The festive seasons means lots of preparations and family time in abundance. How will we survive this time of year and actually enjoy it?
Here are 7 tips to stay calm during the festive season.
Fill yourself up
You are constantly giving to those around you. This time of year can be draining. It is vital that you fill yourself up every day with an activity that refreshes you. If you have worked hard at creating a good routine such as exercise, meditation or something else that nourishes your soul, at this time of year it is so easy to just drop it and let it go. By keeping up your routines you will be guaranteed a more successful and easy transition into the new year.
Decide ahead of time what do you define as a successful family gathering? Is it the stress in creating an elaborate menu, or is it the wonderful memories that we will make with our loved ones? Decide what is important to you and stick to it no matter what. How can you create lifelong family memories? Your family members are gathering together because they want to spend time with you. The food is a plus, however they want you.
When the internal or external stress levels start to rise, we naturally restrict our breathing. This stops oxygen from flowing to our brain, our stress levels become higher and thinking processes become muddled. Next time you get stressed, take some deep breathes and notice yourself becoming calmer and more focused.
Lower your expectations.
Simplify your menus. I know you might feel like you are cheating. But honestly speaking is there an element of perfectionism involved here? Do you know that perfection doesn’t exist in this world. Do you know that we are setting ourselves up for failure by striving to reach heights that are beyond us. Psychologists point out that we need to replace striving for perfection with striving for excellence or good enough. Lower your standards. Who are you trying to impress by your elaborate preparations? What will you gain by working yourself ragged?
Expect things to not go as planned.
Expect to make mistakes. You don’t have to get it right all the time, some of the time is simply good enough. When you are mentally prepared for mishaps you will be able to handle them better and overcome them and move on swiftly. Can you find the sense of humour in the mishaps that are bound to happen? By laughing over them you create teaching moments for your loved ones. Remember the following, “Humour is tragedy plus time. “Carol burnett.
Prepare for the next phase before it happens.
This crucial aspect of our planning is often overlooked. Life will move on. This season will soon be over with. Prepare ahead and you will manage the transition phase with grace and ease. On your last day of work before Christmas, simply write a plan of to-do tasks to get to once you get back to the office into the new year. This tool will help to ground you and keep you focused. You will actually enjoy the festive season more when you do this.
Switch off your devices.
I dare you to try the following. During family meals encourage all members to turn off their devices and phones. See what a difference it makes to your family time.
This season will pass and with a bit of foresight and planning you will be left with lasting family memories.
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