Christmas is the biggest holiday of the year for most of us and it’s a time to be happy and jolly! Sadly, it can sometimes also be full of emotional anxiety – the mad rush of last-minute shopping, frustration, frayed nerves, family conflict, obligation, and overeating.
So, what can we do to keep ourselves sane during the holiday season? Don’t let it pass you by without enjoying some of the magic. Although it is only one day, the build-up can go on for some time, but before you know it, you’re dragging a dead tree into the boot of your car and hoovering up pine needles! Don’t let this happen without some of the fun!
The Lead Up To Christmas
We normally cruise through November thinking we have ages to go until the ‘big’ day, then all of a sudden it hits us on the back of the head that we only have three weekends left!
- Food ordered/food slot booked!
- Drink bought
- Tree/decorations put up
- Cards bought and written
- Send off long distance cards early
- Wrapping paper ordered
- Hair/nails/beauty treatments booked! (who really has the time!)
- Outfit bought
- Catching up with friends
- Festive parties
- PRESENTS!!! Have you left it too late for that one gift that always has a ‘late’ delivery?
- I’m sure I’ve forgotten something!!
So, you’ve barged your way through the shops, waited for what seems like hours in queues, screeched into car parks and stood for ages at the till. You’ve not even looked up as you pass someone singing a beautiful Christmas song or seen the lovely display of festivities at the Christmas market. You have been too busy to enjoy the build-up and excitement the children are all experiencing. Too busy thinking about will everything be in order and is everyone enjoying the day, changing beds, washing, peeling and preparing!
Take A Step Back
Look around you, take in your surroundings, throw your shoulders back and smile! Remember, what will be will be so its time to forget the stresses and get in the spirit of things! Let’s start with enjoying the festivities for what they truly are. Don’t let Christmas become too materialistic and greedy. Take some time to avoid the (sometimes evitable) stresses and be mindful of others. Make eye contact, thank others, be grateful, well-mannered and thoughtful. These acts cost nothing but can enhance the day for others and yourself!
How To Be Mindful At Christmas
Whether you want to or not, ask your family what their plans are for the Christmas period and see would they like to join you? We all have our own funny little ways, so try and be considerate and accept your family just as they are! Bite your tongue, you may feel like it’s bitten off by the end but hopefully, it will be worth it!
Christmas can be stressful for everyone. Put yourself in other’s shoes and be aware of any family dynamics going on. A lot of tension can be diffused simply by listening to everyone and their concerns and not judging.
Stop, Pause and Breathe
If someone says something hurtful to you, stop and take a breath and count to ten. What feelings are you getting? Anger, shame, irritation? Then, instead of a knee-jerk reaction, try to respond in a calm way. Their aggression is not about you so rise above it. If you need to, retreat to a quiet room to regain your composure with a few conscious breaths or sit down for a full meditation! Or a large glass of something!
If you have huge expectations of the day you will only get disappointed. After all, Christmas is just one day, and, like any other day, it will be a mixture of good times and more challenging ones – however mindful you are. What happens will happen so you may as well accept it.
Be Kind To Yourself
If you do slip and get angry or snap at someone, don’t beat yourself up. Hey, it’s Christmas time and completely normal to flip out sometimes…
Enjoy the festivities, enjoy the dinner, spend quality time with the family and don’t let the good stuff pass you by!
Burn a lovely calming oil or have some calming room diffusers dotted around the house to help. I love these, they also send you to sleep!
Whether you’re with your family or not over Christmnas, have a lovely time over the festive break and have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!