By now the school plays and concerts may be over, but there are still presents to buy, wrapping to be done, food to prepare, and parties to host. The endless “to-do” lists and thinking of “just one more thing” that needs to be done can lead to feelings of anxiety and overwhelm. Once the feelings of stress start, it can quickly spiral into feelings of guilt, resentment, and anger and thoughts of “not again”, “why am I doing this?” or “why doesn’t anyone help out?”
Last year did you vow to do things differently “next Christmas” only to feel like that Christmas has come again too fast? While it may seem that it is too late to change the feelings of chaos and overwhelm for this year, I have a few suggestions that while they probably won’t change everything this year, they can help you feel saner and make things more manageable. Some of these suggestions may be easier for you to do than others.
- Put on some Christmas music! While wrapping presents, cleaning the house and preparing food, listening to upbeat music can help relax and provide a change in mood.
- While wrapping the presents, writing Christmas cards and even cleaning the house take a moment to be thankful that you have a house to clean, friends and family to buy presents for, and stores from which to buy safe food.
- Breathe…take a couple of deep breaths and feel the relaxation enter your body from head to toe. At each breath, focus on releasing tight muscles and relaxing a different part of the body working from your head down to your toes.
- Ask for help. Thinking that you need to be wonder woman and do it all yourself is a sure fire way to become resentful and angry. Even those closest to you can’t read your mind and may be guessing that since you aren’t asking for help, you want to handle it all yourself.
- Take a short walk. Walking to the end of the driveway and back or around the block can help reduce the feelings of stress and give you a break from the noise and busyness in your house.
- Drink tea. Again, something you can enjoy while taking a break or if you must while still wrapping presents or other household activities. Drinking chamomile or peppermint tea can be relaxing. Try focusing on the present moment or a pleasant thought every time you take a sip of your tea.
- Spend time with your pet. Cuddling, patting, playing or brushing with a pet can help to decrease your stress and may even make you smile!!
People tend to remember how they felt in a situation more than they will remember if there was the perfect amount of gravy or mashed potatoes. Relaxing and enjoying the moment can go a long way to make the season more pleasant for you and those around you.
Do you have favourite ways to relax and enjoy Christmas? Go and enjoy!