Christmas is such a beautiful time of year. Whilst for most of us it conjures up images of happiness, laughter, twinkly lights, fun with family & friends etc., it can also become a time of stress and burn out, as we rush around to fit everything in before the big day arrives. Whether it’s lots of social occasions, school plays, endless shopping trips or planning for hosting the big day itself, by the time we reach those special few days, it’s so easy to feel exhausted.
Here are my tips to reduce feeling stressed, so you can enjoy every moment of the festive season.
Try to be honest with people if you’re finding things overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to cancel plans if you’re not feeling up to it. Sometimes you need to put yourself first.
- Calming ways
Try using relaxation techniques such as deep breathing to cope with anxiety or tension brought on by the added stresses, instead of self-medicating with alcohol.
In between all the social arrangements, make sure you have a day to hang out at home in your pyjamas – if you have family, create a family pyjama film afternoon with homemade popcorn – everyone will benefit from some down time.
- Mindful nutrition
The festive season is always linked with indulgence, and there is nothing wrong with a little. Just try and be mindful of your eating, do you really need seconds, have you eaten any fruit etc.? Try also to start each day healthily, like my festive Christmas Granola recipe below.
- Get unstuck
Make sure you’re not too house-bound and spend all the time eating and drinking! Even just a brisk walk outside is a nice way to spend time with loved ones. Things can get quite intense if you’re stuck in the house all the time, and a bit of exercise helps too.
- Don’t believe the hype
Don’t compare yourself and your Christmas with the representations of perfect Christmas moments on social media or on adverts. Remember, that everyone is only sharing the good bits and that we don’t know what is going on behind the scenes. Don’t get fooled into measuring your experience against something that’s ultimately fake.
- Bed head
Give yourself a head start – try to go to bed early on Christmas Eve so you feel well-rested on the day itself. This is especially important if you have little ones who will wake up at 4am very excited to open their Christmas stockings.
- Enjoy the Moment
Remember that your children will grow up… so when they wake you early this too is a precious moment, as well as time spent with relatives who may grumble that they don’t like brussel sprouts!
If you are feeling overwhelmed or under pressure, talk to someone about it. If you are worried about how you might feel on the day, talk to someone else who will be there too so they can support you when needed during the festivities.
Don’t feel guilty for needing even just 30 mins to yourself during the festivities, run yourself a relaxing bath, sit and read a book, or volunteer to take the dog for a walk on your own – time by yourself is so important for head clearing time.
Have a beautiful, enjoyable and blessed Christmas!
- 3 cups oats
- 1/2 cup crushed pistachios
- 1/2 cup crushed almonds
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup chopped dates
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Juice and zest from 1 big orange
- 1 – 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground clove
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/3 cup coconut nectar, maple syrup or date nectar
- Preheat your oven to 170C and line your baking tray with greaseproof paper
- In a medium size bowl mix together all the dried ingredients including spices, dried fruit, oats, nuts and orange zest
- In another bowl whisk together the melted coconut oil, juice from orange, vanilla extract and sweetener of your choice
- Mix liquid mixture with dry mixture until everything is coated
- Pour mixture onto baking tray into an even layer and pop in the oven
- Bake for 15 minutes, then stir and bake for another 10 -15 minutes until golden brown (be careful to check during the last 15 mins that it’s not starting to burn)
- Enjoy with nut milk or coconut yoghurt and some fresh berries.
Amanda Forster-Searle is a Mind & Body Alchemy Coach at www.nourishhealing.co.uk