The festive season is one of the most stressful times of the year, but it doesn't have to be. This year instead of getting wrapped up in presents focus instead on presence with our five tips for a merry mindful Christmas.
Even though most of us will enjoy at least a few days off over the holidays, it's easy to get caught up in the rush to find the perfect gifts and prepare a wonderful meal. Busy shopping centres, heavy traffic and the pressure to spend more than we can afford means it can be difficult to take time out and just enjoy the Christmas season. Setting some time aside for yourself just to be still or to do an activity you enjoy will help keep stress levels down and ensure you don't return to your normal routine in the new year more frazzled then when you left the office.
Christmas is the perfect time of year to foster an attitude of gratitude and reflect on all the blessings you've had throughout the year as well as the challenges that have helped you grow. Use the holidays to show your loved ones how much they mean to you by being kind and generous with your time and being truly present in each moment you spend with them.
Strive for good enough
The pressure to create the perfect Christmas is one of the biggest stresses at this time of year. With emotional marketing messages depicting the perfect festive families beamed into our living rooms since early November, it can be easy to think that your Christmas just won't measure up. Life and especially families are full of imperfections, and it's unrealistic to think that come December all of our foibles should just melt away so we can morph into the ideal. Instead of trying to control people or outcomes, try and take a step back and just enjoy the process.
Move your body
While there is nothing more glorious then sitting on the sofa and enjoying the indulgence of the holidays, getting up and doing even the smallest amount of exercise will help blow away the cobwebs. Take a short walk, cycle to the shops or put on some music and throw some shapes. Do it mindfully by moving your attention away from your thoughts and into your body.
Appreciate the magic
The build up to Christmas can feel never-ending but before we know it the holidays will be over, and we'll find ourselves back in the office. Instead of waiting until the 25th to sit down and enjoy the celebrations make the most of the build up. Treat yourself to something wonderful, make time to check in with your family, see old friends and curl up with your favorite Christmas movies by the fire.