The Cost Of Christmas

Updated: Nov 15, 2019

The first thought is obviously financial, especially at this time of year, after just totting up the cash book with supermarket receipts: the black ink numbers staring at me. How much food do ten people need to eat for only a few days? At long last, completing and handing over the spreadsheet and book-keeping to the accountant. This is the start of the critical mind set kicking in; “What kind of business are you running here?”. How come I put in so much effort and see so little for it on paper? The other side of the argument, of course is, well you love your work and it gives you a huge amount of satisfaction, this conversation could go on for days!

For me though, the true cost is more to do with my physical, emotional, mental health and well-being. The downward spiral started as always by listening to my mind; “go on treat yourself, it’s only a portion of Christmas pudding, and it has to go hand in hand with the brandy butter, how much is a little? At this point I felt a distinct sugar rush quite literally rushing through my body, it felt like strange, tingling mini explosions going on inside and seemed as though my heart was beating faster. Then the thought of “Ah well, it’s done now, what’s the harm in a few chocolates? a glass or two of Bailey’s? Well… it would be rude not to seeing as this was a gift from my brother”.

“IS THAT ALL? What’s all the drama about?”, I can hear you say. Most people’s indulgences we well know, far exceed this little lot. This is where the biggest price to pay sets in. The negative mind talk taking more of a hold; “What have you done? Broken your 6 month no sugar diet, all that hard work”. “It’s Christmas…well New Year, shut up!”. Is my mind taking control doing more harm than the self-indulgence? “You can’t possibly start a new regime till after the festivities are over, you’ve done it before easy-peasy”. Well, that is what my mind thought.

The initial sugar euphoria soon abated and after a migraine and feeling better for not having sugar, or eating much at all during this period, another blip hits. Now Jan 5th, the morning after finishing off the Baileys and having ploughed into the rest of the cheeseboard, the real cost is now hitting the body hard. Lethargy, or is it exhaustion? A mental battle with myself as to what I should be doing. Noticing what I feel I should be trying to do is a strong indication that I don’t want to take the action required that may well make a huge difference.

I can’t believe all this is coming from the woman who helps others with their addictive tendencies, and has amazing results by all accounts. This person who gives the impression that she is the epitome of health and firmly advocates walking her talk. Is this a gentle reminder of how easy it is to slide? What then would be the first step? Do I need my own health coach or just listen to the advice I would give someone else? Is just experiencing how shitty the body feels after Christmas enough of a motivator to take the steps required? So then, what to do as a first step? One that won’t take too much energy or willpower, as neither of these seem to be an option right now. So yesterday I asked for help.

Step 1. Ask

I asked my niece if she would be willing to read to me a simple NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) belief change, to hopefully start the ball rolling.

Step 2. Be willing to Receive

This led to a real heart to heart connection with my niece I have rarely had the time or opportunity to experience before.

Initially after the belief change process, this felt like it was doing the trick and I felt a surge of inspiration flood in. This included a promise to start up my meditation practice again, write an article (‘The Cost of Christmas’) and do some exercise. Well this seemed simple so far, and still taking action was not happening at the speed I would like. Am I impatient? Probably. Another lethargic evening and numbing myself out, watching films I have seen endless times before.

Step 3. Be kind to yourself and drop the judgement!

This morning I awoke early, donned ear phones to listen and shake my body using the Ecstatic Dance, then sat for meditation (yes, sat, not laying down dozing and pretending this counted). Up, dressed and out by 7.40 am to let out and feed the neighbours chickens. I was rewarded with an egg. It seems like things are starting to change. I at least feel better for putting thoughts down on paper, is this what I advise everyone else to do for their mental health?

Step 4. Take action and follow your own advice.

I think Gill, it is time to eat humble pie and swallow some of your own advice.