Navigating the Uncertain Waters of December…
By Janie Loubser
Reading Time 4 mins
December is probably the month my clients struggle with the most. The month represents a complicated time-space reality. First, we deal with the month itself and all the challenges it brings (holidays, family, finances etc.) and then we pile on our analysis of the past year. Then to top it off, we desperately try to plan for the new year, hoping to improve on our failings. Our concerns about the past, present and future are simply too much for a mind that is exhausted after a long year.
Underlying all the ruminating, I have noticed a deep-seated fear lurking in the shadows. It goes by the name Fear-of-the-unknown. It somehow makes us question ourselves and our basic ‘okay-ness’ (if that's not a word, it should be). We go off on a tangent wondering who we will spend the holidays with; whether we’ve done enough the past year; and what we will do in the next.
My tip: Just know and accept that December is an uncertain time in many ways. It is impossible to know exactly how the month will play out, much less next year.
Granted, this time of year is a good time for reflection. but asking: ‘was I okay, am I okay and will I (ever) be okay’ could lead us down an existential rabbit hole of despair and self-loathing if we're not mindful. If this feels even vaguely familiar, please take a moment and pay attention: The way we reflect on life is absolutely essential for our well-being.
In fact, I suspect that all the over-planning that goes into year-end functions, holidays and Christmas is an unconscious coping mechanism for this anxiety. Instead, be kind and gentle and don’t push yourself and others to know everything. I’m sure you know how it feels when you are trying to push yourself and your brain just collapses under the pressure.