I don’t know about you, but Christmas can be a crazy time of year. The gift shopping, endless parties and dinners, kid’s activity breakups, Xmas meal planning and tying everything up at your workplace. The build-up can be exhausting and overwhelming and for some, just not fun at all. Below I have listed 6 of my top tips to losing some overwhelm from the build up that can otherwise get a little cray, cray!
I personally love this time of year and for me, Christmas has always been a time of year that I have enjoyed and I always look forward to the whole experience except for the part where everything just steps up the pace and you are trying to fit everything in.
I did have a panic day, just recently, though. I sat down and looked in my diary and realised that Christmas was fast approaching. I still had things on my years, ‘to do’ list that had not been achieved, I have a full work schedule leading up the big day and the social events were starting to role in. The diary and the thought of the festive season was overwhelming me just thinking about it. Yep, I panicked but then I took myself out into my grounding space (my garden) and gave myself a talking too.
I had to reflect on a decision I made a few years ago, when I realised I had stopped enjoying the festive build up and took steps to make changes so I didn’t feel overwhelmed and could enjoy again, the build up to what can be a fun filled time of year.
So below are some of the steps I have taken over the last few years to minimise the chaos of this build up!
1. The years ‘to do’ list hasn’t been all ticked off!
Oh, the never ending to do list. If you haven’t achieved all you wanted over the year, don’t beat yourself up .Nothing good comes from this. I’ll admit this is something I do from time to time, but I just remind myself, it’s just a list, not an order or a life essential need, simply a wish or goal list.
I then like to focus on the things I have achieved, acknowledging these successes and let the things I haven’t either role over in to the next year or even assess just how important they really are. It’s always a good time of year to reflect and celebrate the year you have just been through, no matter how big or small, challenging or otherwise!
2. Don’t over schedule yourself
For some people, like myself, your workload with your job really amps up this time of year, for others they just say yes to every invitation because they feel obligated or don’t want to offend. This can be exhausting, both financially and physically. So in order to not over load my schedule and wear myself out, I consciously don’t say ‘yes’ to too many dinners and parties. I still go along to events and parties but I look at my diary and I simply don’t overload myself. You don’t need to go to everything, even if you want to. If it means you’re so fatigued and you’re not enjoying yourself, then ask yourself is it really worth it? Remember, it’s about having fun and enjoyment, not running a marathon.
3. Gift shopping
Now this is something I have done for many years and that is I have the golden rule of completing my gift shopping by the end of November. Yes, sometimes there are a few last minute things you need to get, but I find this gets the job out of the way, you don’t have to battle the car parks and deal with screaming overtired kids (& grownups for that matter) you get quicker service at the shop counters. it also frees you up to spend more time on the fun things.
4. Cook up extra meals and freeze
If I am cooking a curry or any meal that is easily frozen, I do this now, so if you’re late getting home from Christmas work drinks or breakup functions, you can quickly defrost and have a nutritious meal ready without fuss and you won’t be tempted to grab that pizza or takeaway on your way home. Much better for the waistline!
5. Don’t overconsume!
Yes, it’s tempting to have another glass of bubbly or that extra hors d’ourve at a function or party, but it’s important to be mindful of not over consuming. I’m not suggesting to be rigid about it, just mindful of just how much alcohol and extra “not so healthy’ food one can consume at these events. I will have a glass of still or mineral water in between drinks or set a limit on how many glasses I will consume (usually no more than 2, or 3 if I am not working the next day). I will also try and eat something healthy before going out or remind myself there is a lovely meal sitting in the freezer for me at home that will serve me better.
6. Why not schedule catch-ups with friends in January?
We all say it to our friends,” lets catch-up for a Christmas drink?” But do we really need to do this? We’re all busy and I know it is lovely to celebrate the year with good friends, but if the schedule is already overloaded, then do we need to overload it more? I always suggest a catch-up up with friends in January when its holiday time, less pressure and more relaxing.
So these are just a few of my sanity saving tips to surviving what should be a fun and festive time of the year. I truly hope these tips help you as much as they do for me. Remember one thing, though, if you’re not having fun and you dread the build-up, then take some steps to make change because dread, fatigue and stress is not what the seasons is all about.
Happy Festive Season!