So just like that December has rolled around again. A time for an explosion of fairy lights, festive cheer, food, and frolics. Christmas is by far my most favourite time of year, but let’s keep it real, it’s not all sparkly tinsel and angels. There is so much pressure for everything to be perfect, making sure everybody is happy, family to visit, money to spend, and to remember everything so the big day isn’t ruined – it can all get a little overwhelming.
It can be tough and you’re probably not even thinking about yourself right now with everything else going on. If you’re already feeling the stress of the festive season or this time is challenging for other reasons, some of these powerful yet simple self care tips may just help to navigate Christmas more mindfully and joyfully.
Put Some Boundaries In Place and Stand By Them
At this time of year there is so much going on from visiting family, getting prepared and organised for the big day, festive events to entertain the children, social gatherings – it can feel a bit hectic, especially if you try to do it all.
One thing that has really helped me this year and last year was to create a Christmas Bucket List, which I recently spoke about on my Instagram Stories. I write done a mixture of things that I’d like us to do as a family in the run-up to Christmas like seeing Santa, places to visit, festive baking, meetups, carol services etc. I then plan them into a calendar as best I can so we can all see what we’re up to over the next few weeks, it’s also a nice way to build up some excitement if you have little ones too.
Not only do I find this a great way to stay organised, but it also helps with the overwhelm and managing others expectations. It may be the season of goodwill, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t say “no” to things if you’re busy or they’re not going to serve you. If you’ve already booked in the things that you want to do and will enjoy then it’s far easier to navigate through other invites and occasions.
Set your boundaries and stand by them, please don’t feel bad for turning things down because it’s important to take care of you too.
Become More Mindful About What’s In Your Space
This year we’ve had a massive pre-Christmas declutter of old toys, books, and clothes that we didn’t use anymore and gave them to charity. I’m keen to teach Aiden about the kindness and love at Christmas time, rather than it just being about chocolate and toys. It was a great way to get this message across and an easy way to make your space calmer and relaxing. My mind always feels clearer when my environment is less cluttered, which is easier said than done with a 4-year old.
Gift Yourself Time Just For You
Your focus is probably on treating your loved ones right now, which is the norm at this time of year. It is the worst time of year for letting yourself slip down the priority list, but so easily done.
Each December I like to book in a treat for myself, a gift to me from me. It’s normally an appointment with my hairdresser to get my neglected bird nest tamed. However, it can really be anything that helps you feel restored, connected and more balanced. Even the smallest amount of time to yourself can make the biggest difference.
I wrote about my Christmas self care rituals here.
Try to get ahead
For me getting ahead is one of the best things that help me have a stress free Christmas. I know some people love the mad festive rush, however, I love the run up to Christmas and actually enjoy it more than the big day itself, which sometimes can feel like an anti-climax.
To open up space for me to enjoy the festive season, I try to get as much done as possible in advance, just so I can sit on the sofa eating mince pies watching Christmas movies and enjoy a calmer run up to the day.
Have A Comparison Free Christmas
Comparisons and our inner critics can creep up on us at any time of the year, even Christmas. Due to different circumstances, all of our Christmases are going to look different, it’s just the way life is. It’s so easy to start comparing, but really all that matters is that you have the most wonderful time with your loved ones, this is what you will remember in years to come, not the material things. Be kind to yourself, stay in your lane and have the best Christmas that is personal to you.
Lucy Sheridan shares a lot of amazing content on comparisonitis if you’re struggling.