When I was a child, Christmas was just the most exciting time of the year ever. Cut to being a grown up and the excited butterflies in my stomach turn to nervous ones- there’s just too much to do, surely I can’t possibly do everything, everyone else is completely organised for Christmas…and breath. Relax. The Christmas holiday is meant to be a happy time of year for everyone. Here are five ways that can help you keep calm in the run up to Christmas so you can enjoy this special time with your friends and loved ones.
1. Take Things Day by Day
Write a plan of action (use your month to view calendar, planner or an online calendar such as Google which you can have on your phone too) and take things days by day. Be realistic, you can only do what you have time to do. This year I planned in all the essential events that had to be done on certain days (school concerts,food orders, appointments, pantomime etc), then planned in non essentials and have actually cut out a lot of our usual Christmas activities this year as realistically there just wasn’t the time.
For example, this year we’re not doing an “Activity Christmas Calendar” and some of the winter crafts that we usually do before Christmas, such as making crystals, I’m now planning to do after Christmas when we will have more spare time. It is more meaningful to do less wholeheartedly than to rush and feel stressed about doing more.
2. Don’t Compare – Instead Feel Gratitude
The saying “comparison is the thief of joy” has never been more true than at Christmas. It’s so easy to look around you and “everyone else” seems to have done all their Christmas shopping, put the tree up and still have spare time to play with an elf each night. Look if you must but don’t feel pressured by other people’s Christmas.
Christmas is a very personal time of year and we don’t all have to do everything– pick the customs that work for you and your family. Remember that everyday life still goes on which has priority over celebrating (my thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones and those in hospital or with relatives in hospital at the moment. We’ve been there and it’s a hard time.).
When I find myself feeling pressured at Christmas I find it helps to feel grateful for what I do have and what I have done each day. Take a few quiet moments each day to practise gratitude.
3. Delegate and Help others
Christmas is a time for friends and family to enjoy and also for friends and family to get together and help each other. People do like to help and feel useful so make sure you accept help. This year the kids will help me wrap the presents to family and post parcels. They also help with making buffet food. We are going to my mum’s for Christmas dinner so I will offer to help with food and shopping and of course wash up after Christmas dinner while we are there (in fact it’s those moments to me that really make Christmas).
4. Enjoy the Small Moments Each Day
Often at Christmas I find it’s the small moments that can make you feel Christmassy. While shopping the other evening, I heard those seasonal words “Have a lovely Christmas if I don’t see you before.” and felt all warm and fuzzy. Remember to enjoy Christmas. Light a Christmas candle, drink a festive drink or watch a Christmas movie. All those little moments add up and make the experience.
5. Remember Self- Care
I’m so guilty of falling into this trap: the busier I get, the less I take care of myself and then the less I’m able to do. Don’t do this. Stop. Look after yourself and then you can do more. Drink water, eat salads, fruit, vegetables. Nourish yourself. Drink relaxing herbal tea as well as the high caffeine and sugary Christmas ones. Don’t forget to exercise- take a walk to the shops or to see the Christmas lights. Don’t stay up late working or wrapping presents, instead have a magnesium salts bath and go to bed. Getting that sleep will mean you’re able to do more and achieve more the following day.
Practice mindfulness. My kids are finding it harder to go to sleep at the moment as their excitement builds. I’m going to start using Lush Sleepy Cream and reading Relax Kids with them again but I must remember to practice mindfulness myself too.
I hope these five tips help you to keep calm and you will no longer find yourself tearing your hair out this Christmas.
What tips do you have to stay calm this Christmas?