Christmas. 15 simple strategies for your best yet.
Christmas. A time for giving, family, community, tradition & a time for loving.
Or ... tarnished as a time for stress, busyness, overspending and being with people we see once a year and for some of us, we may not want to be with at all.
Does this magic time of year really need to be tarnished with the stresses that can be commonly associated with it?
I've made my choice and it's a resounding NO for me this year.
I see what's going on & I'm consciously choosing not to buy into that craziness and to enjoy myself. 'Oh sure Kate' I hear you say. But think about it. Does it really matter if the bathroom isn't spotless for the relatives we see a few times a year, or less. That the kids don't have that extra present from Santa in their stocking? If we take a second to think twice about the choices we're making, perhaps it actually doesn't need to be so busy and we might just help lighten the stressful load.
So my mission (that I have accepted) is to help make the lead up to your Christmas, a happier, healthier and a whole lot less stressful. I've created a 'menu' of ideas to share that you can pick and choose from. I know it's not easy - I really hope it helps. Ideas for enjoying the moment, plus 9 of my favourite recipes for the festive season.
Here are ten 5 minute stress busters to employ when it all gets too much. Caution: Before you think you don't have time for this - think again - perhaps you don't have time not to;
- cat nap or put your feet up for 5 minutes and collect your thoughts
- pop your favourite song on and dance around the house with or without someone watching - great attitude adjuster. I'm loving this - Vance Joy, 'Riptide'.
- make a cup of tea and sit outside in the garden, under a tree, in the park.
- walk around the block
- Play with your children or grand children
- phone a friend
- keep well hydrated
- keep well fueled and energised e.g. Enjoy a good breakfast & fuel up for the day. Eat plenty of high energy greens & vegetables. Avoid energy zapping refined sugar & processed foods
- say, 'No ... Thank you'
- b r e a t h e and even better, meditate
Whatever makes you feel happy or helps move the mood - do it. It's our choice. (I'm putting this to the test myself this week as I gather 8 special friends together for a leisurely 'long table christmas lunch' on Friday - stress free)!!
And then, to crank it up a level and have an even happier, healthier Christmas and truly celebrate the magic, try any number of these heart warming ideas, if you're not already:
- Pop in and say Merry Christmas to your elderly neighbour and/or make a nourishing meal or gift for them. It just might make their year, (& yours).
- Take half an hour to whip up some gluten free herb crackers, gluten free star cookies (from the fruit mince pie dough), home made jam or homemade chocolates to share with loved ones.
- Bring together your local community, neighbours for a festive drink
- Volunteer your time, especially with the kids, with someone or an organisation that provides joy and comfort to people who need it most.
- Support your local businesses with your spending.
Just a few thoughts. There are many more. What do you do to help put a bit more magic into your Christmas?
I've always loved this time of year. I love putting up decorations, catching up with friends, the excitement of giving presents and spending relaxing time with family. Taking time to reflect on the year that's been and the anticipation for more learning, improving, growing and developing in the year ahead.
So how can we capture just a bit of the magic that's supposed to surround Christmas and the holiday season?
Remember when you were a child? How exciting it was! I want to recapture a little more of that.
First up - a quick reminder of the bigger picture.
There is this down side as we get older and have more responsibility - that crazy, busyness that now goes hand in hand with the festive season. It's not right, it's not what Christmas, or life, is about. But if I look closer at what's driving this busy, stress fueled, energy zapping activity, there are a two things that stand out that I can control;
- My mind and how I choose to respond.
- Where my dollar goes. The need for large corporations and retailers to increasingly improve their bottom line and vying, for our hard earned dollars - spending when we don't need to spend.