
No explanation needed, just do it if you have grandparents in your life.
All I Want For Christmas is Compassion — Corporate Health, Workplace Wellness & Wellbeing is written by Amanda McMillan for www.wellineux.com