December 1, 2021|In Christian Living|By Guest Author

Build your scaffolding by Jacqui Hanbury

Christmas is such a stressful time, isn’t it! We try to ensure that we focus on the birth of Jesus, but it is hard to resist the pressure around us to buy the right presents, decorate our homes in the way we see others do it (neighbour envy?!?) and ensure you have enough food for your whole family for a month! I know that I find myself buying extra chocolates in case people come round! Why do we do that??!?

Hands up if you have reached the Christmas holidays and instantly come down with a cold or flu! Yep me too! And then, hot on the heels of Christmas comes New Year with all the pressure to make resolutions. But by the end of January, if we’ve not maintained the goals we set, we feel terrible! In the middle of this all, we are still working, caring, mothering, and fulfilling all the roles that we juggle.

And what about the guilt? Do you get this? Did we do it right, did we give the right presents, did we buy enough? And did we remember the whole thing was about the birth of our Saviour Jesus? Especially if not everyone who is with you over Christmas is a Christian, this can be a hard one.

So what is the answer?


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What if you could do it differently this year and put some scaffolding up to protect and sustain yourself?

Scaffolding is a support structure that helps you deal with the buffeting winds around you – usually to support buildings. We often are the scaffold for those around us – I know that I am part of the scaffold for my husband and daughter, for friends and other family members. But we often overlook that we too need scaffolding. In my experience, it is essential!

Why don’t you check your own scaffolding and strengthen it now if you need to? Then at the end of January, you will be able to look back and realise you coped a lot better with the whole of the Christmas and New Year season.

Here’s an example. I recently worked with a client in my role as an encourager and coach as she set up scaffolding for herself. She wears many hats but struggles with any time to herself. She has no church support and no family either, has two children, one with special needs who is not going to school at the moment, plus a busy job. She was struggling.

Her scaffold was simple:

  • regular exercise
  • a babysitter to enable her and her husband to go out alone and talk occasionally
  • and a prayer partner.

She just needed someone else to help her, encourage her and be her cheerleader to get it set up; that was my role. Plus, she needed permission from someone else that it was OK to have a scaffold for herself as she provided the scaffold for others.

Mine is:

  • Pilates
  • Walking
  • Reading (mostly audiobooks in the car!)
  • and friends I can be honest with.

Your scaffolding will be different but is just as essential!

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As we come up to Christmas and the New Year, instead of writing your resolutions, why not spend some time writing down what scaffolding you already have in place and what you need to add.

It could be praying every day or listening to a podcast that empowers you. You could run on the spot for 5 minutes while you cook dinner, buy a skipping rope or a hula hoop? Laugh (a good comedy will help with this!) Be as inventive as you like!

And if you need permission to work on your own scaffolding – you have it! I give YOU permission to build your scaffolding – enabling you to provide that scaffold for those around you.

Written by Jacqui Hanbury

Jacqui Hanbury

is a Business Coach who loves to help others start up and run their businesses. Jacqui was a Control Engineer with over 30 years in the corporate environment. Jacqui now works as a coach and a strategy specialist for corporate two days a week and spends the other days helping other people make the jump from corporate to starting and running their own business too. As well as an accredited coach with the International Coaching Federation (ICF) Jacqui travels globally delivering training and consulting.

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