Quite often the festive period is filed with hustle and bustle. Your to do list gets longer and there’s more to think about. You are likely to be doing more, eating more and sleeping less. This year things are more complicated, due to the pandemic. Maybe you’ve felt things have been put on hold. I know I was waiting for the announcements and updates to decide what to do at Christmas this year, which is later than I would normally have things sorted by. All these things combined are less than beneficial for your wellbeing.
What truly makes holidays special, are the traditions and to dos that you decide are going to be part of your holiday celebrations. It’s the activities, decorations, food, people, and events that make the season as special and as memorable as possible. It is a time of celebration, a time to enjoy the every day in the activities that only happen this time of year. A time to perhaps gather together (that’s different this year). However we can still remember how wonderful it is to be loved and love.
So even this year, when everything feels so different. There are ways you can still make Christmas special and make sure you are looking after your wellbeing, without getting caught up in the noise and negativity.
Create a Christmas you’ll love
Take out your notebook or journal and jot down all the things you’d like to include. Perhaps there are traditions you have every year or ideas you’d like to try. You might be feeling that Christmas has been taken away from you this year, this is your opportunity to gain a little control. If you’re not sure what to include, keep reading for inspiration.
Plan your self-care in advance
Take out your weekly planner and look at the “week to view page.” Then add in your self-care time as appointments, just like I encourage you do to at any other time of the year. Continuing to do this, will ensure you feel healthy and rested.
Pace out activities
During the holiday season, it’s common to experience a surge in activities on your social calendar. Quite simply, it’s hard to practice self-care without the time. intentionally blocking time for yourself is essential
Stick to your morning routine (or a variation of)
If you make a little time for yourself at the beginning of the day, you live your day with more grace and intention. On days when your schedule is more full, you might only spend ten minutes in the morning, but even that will help. Use the time to meditate, journal or read, or simply sit quietly with a tea or coffee.
Make time for movement
It would be very easy to spend even more time on the sofa. Schedule time to exercise (as in, put it in your calendar). If possible, make it a group effort — you are far more likely to do it if people are counting on you to be there! Meet up for a socially distanced walk and catch up with friends or family.
Only decorate with your favourite things
The chances are, you’ve collected lots of decorations over the years. This might make it difficult to decide what to use where, you might have mismatched styles and generally it is likely to make it a little stressful to get your house ready. Have a declutter as you bring things out of the loft. It brings a little simplicity to the process and your favourite decorations will really stand out.
Create a welcoming environment
You may not be welcoming many guests into your home this year, but that doesn’t stop you making your home cosy and welcoming for you. So after you’ve battled the shops or finished work for the day, you have somewhere wonderful to relax.
Maintain to your Christmas traditions
Depending on the exact nature of them, many of your Christmas traditions could be maintained, which means you’ll still feel festive despite the year we’ve had. Some of your traditions might need to be adapted, for example our Pre-Christmas Drinks Party is virtual this year!
Create new traditions
This year could be a great opportunity to create new traditions. Remember they don’t need to be expensive. Think of them as little rituals to remind you of what’s special about this time of year.
Keep Shopping Simple
Maybe you’ve got all your shopping finished and feeling really good about it. I know many people are still working things out and this tip is for you. Create a theme for Christmas presents. We tried this for the first time last year. We choose the theme of books and chose one special book per person. It made choosing gifts and the whole gift-buying process so much easier.
Allow Unscheduled Time
Be careful not to fall into the trap of planning too much. (yes there is such a thing). Allow unplanned/unscheduled time to just let the day flow. This allows the opportunity for brilliantly nourishing activities you might not do otherwise, like read with an endless cup of tea or go on a long walk.
Release the idea that this Christmas needs to be a certain way. Things are different this year, so to keep thinking about how you’d like Christmas to be, is only going to feel like you’re torturing yourself. Another important message is not to compare your Christmas to anyone else’s. You might not know their circumstances
Respect your Budget
It is very easy to over-spend at Christmas, on presents, food and decorations for example. Starting the new year in debt that you’ll struggle with is no fun and not something to aim for. Think of this instead as a learning opportunity. Decide how much you can spend on each category and monitor your progress.
Create healthy boundaries
Quite often Christmas is a time that we see family and that might include family that you might not choose to see. The holidays are often a prime time to practice your boundaries with others. One easy way to do this is to set a time limit for your interaction. With most meet ups being online this year, this is even easier. Free version of Zoom limits you to 40 minutes so use that to your advantage! I’m going to be bringing you more on this subject, because there’s so much more to explore.
If you catch yourself falling into negativity during the holidays, try to reflect on all that you are grateful for, not to minimize your struggles, but to help you see what your struggles may be overshadowing. You can choose to journal your gratitude list, however at this time of year, there’s also an alternative. Why not share what you are grateful for, with loved ones. It could create a warm and positive atmosphere and even start a new tradition.
Whatever you decide to do this Christmas, remember to enjoy the little moments and that we can look forward to next year and all it offers.