5 ways to switch off and have a relaxing Christmas even when you’ve got shit loads to do
4 minute read
Christmas, just hearing the word starts that knot building in your stomach. ‘There's just so much to do’ your brain cries out as the anxiety starts to build. You know for the next 6 weeks or so you’ll be on edge about getting everything done and then once the day arrives you're too exhausted to enjoy it. But what if you could actually enjoy the build up and be present and delighted when the day arrives? Here are 5 ways to help you take the pressure off and have a calm and happy Christmas.
Let go of perfection
We’ve all got that mental image of the perfect Christmas right? Well chuck that out the window lady! Perfection doesn't exist, so stop killing yourself to make it happen. NEWSFLASH if you aim for perfect you’re always going to fail.
But I know it's such a habit. As a recovering perfectionist myself I find it hard to separate the have to do from the nice to do.
If you find yourself struggling to let go of doing all the things, I encourage you to sit down with your family, each take a pen and piece of paper and write down one thing that you each want to happen at Christmas this year. The only rule, it can't be a gift that they want to receive, it has to be something to do together as a family.
Mine is Me, Dave and Arwen all snuggled up on the sofa while we watch a Christmas film with the fire on, wrap some Christmas presents and drink mulled wine.
I’d love you to let me know what yours is.
Order your Christmas lunch in
A complete saving grace of the pandemic is the number of local restaurants, cafes and Pubs all doing takeaway food.
WHAT A TREAT to have someone cook your Christmas dinner for you and have no washing up!
I’ll be honest we do like to cook in our house, so we are ordering a Hello Fresh Christmas box. All the food is included and they send you step by step instructions to follow to create the most delicious meal. Apparently this year there are instructions of things to prep and cook the night before and then things to cook on the day- which will help keep the stress levels down.
In the run up to Christmas day you’ll know that food is taken care of and on the day itself you can pour yourself another cuppa and have a slow morning instead of boiling carrots at 6am.
Get it all out of your head on to paper
Lists, lists and more lists. Or if you are not a list person then try some journaling to stop all the things to do from swirling around your mind.
Take a pen and piece of paper and without overthinking it just start to write. I promise the words will come flowing out. They may not make sense but you will feel a whole lot lighter afterwards.
Plus if you choose to write lists you can tick items off as you complete them which is so satisfying. And you are safe in the knowledge that all you want to get done is written down so you can stop worrying about it.
There is something very nostalgic about putting pen to paper which I think adds to the cosy Christmas vibes- a bit like writing your list to Father Christmas……
Give yourself permission to rest
The main thing standing in the way of you having a restful Christmas this year…….. You!
Have you ever looked at your partner asleep on the sofa on Christmas day while you’re running around tidying, making sure everyone has a drink etc and thought ‘You bastard.’
You can feel the resentment and rage rising in your throat as you ram discarded wrapping paper into an empty cardboard box.
Well, how about this year you practice some self compassion and promise that YOU will sit and have a little after lunch snooze, curl up with a book or take yourself off for a wintery walk?
2020 has been one helluva year and you deserve to rest just as much as everyone else does (probably more if we’re being honest).
The tidying will wait, and people can get their own drinks, we're not living in the 1950’s anymore, so stop putting yourself last on the list.
Reconnect with nature and yourself
One of the reasons you feel so knackered by the time you get to Christmas day is because you’ve given your brain very little time to switch off.
Since early November it's been whirring with Christmas preparations and the work you need to get done by Christmas eve so you can actually take some time off.
You feel completely disconnected from yourself and that's why you struggle to enjoy the day.
Head out into your garden or a local park for 5 minutes each day and notice what's growing, what insects you can see, what the frost looks like on the flowers. Your brain slows down and allows you to find that headspace that you crave. Notice the thoughts that come up during your time outside and note them down in your journal.
This simple daily practice will steer you on course to have a calm, mindful and enjoyable Christmas. As by reconnecting with yourself during the planning you’ll have created a day that you’ll enjoy.
If you are looking for a new way to slow down and find some headspace, one that allows you to grow something for yourself at the same time. Then why not send this link to a family member and I can support you on your mindful gardening journey in 2021 with my Mind in Bloom gift experience.