For me, Christmas has never been a stressful time of year. It’s busy, and can be overwhelming getting things done, but I try not to get my tinsel in a tangle or so the saying goes. It’s a time of year that comes and goes all too quickly.
I can’t remember ever getting stressed about Christmas. I usually embrace this time of year, and love going to all the events and creating our own, family traditions. However, being involved in so many different things this year, has resulted in being invited to a lot of Christmas parties and end of year events. For the first time in a while, I have felt slightly anxious trying to fit in work and family around all the events.
If I’m honest, I don’t want to be stressed at Christmas. I want to enjoy all the festivities, the gift purchasing, the gift wrapping, the baking and everything that is traditional for this time of year. I also want to gratefully reflect on the reason for the season. Often the worldly traditions overshadow the reason why Christmas is celebrated. It’s certainly an important aspect to my faith and beliefs.
Yet, the end of year events and organising food and gifts can add stress to an already busy life. And I have felt a little stretched this week to get all the things done, that I’d like to, before the kids are home with me on holidays.
I thought I’d share some strategies I’ve used or will use this year to keep calm this Christmas. When I get too busy, I can get negative and I don’t want that to overshadow this time of year.
Here are some things I have done in the past and some other tips I will be doing to ensure I don’t get swayed into feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Because that’s not what Christmas is about. I also have a giveaway, which will hopefully help you and your family keep calm this Christmas as well.
Tip 1: Don’t be afraid to say no
Sometimes I think there are TOO many events on at this time of year and I think it’s important to say no to some. I don’t like to miss out on fun events and I will often get a severe case of FOMO (fear of missing out), but after my recent stint of having 4 nights out in a row and coming down with a cold, I was reminded of the importance of saying no. The reality is, you won’t miss out because usually the same events will be on the following year, because Christmas is an annual event.
Tip 2: Eat a healthy breakfast
I don’t restrict my diet over Christmas. Look, I don’t restrict my diet much at all, as I like to eat all the things and indulge by having a bit of everything. To compensate for my lack of discipline around food this time of year, I’m opting to have a healthy breakfast. Lately I’ve been having a smoothie or eggs on toast. I’m going to add some spinach to my eggs to up my green intake. I find eating eggs for breakfast fills me up and stops me from looking for a snack at morning tea time. While my soon to be qualified nutritionist friend will tell me it’s better to have your carbs at breakfast, I’m going to do the best I can to keep everything in moderation.
Tip 3: Have days to just be
I find it hard to stop and have a day or a moment to just be. But it’s important to rest and to have days where there is little to do and there is no agenda. The kids especially need these days just to play and recuperate from a busy year at school and kindy. I’m looking forward to having days where the pace is slow and there is nowhere to be. Usually this happens the week before Christmas, and the week in between Christmas and New Years.
Tip 4: Relieve pressure on the unimportant stuff
I have a habit of working towards unrealistic expectations. In my head, I think I can do five things, but with three kids in tow, the reality will be getting one or two of those things done. Ask yourself how important it is to get whatever it is you want done before Christmas. If there is no deadline, then give some leave way to finish the project next year. For me, I will focus on anything that has a deadline before Christmas, and those things that don’t have a timeline, I will put on my list to tackle next year.
Tip 5: Embrace essential oils to promote calm and peace
My girls have been a little emotional of late and the sibling fighting has been at an all time high. I believe it’s because we’re nearing the end of the term.
I have had good success from using essential oils to support my emotions (and theirs). There are certain oils I am drawn to, and I find it interesting to read what emotions they evoke. I tend to put on oils that are calming or promote peace. Think Lavender, Geranium, Patchouli and Roman Chamomile, for others Wild Orange and Elevation have helped. I also diffuse Peace to promote a peaceful atmosphere.