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Authentic Life™by Felipe Oliveira


How to Enjoy the Holiday Season Authentically?

Chitchat: “Time flys”!

One expression that I hear almost from everyone is: “one more year is gone! This year flew away! Time is going away too fast!” I know they might say this just keep the chitchat going, so I don’t confront them. What I notice is that not many people reflect deeply on the success and failures, disappointments, satisfaction, feelings, and emotions from the last 365 days. They don’t stop to process what has happened from January to December. They just go through the motions of the year, and the end of the year they say ‘it has just past!’

End of the Year: Anxiety and Loneliness

The month of December can be one of the most challenges for many people. It is common to know that loneliness decides to show up strongly in many man and women around this time of the year. Anxiety , through high expectations in being happy and full of joy, is another ‘friend’ that shows up during the holiday season. In the men’s work , I have been involved since 2009, it is well known that in January many men look for support to deal with the ‘stuff’ that had happened during the Christmas and New Years holiday. It is a time where everyone takes holiday, including support groups. It is not rocket science to understand why this happened. I could presume that how to manage and balance our own anxiety or expectations in being happy and full of joy is the key to keep fully present to this time of the year and manage the unhealthy emotions of this time.

Felipe Oliveira provides counselling for men seeking to live an Authentic Life™.

To read about The Benefit of Loneliness, click here .

To read about the difference between healthy and unhealthy anxiety, click here.

Felipe Oliveira provides counselling for men dealing with the end of the year challenges. Click here to know more about his work . Or, please, continue reading about the three tips to enjoy an authentic holiday season.

Live like a Boy

In this matter, I like to think like a child. I still remember how long one month used to be when I was a boy. One year, used to be almost an infinite. Ten, twenty or forty years used to be an eternity. A boy lives a life in the present. Only worrying about what is going on here and now. A gift that we, adults, lost on the way of life. What can it be done to get back this healthy childish gift?

This is an existential question. Every existential question has not only one answer, but many. I will attempt to answer, but, please don’t take as an absolute truth.

What can it be done to live in the here and now like a child, and let the anxiety and expectations of the end of the year go?

3 Tips to Enjoy an Authentic Holiday Season

First of all, be aware of your own feelings and emotions during the festive season. If you don’t feel laughing, then don’t. Attend to your own expectations without worrying about please all other people of the party. If you feel you need to leave early, leave early.

Secondly, family parties are always challenging, especially here in Australia - different from Brazil. It has the power to bring all the problems that have never been dealt properly, causing more disappointment than happiness. Be aware of the signs of it. If you believe you will lose it, go away. There is no way to try to solve the problem during a party over alcohol, food, music, kids and all kinds of distractions.

Thirdly, give yourself some reflective time. It does not need a trip to Nepal, or to New Zealand and neither to visit a guru in India. A coffee in a secluded area in Brisbane will do the job. A beer with chips over the Brisbane River is awesome too. In this time, go back to January and ask yourself: “what was happening with me in January this year? What about Feb? March? April?” Go from all areas of your life: professional, social, romantic, and even, sexual areas. Visit the main feelings and emotions you had each month of the year. By the end of the reflections, you will have a great retrospective of your own year, and, hopefully, will notice it wasn’t gone that fast. You will notice that a lot has happened.

Authenticity and Gratitude

By doing this simple exercise, one might be more present in the year just past, which could calm down the higher expectations and anxiety of the month of December. It is a way to honor and let go the year. This can give a greater possibility to live the last month of year more authentic and with more gratitude to be alive.

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