Despite all the fun and frivolity of Christmas time, the preparations, and the day itself can have its fair share of stress and tension. There is so much to do, arrange, organise, buy, bake, wrap, decorate, make, eat, drink, celebrate, sing… that we often forget about ourselves. Here are our top tips to have a relaxing and peaceful Christmas that everyone enjoys, without the pressure and strain.
Start with calmness
Before the chaos ensues, start each day with five minutes of quiet silence. No noises, no radio, no Christmas carols, just five minutes of quiet so you can ease into each day already a little calmer.
Preparation is key! When you feel like it is all getting on top of you, take some time to write a list about what needs doing and when – it will help to clear your head. Delegate any tasks you can, and cut out anything that is unnecessary. Planning will help to prevent any last minute panics too. Be sure to have a couple of emergency presents and cards to hand in case you’ve forgotten someone too.
Don’t plan to achieve too much over Christmas. Impossible amounts of family visits and drinks with old friends just isn’t realistic. Instead, replace a couple with a decent skype call, or a nice note in a Christmas card. Rather than trying to cook and bake everything from scratch – just go for something simple and get all of the family involved (and just buy the rest) – like building a ginger bread house, or a traditional Christmas pudding.
When you have lots to do it is easy to forget about the basics. Make sure not to forget about your general wellbeing and get a good night’s rest each night. If that’s not possible, 10 minutes of meditation during the day should help to clear your head and leave you feeling more peaceful and rested. For basic meditation, find somewhere quiet and comfortable and once settled, become aware of your thoughts and turn your attention to your breath – trying to breathe as naturally as possible. You can put an alarm on so that you can forget about everything, just for a few short minutes.
A short foot rub can keep you grounded and less likely to get stressed out by little things. You can get someone else to do it for you, or even do it yourself. An easy massage technique can be to roll a golf ball around under your foot, paying attention to the arch of the foot.
Make sure to get some balance over the festive period: overindulge on rich food, enjoy celebratory tipples, stay up late caroling, but balance it our with some healthy eating now and then, a nice frosty walk in the countryside and plenty of fluids. It’ll help you feel better over all.
It’s all too easy to slump in front of the telly – especially after overindulging – but you’ll feel so much better after some fresh air. Wrap up in your new winter warmers and go for a lovely festive walk, play pooh sticks, take the dog and play ball, and make some Christmas memories rather than complicated, organised fun. The glass of mulled wine afterwards will taste all the better afterwards too.
During a quieter moment, thank yourself for being awesome and arranging everything so well (whatever you were able to achieve). Put on the new luxury bamboo socks you bought yourself, or light a seasonally scented candle for a moment of calm.
Finally, keep a Christmas attitude! The aim is celebration, not perfection. Accept that not everything will go right (there will be arguments, brussel sprouts won’t be eaten, the turkey may be burnt, you may not have bought the right presents) and make the most of what is going well and focus on those perfect little moments instead.