This is a tough one. Work is even busier than usual for most of us at this time of year. Our minds are full – a mix of what to buy for who, which parties we can politely decline (if any). And, of course, we’re all hoping that Christmas Day itself goes swimmingly. Not one argument or burnt sprout. It’s no wonder we feel stressed.
Our contributor Kat has a few ideas on how to combat that stress. Unsurprisingly, she’s a big believer in me time. And while there’s no real way to guarantee a 100% stress free Christmas, Kat’s ideas will help lower the festive season’s pressure – and hopefully, heighten the enjoyment.
Here’s Kat with more…
Why Is Christmas Stressful?
Christmas is a time for so many things, especially connection. But it’s a time when many folks are so busy they often feel overwhelmed.
Families are running ’round organising everything. Like when to get to Nan’s? Which in-laws to go to? Shall we invite the Cousins over too? And who’s got the costumes ready for the kids’ nativity plays? That, coupled with invite after invite means things get overwhelming for everyone – and fast.
And what about Santa’s shopping list? Presents and luxuries can be the final straw on top of usual family life. The social scene? With all the over-eating of processed fatty and sugary foods, lots of alcohol, our strained systems often feel near breaking point.
For a single person, Christmas can be a different kind of overwhelming. I see folks running ’round unable to keep track of invitations. Or the diary could just as easily look dauntingly empty. When all around us - the ads and public hype - Christmas seems to involve families, it can be a poignant time to be single. Friends can respond to a singleton’s drink invitations with suggestions that they’re so busy that they couldn't possibly until January. Imagine how that feels?
A Less Stressful Christmas Starts With Mindfulness
It’s a godsend at this time! Mindfulness is a great reminder that here and now we are blessed with family, with loving friends, with more material goods than we’d ever need. That we’re so lucky to be in this position.
On Movement for Modern Life we’ve come up with Mindful Moments. It’s challenge for those feeling busy and overwhelmed with the pressures of Christmas. Give it a go – you’ll learn how to recognise what’s really going on, and how to ease stress.
We share the theory of this transformation mindfulness technique as well as the practice. Here’s the theory: Transforming Stress: The Theory
When you’re ready to try it (no time like the present), try the practice here: Transforming Stress: Mindful Meditation
Prioritise Time For You
If others are not free, perhaps busying themselves with their frenzies of shopping, use the time to reconnect with yourself. Linger over your hopes and dreams. Reflect on the year. Jot it all down. Allow yourself to feel gratitude for all the good things; friendships; connections; love. And reflect on the sheer beauty of the world. When all the world is running round in a frenzy, it is a beautiful time to have the opportunity to be still with yourself.
Perhaps the best thing to remember that we’re the ones who get to steer our ships in the direction we want. We can take note of the direction our ship is sailing in and make any adjustments we want or need.
Give a Little Time to Others
One of the best thing to do around Christmas is to give your time. When we’re not working, when the shops are shut, the ‘to do’ list is lighter. Think. Can you spare some time perhaps to volunteer for a charity? Can you give the precious gift of time to those you love? After all, the beauty of looking inwards is that when it’s time to reconnect with the world and look outwards, we can be more present for those we love. We can give more to the world.
Last, But Not Least: Make Time For Yoga
Try our Christmas Yoga Class. We created this one
for a blissful way to ease all the excess. Hence the title!