Feeling good enough - at Christmas
We've all been there, watched one of our favourite films, got absorbed in a book and wanted our life to be just like it.
Social media constantly shows us glimpses of old school friends lives and Pinterest is great for making our dreams get out of control. You can spend hours and hours building boards of dreams and goals.
But then there's that hit of reality when your life is actually nothing like the film or your Pinterest board of your dream house.
You've even tried making one of the Super Easy 5 Minute Super Cute Christmas Decorations that you've pinned and it turned out looking like that time you attempted making Tracey Island whilst watching Blue Peter as a kid.
As with most things this is amplified at Christmas and even though I can't speak for all women, I do feel that we put more pressure on ourselves for that perfect Christmas than most men do.
Why do we do this and how do we stop that feeling of needing to keep up with the Jones'?
Decide your limits
We all have different beliefs and dreams and if you're unsure of your dreams then it's easy to get caught up in someone else's.
Decide what makes you happy and concentrate on that. If it's making gifts, cooking the best turkey in town or just being there for your kids then make that your one thing to do. Stuff the rest.
Setting a budget or doing a secret Santa is a good way to make gift giving more manageable.
Let others know what you want
Slippers, makeup, a pony... no, wait! Before you start making that Christmas list to Santa let me explain what I really mean.
Let your family and friends, the people you're spending Christmas with know what you want your time off to be like.
If you don't want to go to all the parties, tell your friends exactly that. It could be that someone else just wants to Netflix and chill too!
As much as you want them too, people can't read your mind. So just be clear with them. Setting those expectations will take a load off of everyone's minds.
That lump of a man next to you is actually a really useful human being and he cares about you. Tell him you're stressed about Christmas and ask him to help. Give him clear instructions with deadlines and then make sure you both have time to relax together afterwards.
Now, I'm not saying that it is as easy as that. You might have a partner who works a lot or is unwell. Your circumstances might not fit but the premise is simple, ask for help from someone.
I've actually had my Pinterest account for a long time. I was one of the beta testers before its big launch. And as much as I love it there gets a point where I just can't go on there.
(I am actually finding it easier these days because Pinterest has made some changes to its algorithms which don't really show me things of interest to me, making it much easier to stop scrolling and go to bed)
Facebook is the same. Your closest most dear friends have a better Christmas tree than you, they host better parties and cook fancier food. It makes you jealous and you can't shake that feeling. You love your friend because she hosts those parties and cooks that food and because she's been there for you. Be proud of her and if you still can't shake that jealousy, then stay off Facebook!
Instead of sending cards or gifts to strangers, pick up the phone and use those unlimited minutes you never use... have a good chin wag with your friend, catch-up and then explain there won't be a card or a gift in the post this year because instead you're spending that money on giving to charity. It'll give you double warm fuzzies, not only because you've donated to a worthy cause but because you spent some time speaking to your friend.
You could also gather some things together from your wardrobe or kitchen, things you don't use and take it to a local shelter for someone else to get some pleasure out of. It'll clear some space in your house and give someone else a better Christmas.