29 Nov Easy ways to have a more mindful Christmas and New Year
Well-being and mindfulness generally take a back seat over Christmas and New Year as the chaos of the festive season smacks us over the head! Our usual routines and self-care rituals are put on hold as over-committing and over-indulging take over. Christmas drinkie after work – yes please! Another mince pie – go on then!
We are most definitely not here to tell you to curb the fun and frivolity – do you know us at all?! Christmas is without a shadow of a doubt the most wonderful time of the year and we are like a pair of giddy kids when it comes to festive fun! So, we have had a think about ways to counteract the craziness of this time of year – so we get to enjoy every flipping minute whilst also avoiding the Christmas burnout.
We are sharing seven super simple ways to have a more mindful Christmas. Remember that even the teeniest of actions can have a positive effect on our mood so all of the suggestions below are small mindset shifts that deliver a huge amount of value at Christmas, New Year and beyond.
How can you stay mindful over Christmas?
Do what you can in the moment
Christmas can be a time when the pressure to ‘Keep up with the Joneses’ is at an all-time high. We all have a friend who claims to have finished their present wrapping by 1st December and has already posted their (handmade) Christmas cards. (GIVE US A BREAK!!) It can be easy to feel cipletely inadequate at our ‘failure’ to be organised at this time of year.
Berating yourself for your perceived inadequacies is not going to make you feel any better. Now is the perfect moment to let go of judgement and accept that this is how things are right now.
Ask yourself ‘What’s needed right now?’ and use this to steer you through these hectic few weeks. More often than not, it can wait. Save your energy and strength for the things that actually count.
Share the load
If the thought of everything you have to organise before, during and after the Christmas holidays has you wincing then it’s time to call in your support squad and ask for help. If you’re hosting this year, can family and friends contribute a dish for the meal? What can your partner help with? Can someone mind the kiddies whilst you get some shit done without your little darlings slowing you down?!
Don’t allow the burden to lay squarely on your shoulders – everyone loves Christmas so much more when they feel like they have chipped in so rope in your crew to get as involved as possible!
Practise mindful eating and drinking
Chocolates, mince pies, turkey butties… not to mention all of the mulled wine; December can easily be a month of over-indulging! Whilst we are not suggesting you deny yourself all of the delicious goodies floating around over the festive season (we are first in line for second helpings on Christmas Day), it is worth keeping an eye on what and how we consume.
We can incorporate easy to achieve goals such as keeping up our daily water intake (especially after the fizz at the office party!) so that December does not pass by in a dehydrated haze.
Buffets (hello stodgy beige food!) and sugary or salty snacks are rife at this time of year so combat the inevitable crap with a good array of fresh fruit and veggies in your festive diet.
Lastly, eating is a social affair; ensure the TV is off and you savour the food and your company. It’s the perfect time of year to be grateful for the tantalising tastes on your plate. Yummy!
Prioritise me-time and exercise in your diary
Whether the many social engagements in the diary leave you feeling overwhelmed or the several days cooped up indoors with the family leave you feeling like you’re about to climb the walls, guarding your ‘me-time’ is essential for recharging the batteries. Ensure you take some peaceful time out from the noise and activity and focus on what makes you feel good.
The same goes for exercise, which can be severely overlooked at this time of year. Wrap up well and get outside for a walk to blow away the cobwebs and save you from the endless repeats on TV that leave even the best of us feeling flat and uninspired.
List your priorities for the day
If you’re finding it a struggle to stick to any kind of regular routine whilst you are on a break from work, you can counterbalance the mad rush with jotting down the three things you want to achieve that day. This small act can be done over your morning coffee and can help you feel more in control of the day ahead.
Follow up in the evening by making a note of the five things that you were grateful for today. This is a great way to build up a sense of positivity and it will support you to remember happy memories so another Christmas does;’t pass by in a booze and food coma.
Be realistic and manage expectations
If you don’t fancy joining the Christmas party or latest social gathering, say no. If you’d rather be at home on the sofa with your partner, kids, dog or friends watching your favourite Christmas movie, then do that. You won’t let anyone down for saying no and you can manage expectations (theirs and yours) with a polite “no thank you”. We’ve written before about “rushing (wo)man syndrome” and how it does nobody any favours – so take the opportunity to just chill out for a while!
Consider those less fortunate
As we bumble through Christmas, mindlessly consuming, it can leave us with an immense amount of guilt over what we are fortunate enough to have in comparison to others.
As an antidote, use this time of year to think of the needs of others. Giving doesn’t necessarily have to be monetary or a physical gift; smiles, time and emotional support are just as meaningful. Donating old sheets, blankets and towels to a homeless shelter or calling up someone in your community who you know lives alone can have a huge impact. These acts of compassion have a positive effect on our own emotional well-being.
How do you ensure you have a more mindful Christmas?
These are just a few ideas to help you enjoy the jolly old ride of Christmas and not feel like you’ve been hit by a bus by the time January comes round!
What are your tried and tested ways of staying centred at this time of year? We’d love to know!
Leave a comment and don’t forget to share with someone you feel could use a little calm this Christmas!