I haven’t posted in a while, but now is a better time than any to share my thoughts on surviving the Christmas Holidays. It can be a very stressful and difficult time for many.
1) Try to get everything done by mid-night on December 23rd, therefore leaving Christmas Eve to start winding down. Take some exercise if only a walk, and mentally prepare yourself for the days ahead, especially if there’s going to be a family gathering.
2) However much you love those close to you, recognise that there’s a condition called ‘hypercopresence’ described by Professor Melanie Booth-Butterfield as a ‘large dose of family at once’, when you feel you are too close and can’t get away from people.
This occurs when everything is too scheduled and controlled. Add to this what the Professor calls the ABC’s: alcohol, bathrooms and children, and it’s inevitable that pressure is bound to rise!
Having a more relaxed schedule helps alleviate this situation, try not to cram everything into a couple of days.
Delegation, I find, is invaluable. I write down the task (drinks, laying the table, keeping the fire going etc.) that I would like done on a piece of paper and give it to the individual responsible, then there’s no “I thought you were doing that”! Anyone new to the household also has an allocated task, hopefully making them feel at home!
Encouraging relatives go off and do their own thing also helps, this will give them time to vent any frustrations that have been brewing.
3) Give yourself 10 minutes ‘space’, this can be anywhere. If you can find a quiet corner indoors away from everyone just sit, take some long deep breaths and relax. Try not to think about what’s gone on or going on outside ‘your space’. Try to feel an inner calm. It’s difficult sometimes giving yourself that 10 minutes, but it’s well worth it, you’ll feel so re-energised.
4) Eat and drink in moderation. I love Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, but will definitely practise portion control, especially as the average person will consume between 3-7000 calories on Christmas Day!
5) Keep hydrated. With roaring fires, radiators on full and alcohol on board, your skin will become dry and dehydrated, keep drinking your two litres of water daily. There are usually lots of lemons, limes and herbs in kitchens over Christmas, add some to your water, especially lemon and ginger which will help with your digestion and give your immune system a boost.
There are four days left, enough time to plan a relaxed and enjoyable Christmas.