I don’t think Christmas and the festive season can really be stress-free. We all have our to-do lists. We all have our hopes for a nice Christmas break. We all have ideas of how we’d like Christmas Day to be. So here are quite a few tips on how to make things easier for yourself and how to look after yourself during the festive season.
- Time to prioritise?..If you leave things to last-minute then prioritise a little…This might mean getting the gifts wrapped instead of them all having fancy bows and trimmings. It might mean making fewer dishes for the special meal. I could keep finding things for the girls’ stocking but I’ve decided that they will love whatever they find in them. Today I ran out of wrapping paper. How could that be possible when I always buy up lots in the sales? I didn’t have time to go out and buy more so I recycled a nice paper bag from my last Mama Meet gathering instead!
- Make tasks enjoyable…I love hearing about others’ Christmas traditions. If you’ve got to do something that feels like a chore then make it fun. Pop on a Christmas playlist or one of your favourite playlists or albums. Wrap up the presents in front of your favourite re-run of Only Fools and Horses. Enjoy a nice snack. Treat yourself to a nice drink or mocktail.
- Don’t feel you have to do everything or be everywhere…Christmas brings heaps of expectations. Be wise in how much you’re trying to achieve or do this festive season. Maybe factor in a chill day (or even half a day) if you have time off from work or your normal duties.
- Stay hydrated…We all need to keep up our energy levels for socialising and playing with the younger ones. We also need to keep our immune systems strong. It’s quite often that people get ill after Christmas as they feel run down. So keep a glass of water nearby and offer your guests water as well as some vino, sherry or Baileys. If you fancy some quick mocktails check out my recipes.
- Get some fresh air…Many people are busy travelling or maybe up early getting things ready as the host. If you can do it, make sure you pop outside for 20 minutes. If you’re adventurous go for a run or do a little workout whilst someone else keeps an eye the turkey in the oven. After lunch, encourage everyone to go outside for a walk around the block especially if it isn’t raining. Head out to the garden and let the kids (and grown-ups) run around if they want.
- Don’t forget your five-a-day…Festive meals are usually full of vegetables and satsumas are Christmas favourites in our house. As we tend to over-indulge in sweet and savoury treats at Christmas time make sure you have some fruit and veg too. Don’t wait for your planned detox mission in January to enjoy balanced meals.
- Ask people to bring a dish…If you’re hosting a gathering, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Someone may be better at baking than you, maybe they have serious skills in the kitchen or a secret recipe for jazzing up brussels sprouts.
- Wear something that makes you feel great…Sparkles and sequins always come out during my Christmas, even if we stay indoors for most of the day. If we head out then I just layer up (even pop leggings over my tights if I need to!). Wear your favourite outfit or the jumper that makes you feel happy. If you’re hosting, wear something that makes you feel confident. If you love accessories like me then bring out the earrings that are worthy of being Christmas tree decorations. If you’re staying around family’s or friends’ houses don’t forget to wear or bring something comfortable to wear for that post-Christmas lunch chill out time.
- Pick your battles…Christmas time can bring out all kinds of emotions. It’s a stressful time for many for a number of reasons. People may come together who haven’t seen each other for a while. Hosts and hostesses may come under criticism for doing Christmas “their way”. People may be tired and so more likely to swap sharp words (or looks). If you really need to express a strong view about something make sure it’s worth a battle. Keep any annoyances inside or share them with someone you trust to get them out of your system. If you do come up against a “battle”, pick a good time when people will be in the right frame of mind to talk constructively about it.
- Be easy on yourself…Getting through the Christmas season can also be tiring as well as a long-awaited break. For some, Christmas isn’t 100% guaranteed cheer. It can also be a time when we think of others who aren’t with us or a time where we choose to reflect on the year gone by. Some may be missing their loved ones on the other side of the world. Many of us are saddened by what else is going on in the world right now. As well as Christmas being a celebration it can affect people in so many different ways. So be kind to yourself and be conscious that others may view or experience the festive season in a different light.
- Take a break from work…If you aren’t working over the Christmas break try and switch off from work. Make the most of the break and time with people. Avoid checking work emails until it’s really necessary. Make sure the out of office is on. Switch off from social media if you’re curious about what’s going on online or in your network.
- Enjoy the small moments…Christmas Day can fly by and we can get distracted by entertaining or what everyone’s expecting to do next. Take time out to appreciate the good things about your festive season as they happen. What things made you smile? What made others happy? What made everyone laugh? Think of the positive moments about your day.
Have you any top tips for dealing with Christmas? How else do you look after yourself during the festive break? I’d love to hear from you (whenever you have a free mo).
Don’t forget to check out mindfulness expert Dr Tamara Russell’s top tips on Looking After Yourself When Getting Ready For Christmas. Tamara will be speaking at the next Lucky Things Meet Up in January.