how to have a compassionate Christmas

14th December 2018

How is your heart in the lead up to Christmas?

You might just be pacing yourself through school Nativity, Christmas Jumper day, the office party and the squillion WhatsApp messages with various family members, in an attempt to organise the miracle of a Christmas dinner that keeps everybody happy.

You might like me, be feeling the acute absence of loved ones who are no longer with us. Maybe you are nursing a broken heart right now.

And if you are in a relationship, there is a high possibility that you may feel a smidge of resentment at just how much of the Christmas cheer is on you, given the emotional labour women do.

Perhaps your family don’t acknowledge Judeo-Christain traditions or you choose to opt out of Christmas altogether. There may be a sense of sitting outside of things right now, perhaps feeling you don’t belong.

And it may be that gathering with your family involves reliving past trauma. The role you feel the need to adopt, being around folks you have nothing in common with outside of a bloodline and shared history. Navigating judgements, assumptions, expectations, ‘helpful’ comments; their refusal to see you as a self-governing adult. All while everyone drinks. Neat.

Not to mention all the consumerism and consumption, just days after Sir David Attenborough warned the collapse of civilisation really is winking at us from the horizon.

It’s totally understandable if you are not really feeling a tonne of goodwill to all humans right now.

Christmas 2018 tops off what can only be described as A Hell of A Year.

All to say, be gentle with yourself. It’s ok to say no, to opt out, to put boundaries around your time, money and energy, to remove yourself from any conversation that diminishes you. Don’t go into debt to show people that you love them. Don’t spend time with people if the experience will damage your mental health.

Breathe. Find a few moments in the chaos to feel your feet on the floor. Remember your sense of humour. Choose to eat as much as you want, choose to be loved, to receive, to marvel at the small humans you made, the good things in your life. It’s wise to keep some time sacred and just for the people who fill you up. Acknowledge the people who are not here, love them and miss them. Create traditions that have meaning for you at this time of year.

And don’t forget to appreciate you. It can be the greatest gift to just speak kindly to yourself, to forgive yourself endlessly, to give yourself all the compassion you can muster.

May you be well
May you be safe
May you feel loved
May you feel peace.



Hello, I'm Sas Petherick. I'm a self-doubt researcher, coach and podcaster who helps thinking humans transcend self-doubt. If you'd like to receive these posts in your inbox please subscribe here (with bonus info and first notice of opportunities to work with me). PS: I totallyInstagram - join me there?


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