So the Christmas rush has truly begun. You can see it every day in the shops, in the traffic flow and in particular in the manic energy that many people exude when they are trying to pack a punch and leave a good dent in the preparation.
It becomes a problem when it overwhelms us. The stress hits us, we get tired and irritable and we feel like we’re losing control. From a Wellness angle there is one simple piece of advice on how to overcome this obstacle and it’s best described in an old story.
‘There was once a writer who used to love to write by the ocean. The cooling breeze, the warmth of the sun and the rhythm of the lapping waves all contributed to his sense of well-being, the perfect platform for creativity. It was also part of his practice to walk the beach before he settled down to write.
One particular day he noticed a figure further up the usually deserted beach and this figure seemed to be dancing. He thought this was a wonderful way to celebrate life and so he quickened his step to meet up with this person.
As he got closer he noticed that it was a young man but his movements were not that of a dance. He seemed to be reaching down to the sand, picking up small objects and throwing them into the ocean. And so he called out and asked the man what he was doing. The young man stopped and replied “I’m throwing starfish back into the sea.”
“Why are you bothering?” asked the writer.
“Well, the sun is getting higher in the sky and if I don’t put them back in the water they will all die.”
“But there are thousands of them on the sand all the way up the beach. It’s an impossible task. You can never make a difference,” said the writer.
At this point, the young man bent down, picked up another starfish, threw it into the sea and said “It made a difference to that one.”
We can tackle our seemingly insurmountable challenges in the same way. We chip at the challenge and break it down into small steps. This takes patience because we may have underestimated just how long it can take to achieve the goal. We may have encountered unexpected obstacles along the way. But regardless of these if we steadily approach the problems in a measured and methodical way we will advance.
In other words, a series of small goals will ultimately lead to achieving the bigger goal. So break your Christmas To Do list into baby steps. Allocate a time and a day to each one. And chip away at the Christmas prep. If possible at all, have it all done by lunchtime on Christmas Eve so that you can glide into the Day with ease.
It makes sense when you think about it.
Bibi Baskin is a Wellness advisor and Motivational speaker. She lived in India for fifteen years where she studied Indian systems of Wellness. She now lives in Cork and gives talks around the country to corporates and community groups on many aspects of wellbeing. For more information, see her website bibibaskin.ie