Keep Christmas Stress at Bay
Just a quick check-in before Christmas on how you're doing?
I'm feeling ok about everything but definitely starting to feel the pressure building. I'm not too sure why that is, but I am definitely checking and re-checking my food and present lists rather too fanatically and indeed frantically. "I'm running out of time..." and "What have I forgotten?" thoughts are invading my head way too frequently...
The Christmas Deadline pressure can be a good motivator, but when it spills over into stress then it's definitely not fun anymore. So I ask myself: does it even matter if everything is NOT under control? What's the worst that will happen if I don't manage to buy X or cook Y?
What I really want for Christmas is to enjoy it with my family. Relax and bepresent while we're opening presents! To this end, here's what I'm trying to do everyday in the run up to help me stay on my game but also calm, mindful and just the right side of stress.
Taking time out over a hot drink to check-in with myself and how I'm feeling. What am I stressing about that I don't need to be stressing about? What non-essential stuff can I cross off the literal and metaphorical list?
Present wrapping - little and often - so I won't be up really late on Christmas Eve and start off the day tired and grumpy ;-)
Stocking up daily on Vitamin C through seasonal citrus fruit and yummy red peppers (to stave off any nasty viruses).
Moving everyday, whether it be a river walk, a Pod session, a kitchen disco or some stretching.
Tracking my commitment to this on a wall chart. I like to sit down on Sunday evening, look at what my week holds, and plan my movement in.
I’ve also marked with a capital "M" the days when I have taken time out to meditate. I can highly recommend this for it's lasting calming effect.
Meditation is basically exercise for the brain.
It can build up areas of our brain and actually rewire it to enhance positive traits like focus and decision-making, and diminish the less positive ones like fear and stress. Sounds good huh? Just 10 minutes a day is all it takes to tap into the benefits. I use the Headspace app. The first few sessions are free.
Finally, here's a positive thought to cling onto amongst all the festive craziness - you soon hoover up your daily 10k steps target when you're Xmas shopping! Just remember to engage your core if you're carrying lots of heavy bags.
Here's hoping these thoughts will help set you up for a calm, fun and restorative festive period.
With very best seasonal wishes,