Keeping Calm Over Christmas
As we move further into December Christmas preparations are already well under way for most people. As the festive season seems to start earlier and go on for longer each year it’s hardly surprising that it can become very stressful. That’s before you factor in the financial strain it can put many under or the expectations, perceived or otherwise, that are so commonly felt at this time of year. The pressure to provide the ‘perfect’ experience, attend every invitation, see all the family and give, give, give can be overwhelming.
Keeping calm over Christmas can be a challenge
For many Christmas is a difficult time as they may have lost loved ones without whom it is just not the same, for others family politics or other issues can make it a very trying time. Even if you are fortunate enough not to fall into those categories many would agree that stress levels have a tendency to rise at this time of year. To help keep the stresses and overwhelm in check here are some ideas and tips you may find helpful:
Set a budget and stick to it. Also remember that giving doesn’t have to be all about how much you’ve spent on a gift. My intention isn’t to be Bah Humbug, I would just suggest that home-made gifts or making an effort to spend time in the company of those you normally can’t, will quite likely be received and appreciated more than something you could buy for the recipients. Any gift given from a place of love will always beat ‘giving because I have to/I am expected to give’ gifts. Just something to consider.
What’s most important to you at this time of year. By prioritising tasks and commitments you can relieve quite a lot of pressure. If something isn’t really important to you, consider letting it go. Will it make that big a difference of you don’t do it??
Remember what it’s all meant to be about
I think it’s fair to say that Christmas has become a consumer driven, commercial and marketing spectacular. This has successfully clouded what I would consider to be the more important aspects of the celebration. Good will to all? It doesn’t always feel like that does it?? Without needing to bring specific religious beliefs into play, I’d say that having time with those who are important to you is a key aspect of Christmas. Appreciating your blessings and if possible making a difference when if you do choose to gift give or support charities can be very rewarding aspects of the celebration.
Avoid prolonged overindulgence
With the celebrations lasting far longer than they did even a few short years ago it is easy for all of December and even part of January to be “Christmas”. Excessive eating and drinking at “Christmas” can leave you feeling below par and put undue stress on your body. Couple this with lack of sleep and higher stress levels and you’re really starting to ask a lot from your body. I’m not suggesting abstinence just moderation. Drink water throughout the evening if you are also drinking alcohol and you’ll feel better for it. Do you really want the extra treats, or are you just eating them because they’re there?? Consider enjoying yourself whilst not making too many extra demands on your body and you’ll feel the better for it.
Take time out for you
Find small windows of time (5-10 minutes even) when you can just do what you “want” to do or simply relax. By having time to recharge you will be better able to deal with the hectic demands that may be being made of you.
Remember to breathe, it makes all the difference. Whether you need to calm down, regain perspective of a situation or just bring yourself back into the here and now, breathing is highly effective. Slow deep breaths can make the world of difference. Even if you can only grab 5 minutes to yourself, if you can spend a minute or two focusing on your breath, taking 2-3 deep breaths initially then taking slow even breaths thereafter you will elicit a relaxation response in your body which in turn will change how you feel in body and mind. Give it a go and see what happens 🙂
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