Christmas time, love it or hate it but it happens every year. Most of us find our own rhythm within it but that rhythm can be disrupted by the inclusion of others to the daily running of things and the constant stress of indulging more than usual. We are often also visiting family and not in our own personal space, our balance will be off kilter no matter which way you look at it. So check out these simple strategies to keep your head on straight, to make sure your body doesn’t wander off in a different direction and to find calm and peace within your soul during the holiday period.
With the overwhelming levels of organisation that come with Christmas time; more people to house and feed, parties and festivities to attend, presents to think of and buy (or, I like to hope, make!), it is not surprising that our minds may feel, quite simply, blown at times! So we need to calm that intensity ourselves if we want to survive the storm.
Don’t allow yourself to over-extend to the point of feeling crazy and make time for your mind to recuperate, replenish and rebalance. The best way to keep sane is to prioritise what is necessary and share the load, we don’t need to take it all on board and sometimes take note that, at times, less is more. Make time within the madness to look after yourself; meditate, listen to your favourite music, read a book, take a long hot bath, read the newspaper, go for a walk, any of the things which ground you and bring you back to feeling present. Perhaps even a massage or treatment to revitalise.
Indulging in foods and drinks that we wouldn’t usually, as well as the amounts exceeding our typical intake puts a strain on the body. Anything in moderation is manageable but when we bombard ourselves with excess, no matter what form it takes we put our body under duress. Combine that with an overstretched mind and we have a recipe for disaster. Exercise often takes a backseat during the holiday season as everything has a new rhythm which we are not used to, and our bodies become off balance.
Keep your body feeling fresh and able to combat the intensity of the festive season by consciously preparing healthy meals in advance – perhaps even bulk cook and freeze in preparation for a day where there is less time. Try not to lean towards the convenience of faster, easier options and stick more to your regular type of diet. When you’re out and about and may need a snack or two during this time take healthy nibbles such as nuts and dried fruits, whole grains, and some fresh fruits and vegetables to peck on. Avoid the alternative processed packaged stuff and keep on the right track. For the big meals which include the whole family try to make it a goal that a wide range of vegetables and plant-based dishes are included and take small portions of those that are less healthy or that you wouldn’t normally eat or drink. Your body won’t mind you trying something new or naughty but if you overdo it, combined with all the other factors Christmas time brings, it might just have something to say about it!
Keep to what you know and love about friends, family and festivity, make sure your experiences during the holidays are those which you will enjoy, not those you must endure or tolerate. Don’t invite those who you battle with or have conflict with, or keep your time with them short and sweet rather than long and painful. Keep your Christmas spirit lifted by saying no to the things you would normally avoid and yes to those that will uplift you.
Also try to stick to your guns when it comes to your environmental approach to life, especially during the holidays. We shouldn’t stop recycling because it is harder work with more people, we should reinforce our usual rules. We should aim to buy less and make more, wrap presents in recycled paper rather than bought, use twine instead of ribbon, etc. Do something positive for your soul by giving to those less fortunate, donating your time to someone who need it, protecting the planet, visit a local farm to buy your ingredients for Christmas dinner. Use your imagination but find ways that will feed your humanity and keep your soul vibrant.
However you choose to do it, keep your Christmas time a happy place in your mind, body and soul and for all those around you.
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