Happiness is... A Calm Christmas. Surviving (and thriving) family gatherings.
There is something that happens at this magical time of year, which causes even the most mature, accomplished, adults among us revert back to our moody twelve-year-old self. Ah, The Family Christmas. It's the time when all of the stereotypical family archetypes seem to show up at the dinner table.
Don't get me wrong I adore my family and I cherish the time we spend together, but I have to admit the lead up to the 'big day' fills me with dread. The calm crisp wintery air blows all normal communication and behaviour out the window - and with it my sense of zen and wellbeing. I put together some small things which I hope will help you to remain centred and at ease this holiday season.
Create Christmas Rituals
Allow yourself time over Christmas to create your own daily tea ritual. Soak up the many healing benefits of tea, savour the flavour, aroma and warmth. Create space to enjoy in peace, if you are into incense/sage do that, clear a quiet area in your home and sit for ten minutes each morning.
This is a perfect time to meditate with a guided meditation app or some healing music or just listen to the silence of the calm before the storm! Allow time to be still and connect with yourself, focusing on that beautiful innate feeling of love and stillness.
Prepare healthy snacks. Some sweet berries, nuts to nibble on, raw veg paired with some hummus. The more stable your snacks, the better your mood will be.
Scheule a minimum of two eleven-minute breaks away from it all on Christmas Day. Do some yoga or a guided meditation or better still get outside, into the fresh air for a walk or run. Put a reminder on your phone and don't allow yourself get bogged down with other things.
Set Personal Boundaries
By the time Christmas Day rolls around you've have had some extra seasonal demands to deal with. Visiting friends, attending parties, hosting catch-ups, sending cards not to mention the stress of buying Christmas gifts. It is essential to introduce some stay-calm strategies so that it doesn't become too much.
It's around this time when the straw the breaks the camels back resonate well. A jovial comment from a family member can feel like a personal attack. If it happens, take a deep breath, respond calmly and clearly saying that you would prefer not engage in that topic.
Don't over commit. We assume people have these expectations of us, and maybe they do but it's always within your power to say no. If something is making you feel overwhelmed politely decline. Plans can be tweaked, changed or cancelled.
Reduce your stress. Focus on the real meaning of Christmas. Some people believe in a magical story about a community helping a poor family who had nowhere to stay. Making the best of what little they had, a crib made of straw and wise men, bringing gifts to a newborn baby.
Whatever your beliefs are, focus on harnessing the feelings of love, joy, and gratitude.
Wishing you a happy and healthy Christmas.