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Handling the holiday season’s loom effect

ChristmasBaubleEvery year, around about 10 days before Christmas, I start feeling scattered and distracted. Something is looming large on the horizon, casting a shadow over everything else. Work slows down, focus wanes, scatteredness goes up.
Everyone’s taking their foot off the pedal, schedules are interrupted with parties and festivities, and extra things demand to be taken care of. Life is going to be different for a few weeks. Normal service will be resumed the first Monday after New Year, but for now things are definitely odd.

For me, living a good distance from family means that Christmas time is usually some kind of mini-epic voyage around the UK. Co-ordinating travel there and back, getting between different locations, making arrangements with kindly sleepover hosts, fitting social visits into a tight schedule, planning luggage allowances, gifts, and random bits and bobs. It looms.

Not that that has put me off going yet, mind you.

But everything feels one step removed as energy flows into this looming, Christmas-shaped flurry of activities.

Handling the loom effect, the disappearing of energies into the holiday season, is hard. But not impossible. In 20 minutes, 30 if you need it, you can work through the list below to handle the holiday season’s loom effect, and end your year gracefully.

Bring together your head and your heart to work with each other as you go through the process:

  1. Be aware of what’s coming up for you in the next couple of weeks: time, energy, to-dos, social interactions, and everything else. Review your planner – make sure everything is in it!
  2. Take five minutes to allow your emotional response to surface. Explore your excitements, anticipation, fears, concerns, and everything else that’s going on. Your emotions are where your energy is, so pay attention and really feel these in your being.
  3. Plan out what you need to achieve before you pull the plug and close your laptop one last time before the holidays begin. Be realistic about what you can do in the time available. Allow some extra time for those things that always crop up at this time of year, and put a “Close down” hour in your diary.
  4. Make yourself a “back in the saddle” list for when you return after your time away. Where do you need to put your attention when you come back?

Now get to your plan and work through it.

In your last hour, tidy up, set your auto-responder, and add any final notes to your “back in the saddle” list. Put your list in an obvious back-to-work location: your desk, your laptop, your noticeboard, wherever,. You can trust it to be there when you come back!

Now switch off, unplug, and enjoy your holidays :-)


How do you handle events that loom?

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this webpage are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this webpage. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this webpage. Sue Mahony PhD disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this webpage.

Sue Mahony PhD is gifted, autistic, and ADHD. She provides 1:1 specialist support for brains similar to her own, neurodiversity training, mentoring & coaching for organisations, and a wealth of articles on this website.

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