Is Christmas a time of year you look forward to or dread? This month you will learn ways of actually enjoying the ‘silly’ season without the stress.
Here are some straight forward strategies for surviving Christmas with minimum stress. So, let’s get started.
1. Learn from the Season
In the summer in the southern hemisphere, it’s a time for looser schedules, longer days, more time outdoors, and more frequent travel. While these may be things you’ve been looking forward to all year (I know I have), they could cause annoying changes to our need for rest and stillness. Our natural tendency is to be thrust into a frenzy of parties, shopping, family events and social responsibilities all reinforced by the media. So, remember, as you are fighting another line at Toys R Us or chatting at another office party, it is equally important to respect our natural tendencies and take time to pull in and revive to survive Christmas time.
2. Take GREAT care of yourself
We can only pour out of a filled cup. In order to be able to give during the holidays, we must remember to give to ourselves. Take extra good care of yourself to ‘fill your cup.’ Take a bath with candle light, get a massage, walk in the park, ask your partner or a dear friend to hold you. Do whatever it is that makes you feel just GREAT… you know what it is!
3. Set a budget and stick to it
Our tendency is to overspend at this time of year. In keeping with your commitment to practice extreme self-care… make sure to include your financial wellbeing too.
4. Choose gifts from the heart
Whether you buy something, make something, write a card or make a phone call, make that gift from your heart. Slow it down and mean it. We all crave connection – be it via words, gifts, quality time, physical touch, space, or acts of service. Give the gift that offers ‘love’ to those you care about, in ways that lift them up, and you will reap much more fulfilment and satisfaction.
5. There is no ‘perfect’ gift
Gifts are ALL perfect when… they come from your heart. Put some careful thought into your gift giving. Hint: the most priceless gifts don’t cost money.
6. If you can shop early… do it
If not… take a deep breath, make a list and make where you are okay.
7. BE fully present where your body is
Whether you are in line at Myer at 7pm on Christmas Eve or stuck in traffic… MAKE THAT OK. Just be there and see it all as a gift. Keep your mind where your body is. The frustration that you feel does nothing but hurt you so let it go. Ask yourself right now what it is that you want from the holiday season. What does the season mean to you? What are you willing to create? It’s impossible to build what you don’t know. Once you know, then take that spirit with you as best you can no matter what.
8. Be uncompromisingly selective about who you spend your time with
Time is valuable. You will never recover it. Make sure that the people you choose to surround yourself with give you energy and are unconditionally constructive. You deserve it. Limit your time with those who constrict your energy.
9. Be mindful if you become too hungry, tired, angry or lonely
Don’t push. Any one of these situations skew our judgment and can make us react (like a knee jerk) in ways we may later regret. Instead, take a deep breath and respond from a place of conscious choice.
10. Do 1 daily action in your holiday preparations… anything else is a bonus
For example, if you have 100 festive messages to get done, perhaps your daily action could be to write 10 a day…. anything else is a bonus. You will be amazed at how quickly you can get through things taken in small chunks like this. And remember to celebrate your accomplishments!
I promised to give you some practical ways of surviving Christmas with minimum stress. Give them a try and let me know how you go. If you have other ideas of surviving Christmas with less stress, please share them below.
If you’re thinking of a special gift for that ‘hard to buy for’ loved one, consider gifting them membership to my exclusive inner tribe at Coffee, Tea & Josie. Your loved one will be resourced with practical life strategies to live a fuller, healthier, joyful and more empowered life! Here’s a Christmas gift you won’t want to miss!
Until next time remember: it’s not what happens to you that defines you, it’s how you respond that counts.