THAT time of year is upon us &, in addition to everything we normally have to contend with by being childless at Christmas, this year there’s an added layer of uncertainty.
As I post this in the 3rd week of November, the UK Government announced that we’ll be out of lockdown in a week, but we don’t know yet what that will look like. I’ve always been a planner; in previous years I’d have a good idea of our schedule, who we’d be spending time with, when & where. Having plans grounded me, gave something to look forward to & time to prepare myself for potential triggers.
I recognise that this is a small issue compared to everything else going on in the world & that doesn’t stop the uncertainty creating some worry.
But if I’ve learned one thing from this year it’s the importance of living in the moment.
Well maybe 2 things, also that when you make plans too far ahead, the Universe is likely to intervene to scupper them (just like your plan to become a mother maybe?).
Having said that, one thing is certain:
Being childless at Christmas is hard.
Although I wonder, is it possible that you might find it a bit easier than last year? And one positive is that there may be fewer trigger events such as office parties or big family get-togethers.
Given the uncertainty of life I’d like to:
Show you how to create your own pockets of certainty to keep you grounded & centred.
Share with you as many other resources as I can.
There is no need to struggle on your own, there a lot of support for those of us who are childless at Christmas, I have links to some now & I’ll be listing more as they’re published.
So first, here are 3 ways to create moments of certainty to support you through these next few weeks.
1. Maintain your daily habits.
One thing which throws me out more than anything is when I when I don’t stick to my daily habits. I’ve developed them because they make me feel good & give me a great start to the day & experience has taught me that those days when my head is telling me to miss them are those when I need them most.
I’ve worked out that spending some time on my own in which I do some stretches, a couple of Yin yoga poses or Qigong, meditate & write in my journal grounds me & gets me out of my head & into my body. The good feelings also support me through the whole day, so I’m determined to maintain them throughout.
What about you, what things do you do each day to keep you grounded & how can you maintain these over the holidays?
2. Connect to others in a way that nurtures you
For many of us contact with others will be much reduced this year & if we do meet friends it’s most likely to be outside. Instead, we’ll be scheduling conversations with those who support & nurture us. There are many ways to do this; what’s worked well for us are virtual lunches or dinners.
How could you connect to those you’d like to spend time with?
And remember there’s no need to be alone, many of the childless forums will be available 24/7.
3. Make time to do the small things which bring you joy.
There are small things you can do which bring pockets of certainty & joy into your day. On the wall behind my desk I have a list of what I call small pleasures: things that bring me joy and nourish me. Most of them are free, such as pausing to look up at the sky, meditating, reading, looking at photos, spending time being creative, going for a walk, watching a favourite film, conversation with my husband or a good friend. Others cost a small amount, such as one square of chocolate, coffee in my favourite mug, a yoga class, or buying a bunch of flowers.
Like many; this year I’ve walked round my neighbourhood a lot & I’ve got into the habit of not really noticing my surroundings. I try to remember to pause frequently & look up at the sky. I recently spent a very joyous fee moments watching the reflections of clouds on the office blocks in the City of London as they passed overhead.
Creativity is important to me as it switches my brain off worry & into the moment. Over Christmas I love spending more time in the kitchen & I’ll also be planning some simple embroidery.
Reading also brings me great joy & I love nothing better than spending the afternoon engrossed in a book when it’s cold & wet outside. Gone are the days when I optimistically pack study books, these days Christmas is a time to escape into light fiction.
Maybe you’d like to spend time over the holidays reading about other childless women – if so you might find that my book Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness resonates as it includes stories of other women who ‘made it through.’ You can read more by clicking on the link & download a taster if you sign up to my email list.
All of these bring certainty as well as small pockets of joy into my life. I’ve read that joy is like twinkle lights, each one on its own is small, but when you string them together they will light you up. That’s certainly my aim so I’ll be including as many as I can.
What about you? What small things can you do each day to bring you certainty & small pockets of joy?
More resources for you
I hope you find these 3 things helpful. Please leave a comment below if you do, or there are other blogs etc you’ve discovered which are providing support for those of us who are childless at Christmas.
And please remember that there are many other of us who realise how challenging it is to be childless at Christmas & are here for you in our own way, such as e-books, blogs, videos & forums.
My lovely childless bogging friends will be publishing more over the following weeks & I’ll add them below so please keep checking back. Please be open to reading as many as feels right to you knowing that some will resonate & some won’t.
Here’s Episode 22 of the Full Stop Podcast: The Alternative King’s and Queen’s Speech 2020.In this episode, we were joined by Sarah Roberts from The Empty Cradle, Stephanie Phillips from World Childless Week, Andy Harrod from Invisible Childlessness with Jody Day from Gateway Women to share our reflections on the year passed and our hopes for 2021.
And a very moving post, Reflections from a Childless Christian on the first Sunday of Advent
Thank you from my grateful heart to yours
And a huge thank you from my heart to yours. It’s probably an underestimate to say that it’s been a really challenging year but here you are almost at the end so please give yourself a huge pat on the back for making it this far.
If any of these have helped you or you have other tips for getting through the holidays please leave a comment below. Thank you
And of course you might wish to treat yourself to Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness, where you’ll find plenty of tips and tricks to support you. You can download Chapter One when you sign up to my email list.