On today's radio show I was talking about the importance of keeping everything in balance during the festive season.
Whether its time, energy, work, food or drink we need a healthy balance to ensure we don't become exhausted or over committed.
Often we can be so focused on giving that we forget to receive. This year be kind to yourself & give yourself permission to enjoy some special moments just for you.
Here's my 7 Top Tips on how to create balance & harmony over the festive season:-
1) Plan in some time to yourself
Whether its going for a walk, having a bath, going to the gym, reading a book, writing a journal, doing a craft, meditating etc aim to give yourself some 'time out' just for you so you can recharge your batteries. If you're constantly around others over Christmas you may feel exhausted which isn't healthy for your mental state. Whilst it's important to be respectful of the needs of loved ones, it shouldn't be at the expense of your own. It's therefore essential to balance this by having time to yourself.
2) Write things down & tick them off when completed
Over busy periods it can be hard to remember what presents you've bought, which cards you've sent & what food you need to buy. If you're a 'planner' personality type you'll love making a list but if you have a 'go with the flow' personality (like me) you probably won't enjoy it. I've learned that writing lists is an essential tool for getting through the festive season with a happy mindset, plus it can be really satisfying seeing everything crossed off once its done!!
3) Review your diary or calendar
It can be fantastic having lots of events to attend but make sure you don't over commit yourself. Doing too much can cause you to become ill or exhausted which isn't good for anyone. Trying to fit too much in can lead to feeling distracted or pre-occupied whilst you're with other people. Remember that sometimes the greatest gift we can offer people is our undivided attention so be mindful of that & maybe postpone events until the New Year when you can be fully 'present'.
4) Allow yourself to receive
Accept help from others. Often we get so caught up in wanting everything to be perfect that we forget to delegate jobs. Most people love to help & have a role so it gives them the opportunity to feel good & you get to have more time to enjoy yourself.
5) Avoid overindulging
I know this is a really boring tip but it's worth a mention. Whilst it's fab to enjoy all the yummy food & drink that's available at Christmas it's also good to be mindful of the quantity consumed. Often overindulging can lead to feelings of guilt or regret which can impact on your wellbeing plus dealing with family whilst hungover can lead to irritability or impatience. Aim to eat mindfully & take your time to really enjoy your food. Savour each bite & focus on the combinations of tastes & textures, it can really add to the overall experience of a meal & help you to feel more full.
6) Be realistic
You may have really high expectations for the dream Christmas day but often it doesn't work out as planned so allow yourself some 'wiggle room' & take each moment as it comes. In the run up to Christmas, give yourself chance to consider what would happen if everything didn't go exactly as planned & build in contingencies but don't dwell on them. Know that you are doing your best & that is good enough. Be kind to yourself & accept that things may change or go wrong but know that you have the resilience to get through it. Whatever happens will be temporary & it will get better. Focus on what is going right rather that what is going wrong, soon you'll start to notice the positive moments more than the negative ones.
7) Develop an attitude of gratitude
If you're spending time with family this Christmas give yourself a moment to observe your loved ones as an outsider looking in, notice all the love & effort that has been made to create the best experience for everyone. Think how lucky you are to have so many people to cook for or buy presents for. Accept that everyone is trying their best & be compassionate towards that. If you're on your own, reflect on some happy times from the past & feel grateful for all the memories. I appreciate it can be hard when you've lost loved ones but developing a grateful outlook on life you can really shift your perspective. This is because feelings of gratitude release neuroreceptors in the brain that help you to feel good.
Check out this video for more information
I hope some of these tips help you to have a happy, harmonious & balanced Christmas.
With love & hugs