Having Christmas during COVID

Nothing could have been farther from our imagination back in January than the idea that all of us would all be experiencing Christmas this year under the strain of a global pandemic. COVID and its implications have come as a shock and a source of stress to everyone. I can’t think of anyone that hasn’t had their life impacted in some way. Whether it is parents who are now homeschoolers or children who have become online learners, or business owners who have reinvented themselves, or elderly citizens who have learned to manage their lives with less social contact from family and friends.

Avoid Being a Bah Humbug – Accept ‘What Is’

Here we sit only a few short weeks away from “the most wonderful time of the year” most of us are thinking about how, given the pandemic constraints, we can make the most out of this year’s celebration. Recognizing and accepting that this year will be nothing like the celebrations of the past is so vitally necessary to avoid getting stuck in emotions like sadness, frustration, and even anger.

The first step towards ending suffering for ourselves is to accept ‘what is’ fully and completely. By accepting the reality of the global pandemic impacting Christmas plans while not labeling the situation as bad or wrong is the only way through the season with minimal mental anguish. Chances are you don’t like what is happening, and you may even find it to be painful. Focusing on the situation’s drawbacks will not change anything, and it will only alter your natural good-nature, fun-loving constitution, and pull you into feeling bah humbug.

When you fight with ‘what is, the ‘what was’ and ‘what may be’, you create for yourself the atmosphere of suffering while at the same time you strip away the opportunity to enjoy the present moment. It is a double hit of negativity and loss; loss because there is struggle and loss because the chance for peace, joy, and goodwill at the moment has slipped away.

Make Alternative Christmas Plan

Accepting ‘what is’ this year at Christmas means that alternative plans may need to be made; these plans represent a new way to enjoy the season and to connect with others. Here are some tips to help you adjust to this year’s Christmas.

When Should We Celebrate Christmas

Decided when you want your Christmas to start and when you want it to finish. Your start and end to this year may not line up with the traditional 24th and 25th given the constraints of COVID. You may need to declare this year’s Christmas to fall on different days.

What Traditions Make Sense This Year

Decide what traditions and celebrations you want to preserve and which ones you want to postpone or do away with altogether. You may choose to keep baking with your family, and so you can make an effort to do it via video conferencing. You may, however, be willing to do away with decorating the tree together and can opt to do that alone.

How Do I Maintain My Wellbeing

Don’t forget about your wellbeing during this time of the year and since everything is different, look at how you supported your mental state during the year and ensure that you maintain those habits during the festive season.

Remember, you can make meaningful and purposeful adjustments so that you feel that you are in control of how your experience Christmas. Deciding to accept and work within the boundaries that must be adhered to due to the pandemic can still leave us some space upon which to play and experience the holidays.

If you are interested in discovering how you can change your inner perspective and your self-dialogue sign up for a complimentary consultation on my website. My patented coaching methodology, Rewire Your Mind® is designed to move anyone from stressing to progressing in only 12 weeks.

I would like to wish everyone and their family and friends a joyous, safe, and peaceful holiday season.

To Your Magnificence,

Karen Spencer

IT CAN BE DIFFERENT

Podcast Highlights: The Psychological Edge

On Thursday, October 8th, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Alistair McBride for his podcast – Dealing with Goliath:  Psychological Edge for Business Leaders.  Al’s mission is to help sharpen the psychological edge in business leaders with skin in the game and who wants to be more effective under pressure, uncover hidden value, and increase profitability.  His podcast focuses on giving his listeners quick insights to boost their business performance by interviewing leaders in the area of mindset management. Here is a quick synopsis of the interview:

 

1. Who is your ideal client, what is their biggest challenge?

 

An ideal client is anyone who is smart and passionate, and who is going through a tough time. They also realize that they need to get past who they think they are and the way they have been conditioned to think to realize their dreams.  The biggest challenge for my clients is believing that they can be different because their experience with stress, worry, and anxiousness has been so pervasive.   For many, they have forgotten what it feels like to be their magnificent, productive, happy self.

