What’s your festive story?

I’ve written many times about how we live our lives as stories. We have stories in our minds about who we are, where we’ve come from, where we’re going, and what the systems are like around us.

Our stories are powerful, and our behaviours are driven by them. I received a voicemail message the other week from a colleague about some work I had been delivering. The message was brief with a request to call her back. After listening to the message I began to make up the story that I had done something wrong. I made up that when I phoned her back, our discussion was going to be really serious and challenging. The story drove me into anxiety, worry, frustration and blame.

Five hours later when I actually spoke to my colleague the conversation was a simple one about logistics. There was absolutely nothing to worry about at all, and yet I drove myself into such a difficult head space by making up an entirely irrelevant story.

The reason I speak of this at the end of November is because we make up stories about the festive period. I notice seasonal stories around indulgent eating, indulgent drinking, rituals, expectations and lots of socialising. It seems we have a collective story that December is a time for anti-self-care, and January’s tale is that we shame ourselves for our December indulgences and go cold turkey on our vices.

But it’s all just stories. And when you realise that, you realise you can re-write the story to one that really serves you. How about December is a time for Hygge, or December is a time to really slow down and self-reflect, or December is a time to get intentional about the food and drink you consume in order to feel energised for January. You get to write the story. You get to decide what your months are all about.

December for me is about self and work reflection. It’s about getting cosy indoors. It’s about going very easy on the alcohol. It’s about finding ways to give back. It’s about slowing down. And January is about the energy.

So what are your stories?

Sending love as always, Hannah

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

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