How to survive the silly season December 08 2014, 0 Comments

It’s that time again. How on earth did it come around so damn quick? Fastest. Year. Ever.

It only feels like yesterday it was January and I was just putting the Christmas tree away! It feels as though time is speeding up and life is moving very fast. The hope for any down time in December and taking five to relax may feel like mission impossible. 

With only 16 days until Christmas are you finding yourself rushing around madly with your to-do-list in hand, racing from shop to shop trying to get the ‘perfect’ gift for your loved ones? