Protecting Your Space
The thing about Christmas and the festive season as a whole, is that it can be incredible. If we're lucky enough it can be full of all of our favourite people, all of our favourite places and all of our favourite traditions. With it being a time so many of us missed out on last year and a time so many of us are looking forward to this year, it feels like it would be easy to place a lot of pressure on this festive season to be perfect.
What we sometimes forget around this time of year though is that in amongst the things that make our festive seasons so special, there can also be the things that can feel heavy, stressful and overwhelming. Whether that's the pressure you put on yourselves to make things ideal, the travel plans that you don't have full control over or maybe spending time with family who you haven't seen since pre pandemic.
The important thing, no matter how/what/where and when you plan to celebrate (or not celebrate) this year, is that you take some time for yourself and protect your space, during what can easily be an equally amazing and stressful time.
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I can't wait to see family and friends this Christmas. There are so many people I've missed seeing and spending time with over the last 2 years, that this season easily feels more special than usual. A Christmas and New Year full of the things we've missed out on enjoying and celebrating since our last with all our family and friends back in 2019. I'm vaccinated, planning my booster and have plans to safely see all the people I love who are in the same position. However the one thing I am worried about, are those unexpected and last minute social situations that we all know arise around the Holidays.
Although I've been back to socialising and events in the last few months of this year, they've been organised, needed testing and/or vaccinations to attend and felt like safe places to be. I know a few of my friends have also expressed they're concerned about those unplanned moments too and one said the best thing they can do for themselves is listen to their gut. If they feel like they're in a space where they can be comfortable and safe then they'll be all in, but if not then they'll say their goodbyes and walk away from any spaces that feel wrong to be in - physically and mentally.
I really feel like listening to your gut this year will be the key to all of us being in spaces we know we feel less anxious in and that will also protect our loved ones as we travel to and cuddle those we've missed. So many of us have experienced struggles with aspects of our mental health this year and although lots of us have shared and chatted about how we're feeling, suddenly returning to 'normal' as we seem to have coined it, will be a lot for a lot of us. I've already had a little pep talk with myself and I know that for me, taking some time to go for a walk with Boe, stepping away from conversations that aren't beneficial for my mental health and simply taking a few deep breaths in the fresh air will be how I protect my space this year.
Even for myself who feels relatively confident socialising right now and knows my Christmas and New Year plans will be safe and hopefully full of joy, I still feel a little hesitation. I've spent so much of this last year taking things slow, learning a lot about caring for myself and avoiding situations that are filled with bad intentions or vibes, and that's something I really want to continue with. Not just for the festive season but beyond too. Protecting my space and ensuring those spaces I choose to spend time in fill my cup up with wonderful memories because I chose to be surrounded by the best of intentions and people. I hope that however you choose to celebrate this year that you find those spaces that feel like warm hugs and that you prioritise your mental health as we rediscover what Christmas means to us all.
For full transparency these images were shot as part of a Tod's Timeless campaign but this blog post is not part of my commitments :)