 

2. What are the common mistakes people make when trying to solve that problem?

 

 The most common mistake people make is they focus only on the symptom of their anxiety, stress, or worry,  namely how they are feeling.  They work so hard to change how they feel, and in doing so, many have developed habits and coping skills that cost them dearly in time and money.  The root of their negative emotional state, their deep, unconscious beliefs, remains unchanged, and consequently the problem never really transforms.

 

3. What is one valuable free action that the audience can implement that will help with that issue?

 

The best advice I can give anyone on the spot is to become keenly aware and selective regarding where they put their attention.  I call it the currency of attention.  We are all careful and considerate with the currency of money and we only spend our money on things or experiences that give us joy or move us forward in life.  We all need to be just as diligent with our attention and considerate it also to be valuable as our money.  Put your attention only on things, experiences, and images that propel your life forward in a positive manner.

 

4. What is one valuable free resource that you can direct people to that will help with that issue?

 

On my website (itcanbedifferent.ca) I offer a free audio tool entitled Focus and Peace.  This is a 5-minute meditation that easily brings your attention back to now and stops you from experiencing negative emotions.  You will feel calmer and more centered instantly.

 

5. What’s the one question I should have asked you that would be of great value to our audience?

 

The one question that would be of most value is, “Can anyone achieve emotional freedom?”  The answer is yes.   Everyone is biologically set up to be whole which means not fighting with parts of themselves, not experiencing negativity, and instead fully moving towards a confident, progressing, affluent and peaceful life.  The roadblocks that have been hampering them in achieving that life so far have to do with how they have been conditioned. And since that was learned it can be unlearned.

 

To listen to the full interview with Alistair McBride, click below.

 

It’s time to remove the psychological edge by eliminating anxiousness, worry, and stress. Head to my website and request a complimentary consultation. Let’s chat about my proprietary coaching model, “Rewire Your Mind®, and how it can move you from stressing to progressing in as little as 3 months, guaranteed.

 

Balancing Life’s Priorities

Over the years, I have come to realize that multi-tasking and taking on too many duties is a direct contributor to symptoms like increased heartbeat, fatigue, headaches, difficulty with concentration, nausea and sweating.  Many times, I mistakenly attributed these physical symptoms with anxiety when in fact they were symptoms of simply not prioritizing my life. I foolishly thought that because my life was running in all directions and I was feeling frazzled that there must be something wrong with me and most likely it was anxiety.

The Busier We Get, The Quicker We Lose Sight of Our Priorities

In actuality, as I became more and more trapped in the endless cycle of work, errands and other responsibilities, I lost sight of the things that were important to me: maintaining a good emotional state and a good quality of life.  I was so consumed with meeting everyone else’s needs and wishes that I did not give myself the time to check-in to make sure I was putting my energy on what was foremost for me.  Days, weeks, months and even years would pass by. All without me ensuring that I was focused on what was genuinely important to me.  This behaviour led to sleepless nights because I could not shut off my brain. Then during the day I felt debilitated by all that was still ahead of me to do.

Today, how do I stop myself from falling into this trap of feeling those out-of-control feelings? 

I surround myself predominately with people that support me, my priorities and my values.  I make sure I have relationships that inspire me and energize me rather than only demand energy from me and hold me back.

Also, and very importantly, I frequently evaluate where I spend my time. I do this in order to discover how I can find more time for my priorities.  I track where I am spending time in the areas of work, exercise, meals, time with loved ones, time spent on hobbies, sleep, meditation – everything and anything.  Then I step back. I look at how I can change the way I am spending my time to focus on my priorities.

Take Stock of Your Relationships

In addition, I take stock of my relationships.  Who do I want to make more time for? And who do I need to let go of to be able to thrive?  I have also become okay with not everyone supporting my core values and priorities.  I have found that when I think about my relationships, some people drain my energy and harm my sense of well-being. And when I realize that my priorities have shifted, I re-evaluate who I spend most of my time with.

By holding myself accountable for my priorities and making small changes to focus on what’s really important, I feel more confident, joyful and less anxious every day.   I also remember the old adage, we are only busy with the things that we say yes to.

Let’s Connect

How can you practice imagination today?  What in your life can you build an imaginary story around?  What’s stopping you from imagining – nothing!

And as always, I invite you to join in on the conversation on Facebook and Instagram 

To our Health and Wellbeing,

Karen