May you have Peace, Love and Joy this Festive Season
Does the festive season fill you with dread or Joy?
Commercially, we’re already deep into the festive season, but as the big day approaches, so does the stress.
Adverts for Christmas gifts food and ideas and at the same time cost of living and uncertainty being focused in the media.
With your typical routines shattered and replaced by Christmas meals, longer evenings, family dramas, and inevitable shop queues for food and gifts, many of us have a love-hate relationship with December.
For those of you who must travel long distances or to another country in order to spend Christmas with family, this too can have the added stress of travel chaos and extra expenses.
And sometimes, it can all get a bit too much to handle.
It is not all doom and gloom, there is hope and a plan.
Everyone has different trigger points during the festive season, but you know what your pressure points are and what’s more stressful for you this time of year.
It’s time to take this knowledge and turn into something you can use to survive the festive season one step at a time. There’s no need to be superhuman, and there’s no reason you can’t enjoy yourself at the same time.
Christmas is an interesting time as there are such different traditions from different parts of the world, and it is interesting to hear how others like to spend their Christmas and festive season. This is something that is discused in the podcast Into Your LIfe, Click on the link to listen to
To make this festive season a little merrier, here are ten essential tips you need to know to help make this a positive end of the year treat you’ll never want to forget!
1 Get Outside the House
Staying cooped up indoors is not good for your health at the best of times.
Many of you are still working from home, there can be long periods when you are indoors, without the fresh air.
This time of year, the heating is on and no windows are open. It’s no wonder you start to feel irritable, and the cabin fever starts creeping in!
In every walk with nature, one receives far more than she seeks.
Take a walk, if possible, in nature and away from the house, where the heating is blasting, treating you and your family some fresh air.
Be mindful while you are walking and even take a few deep breaths as you go.
Feel your heart pumping.
A brisk walk will not only help work off that extra mince pie you had with your cup of tea/hot chocolate, but getting active will also help you feel normal, again.
2 Limit Over-Indulgence
Don’t worry, you’re not alone, and we all love to take this opportunity to treat ourselves to the luxuries of life, but this doesn’t mean we have to overindulge.
Too much good rich food, chocolates, mince pies, alcohol, and more food than you would normally eat almost guarantees to make us feel horrible, stressed out and lethargic.
Find a balance with overindulgence where you can still enjoy yourself and still feel like yourself, without the extra lethargy.
Over-indulgence at this time of year is so easy, as the weather is colder and you are possibly more tired than usual, so the first things is that comfort food or even the extra sugary food for a boost of energy.
I know that this is something I am struggling with right now, alleviating tiredness with an extra mince pie or gingerbread cookie.
3 Stay Hydrated
It’s easy to get caught up with everything going on which means minimum water and lots of wine! Especially if you are feeling stressed or wanting to unwind. Reaching for the wine, is much nicer than a glass of water.
Be mindful of what you’re doing and take the time to sit down and rehydrate by drinking more water or fluids such as green herb teas or just water.
Take the time to sit and relax with it, even if for only ten minutes. This is one of those tips that’s so easy yet so effective.
Staying hydrated with water not only helps to combat tiredness, but it is also good for the brain. Because like your body if you are lacking in fluids, your brain starts to feel tired and overwhelmed and can even feel sluggish to think.
If you find yourself feeling tired, lethargic or even yawning a lot, maybe it is time to reach for that glass of water.
Plus, water also helps the digestion.
So, a win-win situation. Have that glass of water and stay hydrated.
4 Have Some ‘You’ Time
Throughout the Christmas season, take some moments and make them all about you.
Read a good book in a coffee shop, or if you can just sneak upstairs and run yourself a bath, if you can get your family out the house for an hour!
Take a walk or a nice drive by yourself or with like-minded friends.
Even if you’re feeling completely stressed, all you’ll need is 10-30 minutes to start feeling yourself again!
I know that I am looking forward to is tackling my pile of books I have earmarked to read over the festive period and sitting down with some cross stitch to unwind and be creative.
5 Walk Away from the Desk
Just because you work from home, does not mean that you need to be glued to your laptop, office desk or even mobile.
Guess what those emails can wait, nobody is on the other side waiting to read them.
Social media will survive a day or five without your updated posts, comments and likes.
I know that I am looking forward to time away from my business this Christmas.
Whatever you’re doing now, stop and take a few deep breaths in slowly through the nose, hold for a few seconds and then breathe out.
Repeat this a few times and while you are taking your breaths focus on being in the moment.
Use your five senses and focus on the sounds and smells that are around you, the way the air touches your skin, the way your heart is beating, and how you are feeling at this moment.
Focus on the moment. What’s lacking right now? Nothing. Breathe. You’ve got this.
7 Manage Your Expectations
You are not expected to have the ‘perfect’ Christmas like the television ads make you believe that you do.
There’s no ‘perfect Christmas,’ and trying to recreate an idyllic image is not what Christmas is about and doesn’t make anyone happy.
The most important thing is for you, and your family, to have fun. Remember, if something does not go quite to plan, it really isn’t the end of the world.
Expectation feeds frustration!
It is an unhealthy attachment to people, things and outcomes we wish we could control; but don't.
Dr Steve Maraboli
8 Be Financially Responsibly
Don’t get into debt for the next 12 months by buying expensive gifts – just spending a bit of time together can be the best present.
Budget and plan to maximize your spending if that’s the way you want to go.
Don’t ruin the rest of next year.
The temptation to spend more right now is high, as you are tired exhausted and fed up with the pandemic and uncertainty that brings. This can sometimes bring out the spender in us.
9 Be a Family Team
You don’t have to do everything; instead, delegate.
Don't be a martyr and feel like you must do everything. Make it a joint and team effort.
You can plan this in advance, who will be doing what. Which chores over the Christmas week will be covered by whom.
You deserve the time off as much as everyone else in your family. The more you can share the more time you can take some time for you.
If you are going to be having family or friends over get them to bring a dish or different parts of the meal, such as snacks, dessert, drinks, etc. Or maybe they can help with setting the table, peeling vegetables, washing dishes etc.
Make sure you as the host gets to have time for YOU to enjoy.
10 Get Some Well-Deserved Rest
Sleep, this is the time when our bodies recover from the day.
Drinking and eating too much can severely affect our sleep patterns too, as can the frequent late nights that are a regular occurrence during the festive period.
Over Christmas and New Year, many people are sleep-deprived, which means they don’t enjoy themselves as much and can feel sluggish.
Make sure you get some quality sleep, even if it is just a few hours.
Over to You!
Christmas should be a fun time spent with family and friends, but if you find that previous years have not been enjoyable then consider taking a different approach.
Why put yourself through the hassle and stress of the festive season when you can be mindful of what’s happening and looking after yourself.
With these simple tips and techniques, you can relax and not let stress overwhelm you, but rather focus on enjoying yourself.
Make this Christmas a year you want to remember forever!
"Christmas isn't about candy canes or lights all aglow, it's the hearts that we touch and the care that we show!"
Be resilient this Christmas and have a Merry Christmas.
Remember to live your life with confidence!
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