With the festive period pretty much upon us and Christmas day next weekend, how are you feeling about it all this year?
There is so much we do before Christmas. We hang decorations, put our trees up and have enough tinsel to decorate the entire Forth Bridge so what next? Have a mulled wine? Watch a Christmas movie? Or perhaps you still have to buy and wrap your gifts. Their is a lot of hustle and bustle at this time of year. We put pressure on ourselves to make it perfect for everyone and perhaps more so this year as last year was a washout.
We try to cram in so many things, we’re still working but sorting out kids or our family, presents, food, so much food, baking, crafting, wrapping and oh me BREATHE. We can find ourselves utterly exhausted and stressed before Christmas Day is even upon us.
So what can we do to ensure we get some calm time in the midst of the madness. Here are six moments you can take throughout your day for yourself:
- It’s Christmas morning, this may be a challenge if you have young kids or you are my Dad, super keen to see if Santa has arrived. But if you can grab a moment before anyone is awake, whether you go into your bathroom or when you are in the shower. Set yourself up for the day, close your eyes, think of positive words or statements you can say and refer back too in your day if you start to feel overwhelmed. It could be a mantra you repeat for example ‘I am calm and capable’. Say it as often as you need to help you throughout your day.
- Whilst you are in the shower or any time you are in the bathroom, have a moment to breathe. Really focus on your breathing. You may only have a few minutes, but breathe in to the count of 4 and then pause to the count of 2, then breathe out to the count of 6. The idea is to slow your breathing down. Making your exhale longer than your inhale will help to calm your nervous system down.
- If you are cooking and it all becomes too much, then get everyone out of your kitchen. Too many cooks and all that! Everyone will likely have an opinion on how to cook your turkey/beef/nut roast or make the trifle. So when it all gets too much, send them on their way, with a tipple and some snacks. Sometimes, we just need space! Put some music on you love, dance around the kitchen and finish cooking. I would also recommend you open a window or the door to let some heat out and let some cool air in. Infact, why not take a step outside and do the breathing exercise mentioned above.
- If you’ve cooked, walk away and leave the dishes to those who enjoyed your meal. This is your moment to put your feet up or go and lie down for 5-10 minutes. You’ve earned the break! So take advantage of this time. Let everyone know this is your plan and to not disturb you. You might find just by putting your feet up in front of the telly is enough for you to relax and perhaps have a wee snooze too.
- Why not suggest a walk to everyone. Get out in nature, see the calmness around you on a day when not many people are going about. Have a look to see what birds or wildlife you can spot. Breathe in the fresh air. If you live near water, then go to it and watch it for a while. Are the waves calming and rhythmic or is the river running slow or fast. Notice these things. Nature is so good for us and will bring a little calm to your day.
- It’s game time, you may be happy to play a few games and have some fun but here is a wee tip if you want a moment for you. Set up a game for everyone but exclude yourself and then use this time to do something you love, like read your book, listen to music or perhaps even have a bath. I know this may seem impossible but you never know, your family may be too involved in the game to notice.
Whatever your plans are for Christmas, enjoy all you do. Look around you and smile, the people you are with are precious and you love them dearly. But this doesn’t mean they don’t drive you mad or are too much when you spend a lot of time with them this festive season. Don’t feel bad about taking a moment for you, we all need time for a breather and I am sure your family will understand. You never know, they may all start taking time out for themselves. I’ve been with my family and if I’ve felt anxious or overwhelmed, I take myself away for a few minutes – even if it is to the bathroom. I take a moment to work on my breath and slow my breathing down.
Never feel bad for taking some time for yourself. It can make a difference to your day and help you feel more in tune with yourself and relaxed.
Have a truly wonderful festive season, enjoy spending time with those you love. Merry Christmas!
Take care and look after you!
Love Emma xx