Christmas is supposed to be a wonderful time of year. For many families, including mine, it is an annual opportunity to celebrate and get together with the entire family.
It’s when the world is supposed to stop- if just for a little bit -so everyone can slow down at the end of the year.
So why does it usually feel like the opposite?
It always seems a little bit of a surprise when the end of the year has rolled around again. It’s a chaotic mix of end of term for the kids, Christmas concerts, getting home improvements done before that arbitrary “before-Christmas” deadline, present shopping to get through, finalising trip plans, fitting in all your social commitments and work deadlines. Whoa.
I often watch this unfold before my eyes like a fly on the wall. It’s stressful just watching it. I don’t think any of us mean for it to be like this. It’s just a function of what happens as the year closes.
I have made conscious decisions over the last decade or so, to try to whittle down the stress and busy-ness in my life. I feel that both things (stress and busy-ness) are almost a societal expectation. Otherwise people may perceive you as doing nothing with yourself. I am a big believer in not having to be busy all the time. It is absolutely detrimental to your physical and mental wellbeing. Over long periods of time, it becomes debilitating. To promote my own self-care- I have chosen – to maintain rhythm and space for myself and my family. Over Christmas, this doesn’t change.
Here are a couple of my top tips to think about if you are starting to feel the Christmas frazzle:
Are you setting yourself the arbitrary “before-Christmas” deadline? Would it matter if it was finished after Christmas instead?
Choose wisely for your social calendar. You absolutely don’t have to attend every single function, party and get-together to which that you are invited. Most of these people are still available for a catch up at another time of the year.
Start your shopping a few months before. Start collecting gifts. You know that thought that you have about how a particular loved one would “love that”? Buy it then and stash it away!
Bigger is not better. Celebrations and decorations and rituals don’t have to evolve to become bigger (and therefore better) every year. Engage in things that you enjoy. Keep it simple and meaningful. Feel comforted knowing that that is enough for yourself and your family.
Hold on to your daily rituals. Don’t forget about your own routine and what you do to create that space for yourself each day. Exercise, meditate, journal, walk, have a cup of tea, watch your favourite show. Whatever your ritual may be, make sure you don’t give it up just because it’s Christmas season.
I wish you lots of fun and joy over this Christmas season. Take this time to truly enjoy your friends and family. Much love from me and the rest of our Minifarms team!