Firstly, I can’t believe I’m writing about Christmas, but at the rate this year is travelling, the big day will arrive in a blink of an eye, ready or not. So let’s get ready!
For many of us, this time of year is a truly joyous time. Connecting with family, long days and indulgent food. But for the rest of us, it can also bring a level of pressure and overwhelming anxiety.
We (that includes me) get caught up in the shoulda-woulda-coulda’s and glamorous expectations of Christmas, with daydreams of everyone sitting around a big table, laughing and in good cheer. When in reality it can be a down-right pain in the bum. Cooking, cleaning, wrapping presents, wrangling children, wrangling adults, managing groceries so everything isn’t eaten immediately after it’s purchased, and still somehow getting time to put your feet up, or wet in a pool – preferably with a Champagne cocktail in one hand and a good book in the other.
To help prepare for the season ahead I’m setting the intention to let go of expectations and concentrating on what I can control. Me.
With that in mind, here’s 3 ways I intend to avoid the festive fury and enjoy Christmas 2016.
1. Letting Go Of Expectations
When I release my expectations of a situation, I can feel the stress and anxiety leave my body. I want to actively stop comparing my family’s Christmas table antics with that of a Hollywood version of Christmas and enjoy the moment. Let’s look around. Be grateful for where we are, who we’re with and what is in our life, for that’s what makes this season truly joyful.
2. Rest, Refill & Restore
I know that no-one puts pressure on me for the ‘perfect’ Christmas like I do. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to cultivating a joyful season stress-free, because when I’m in the thick of planning, hosting, buying and generally running a million miles an hour in the lead up to C-Day, it’s I forget about taking care of myself.
So make sure you schedule in time for yourself this season. Whether it’s as simple as closing the door to your room and lying down for 20 minutes to rest and restore, do it. Don’t rush out to an appointment, just enjoy silence, resting your feet and closing your eyes.
If that’s not an option, what restores your mind, body and soul? What could you do more of for yourself that refills your well of love and energy? Beach walks, time in the sun, playing with your kids or reading a book? Give yourself permission to put yourself first this season and be mindful with your time to ensure you have a lovely Christmas too, because you can’t do it all on empty.
3. Cut Out Complications
This may be the hardest, but I know it will be worth it! I need to get realistic and cut out all the complications which I create in search of the ‘perfect’ Christmas. I go looking for the ‘right’ cards to attach to the presents; I search for new and exciting meals I can serve on Christmas Day and I try to think of what everyone else would like and enjoy to make sure their day is ‘perfect’ too.
Firstly, I need to remember perfect doesn’t exist! Secondly, even though my heart is in the right place, I know that those little things add up to create a tree load of stress to my day. I don’t need to over complicate lunch with 4 different types of side salads or 3 sauces for the prawns etc…
This year my intention is to simplify. Could you be guilty over-complicating Christmas too?
Tell me in the comments below, are you anxious about this coming festive season or did you learn to let go of expectations years ago?