‘Be kind to yourself and in doing so you will be kinder to others.’
Dare I say it but Christmas is fast approaching and generally with Christmas comes the business of the ‘silly season’. It can add stress to our lives and also our body systems due to overeating and drinking and often a hectic social calendar.
We all know this happens during the festive season but why do buy into the craziness? Perhaps you could try something different and tell yourself that this year you’re not going to get caught up in the hustle and bustle?
Your festive season mantra might even be: ‘This festive season I am going to be kind to my body and myself.’
Tips for a Conscious Christmas
Of course, I know that this is sometimes easier said than done but here’s a little checklist to help you enjoy a Conscious Christmas this year!
As we creep closer towards Christmas and New Years, ask yourself these questions:
Is it absolutely necessary for me to attend or take part in this function or am I overtaxing myself?
Do I need to go over to the busy shopping centre to shop for Christmas presents or are there other options?
Do I really want eat another big meal?
Do I really need another drink?
How can I make life easier for myself but still achieve what I want?
You don’t have to miss out – you just have to reframe how you approach the festive season.
Make time to do the things you want. Make time to see the people most important to you. Celebrate a Conscious Christmas and really relish in the wonderful time of year it can be – sans the stress!
I also wanted to share a few strategies to overcoming ay resistance to the questions above.
If you’re only going to a function for the sake of it, think again. You’re the only one at the end of the day who is responsible for your actions. If you’re feeling unwell, tired or at loose ends and wondering what is the matter with you, only you have the power to say no it’s not right for me. We put ourselves into some interesting positions, usually to please others, and then wonder why we are grumpy and unhappy. You have the right to decline, stand in your own power and acknowledge that attending just isn’t right for you right now. Do it as pleasantly as possible and own your decision.
When it comes to ‘overeating’ we can experience many unsatisfactory outcomes – weight gain, lethargy, grumpiness when our clothes don’t fit. The list can go on. Is it really worth it? Especially when we get to making New Year Resolutions only to tell ourselves we need to get back on track. The lesson here is to try not to get off the track in the first place. Moderation (as always) is key, and a little mindful eating could help too!
Christmas Shopping. We often over spend because we’re unsure of what to get in the first place. Do people really want what you’re buying? Don’t be scared to ask people what they need. I honestly love this idea. Often it costs less than what you were thinking of spending in the first place and it’s a gift you know will be used and appreciated. (It’s also often something that someone wouldn’t buy themselves but deep down really want!) If you’re really stuck try to get creative instead. Consider handmade gifts. Or, IOU gifts. Something handmade or an IOU for a delightful lunch date is much more thoughtful and meaningful than a spare of the moment ‘gift for the sake of it’ gift.
Finally, dealing with general festive season stress. Ask yourself what you find most stressful. Is it all the events to attend? Is it the over indulging in food and alcohol? Is it Christmas Day itself? Be honest with yourself about what is likely to stress you out and play with possible solutions to the potential problem (before it becomes a stressor!)
Prepare food the day before.
Scale back on the feast (we tend to over cater – ham sandwiches for weeks right?!)
Plan multiple Christmas catch-ups instead of driving all over the place on Christmas Day.
By taking some time to consciously plan to reduce stress and any other Christmas issues, you will not only feel better in yourself but you’ll also be kinder to others. After all, what is Christmas actually about? Generosity, kindness, gratitude, laughter, love and happiness.