We're definitely in the Swing of Christmas now. For some (including me) - the lead up to that day is filled with overwhelm and we notice that things get start to get hectic... Let's call it Christmas Stress.
One of my favourite things about Christmas is the chance to be with my family, especially the grandchildren, spending some wonderful times sharing meals, fun and laughter.
So how do you navigate towards the joys and away from the meltdowns?
Scenarios such as:
- Schools break and the kids are home
- All those work deadlines can no longer be moved to ‘later’
- There are quite a few Christmas parties to attend - at which there is always too much food and alcohol
- Traffic on the roads seems to be more challenging and stressful
- And then add the need to broach shopping centres for all those Christmas presents
By the time Christmas day arrives we are already exhausted and would rather have a good lie down.
Moderate your Christmas Stress
Here are 9 tips that will help you to relax, recharge and revitalise during this holiday season.
1. Stop and give me ten...breaths that is. BREATHE – When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope take just 1 minute to focus on your breathing in a mindful way. In that moment you are the most important person. If need be, repeat several times to regain composure.
2. New rule to start the day: If you can - sit down to eat your breakfast. Give yourself time to gather your thoughts.
3. Priorities, Priorities. Start your day as calmly as possible with a reasonable idea of what you absolutely must achieve on that day. This is usually only 2 to 4 things. If you achieve more than that – bonus. If you have 10 things on your list - cross the least important things off. It is very empowering & freeing.
4. Bend but don't break. Stay flexible – things don’t always go according to plan. “He who is most flexible always wins”
5. Wisdom from the mouths of babes. School age children are actually very good at finding things to do. Give them a challenge to find activities with a budget from $0.00 to $10.00 (x 2 per week) and see how creative they can be.
6. Reduce your sugar and carb intake (a lot). Only take a canapé or treat every second or third pass of the waiter or host offering. Too much sugar and refined carbs will add to your physical and psychological stress levels. It also works this way in children. Lower their stress – lower yours.
7. Swap your drinks. Be the designated driver so that you drink less. Instead, drink plenty of water every day. Or another option is to make your own spritzy non alcoholic treat, try this Annabel Langbein recipe for Retro Fruit Punch or Kombucha Tea.
8. Take the clock's pressure off You. Give yourself plenty of time to get where you are going – there will be traffic. Entertain the kids with Christmas Carols in the car – believe me you can’t help but smile as you all sing along.
9. Count your pennies rather than go ballistic. Have a reasonable idea of what you are going to buy (within a budget) before you leave for that shopping centre.
I know you probably can recognise the Christmas Stress scenarios, so take these tips into account. It's good to be reminded that some small changes to the way you approach this season can make a really big difference.
Wishing you a wonderful and peaceful holiday season, with minimal Christmas Stress.