Feeling stressed just thinking about the Christmas season? I feel for you and can empathise, that used to be me too. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, it can still be stressful! I know several friends that don’t celebrate Christmas for one reason or another and they have the added bonus of fielding questions from well-meaning acquaintances as to why they don’t celebrate it. Plus the shops are busy, people can be pushy and financially strung out which makes for a stressful environment. I think it should be a time of rest, reflection and spending time with loved ones. This is a far cry from my description so far!
I’ve refined my Christmas season into a non-stressful, peaceful and happy family time with plenty of time for relaxation and enjoyment. Sound good? I’d love to see less stress and more peace at this time of the year. I’ve shared some tips and questions below that you can mindfully ponder over a cuppa. I suggest you write your answers down if you are feeling super proactive and ready to make change. You might have your own vision to strive for but here’s how I do it.
- Prioritise time for myself; don’t cancel your usual self-care appointments. If you usually take a yoga class, go for a massage or catch a movie with a friend, DO IT! This is especially so for physical based activities, all those niggly aches and pains are likely to rear their head again especially if you are stressed out (but I hope you’ll follow these tips and won’t be!). What will I do for myself?
- Buy presents for a select few. If you think about it, are your favourite friends the ones that buy you good Christmas presents? This won’t leave your bank account drained or have you out shopping multiple times for all the people you forgot! Even my close family do a “present pool” where we each buy just one gift and randomly pick them out on Christmas day. Who will I buy a present for?
- Accept invitations mindfully. Everyone wants to socialise over this period but I’ve learnt to delay some of this socialising until after Christmas. People usually understand if you say no, particularly if you explain you’d rather have quality time with them later. I take the Charleyoga team out to lunch in March/April instead of Christmas time. What social engagements will I say yes to?
- Share the love i.e. preparation. If you have lots of people coming and they ask what to bring, don’t say nothing! Make a list and get everyone to bring something. Again it will drain you less both financially and time wise. What can I ask others to do/bring?
- Take a breather. If time is creeping away from you, don’t try to speed up to catch up even though it may be tempting. Instead, pause and take a long conscious breath in, then let it out slowly, repeat a few times. Even better, you could practice either of these little sequences I recorded; you don’t even need a yoga mat! Spine Salute Sequence and Desk Salute Sequence How will I take a breather?
- Make a list, plan early – all the ideas you now have from these tips, make a list now and start to plan early so you know where you’re at and can slowly chip away at it. I promise you’ll be thanking me when you are sitting down enjoying a cuppa/cocktail/mocktail with your feet up a few days before Christmas basking in the peace and relaxation whilst everyone else rushes around J What is my vision for a relaxing pre-Christmas moment?
I hope this helps you and have a super relaxed Christmas won’t you!
About Charleyoga & Charley Hickey C-IAYT
Author: Charley Hickey C-IAYT is a practicing yoga therapist and senior yoga teacher who runs group and private yoga classes in Applecross, Bateman & Fremantle, Perth. She also runs specialised yoga workshops for yoga students & yoga teachers.
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