Unhelpful Festive Social Comparisons

It is officially Christmas in less than a week and so we are officially in the full swing of things now as we count down the days. Christmas comes with many things, sending Christmas cards and gifts (often to people you never say two words to at any other time of the year!), carolling, and more importantly to this blog – comparing ourselves to everyone who matters!

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During Christmas time being with lots of people is inevitable and so it is human nature that we are going to start to compare ourselves and our achievements to those of those people around us. There are of course those lovely people (usually older family members, or the less sympathetic parents) that feel it is their duty to highlight just how well our second cousin Ginny is doing in her new six figure jet setting career on the other side of the world… But I think that we can all agree, that this kind of social comparison is just simply not helpful nor healthy!

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As much as I would love to have the perfect life that I have spent my life dreaming up and concocting inside my head, simply put I don’t. I definitely do not have that perfect life. If six year old Emmie were to look at my life now then she would sit and sob for hours after locking herself in the bathroom….(I did that a lot, sorry Mum!). But that doesn’t mean that my life isn’t a happy one!

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Sure, there are down sides (lots) and there are always going to be negative periods and people in my life that only want to bring me down or make me miserable (plenty this year thank you very much 2016!) but I am proud of the life I am living. This time last year, thanks to my anxiety I could not be left alone in a room for more than a few minutes without panicking and either reaching for the phone or going to find someone to sit with me. I was stuck in relationships and friendships that were doing nothing but drain me and was generally miserable.

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But now? I am living alone and renting my own place where I pay my own bills. I have my own car and have a gorgeous bunny called Gimli and adorable little tortoise called Flash to take care of. Point is, life is what you make it and despite the shit storm of naff-ness that has descended my life in 2016 I have certainly made the best of it which I something that I am keeping in mind when others start to make these pesky comparisons.

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No matter what people tell you about other people in your life remember this, you have a long and unpredictable life ahead of you and this is certainly not “it” for you! There is plenty of time left for you to do whatever you want to do. As cringey and cliché as it may appear there is an awful lot of truth in it! As long as you have a goal of what you want to achieve, it doesn’t mean that you’ve failed if you aren’t already there. So hey, when good old Granny is boasting about your lovely older cousin Jeff, why not be happy for him and raise a glass? After all, it could be your successes that she’s doing everybody’s tits in with next year…

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Blogmas 1: Christmas – Planning is Everything!

Recently I have come to the realisation that I can no longer deny that Christmas is only around the corner. The festive favourites have been playing at work for a few weeks now, but seeing as I opened the first door of my advent calendar today, I guess it’s time to accept it for what it is – it’s nearly Christmas whether we like it or not! Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas, the only thing I resent is when Christmas starts in shops as soon as Halloween ends. Just no! There is an entire month in between that I refuse to forget about – what’s wrong with November!?

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Christmas can be a terrifying and overwhelming at the best of times for a variety of reasons – it’s a period of forced reflection, forced socialisation and trawling your way through packed out shops and streets. But planning is everything to give yourself a stress free festive period! Remember, nowadays you don’t even need to leave the house if you don’t want to!

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Planning is everything! Make all of the lists and trust me, you will thank me later. First of all, take a look at your finances and make a note of how much that you can realistically afford to spend. Create a list  of all of the people that you need to buy a present for and allocate a part of your budget to each of these people so that you don’t end up overspending! Can you tell that I like lists?! Lists are your friends! I mean Santa has his list – you aren’t questioning the big man himself are you!?

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Don’t get me wrong, I can admit there is a certain magic about wandering round town, clutching a hot chocolate as you trot around your local centre during late night shopping. However, a lot of people will also inevitably have the same idea and so chances are, those streets are going to be rammed! That kind of destroys the relaxed and festive atmosphere and just kind of turns your evening into a predicted panic attack.

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To avoid such a fate, my recommendation would be to scour the internet for anything that you can buy online without having to leave the comfort of your sofa with a glass of red wine. I mean who wants to go outside and actually speak to other humans am I right?! Yet another list can help you here, if you just spend a few minutes having a think about what people might be interested in and create a few gift ideas before you hit the shops. There is nothing worse than leaving everything till the last minute and still having no idea what you are going to get for your Auntie Debbie (it seems everybody has an Auntie Debbie don’t you think?) Make a plan of action so you don’t go in and flail around like a headless chicken.

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Thanks for reading this little post, I know that it was a lot shorter than usual however I am going to be (trying to) do blog/vlogmas where I will be posting a blog post or video on my YouTube channel every single day in the lead up to Christmas. Because of the new high volume of posts, I will be keeping them a little shorter than usual to give me the best chance of actually following through with this idea and avoiding burnout prematurely! Hope you have a lovely day – oh, and happy December!

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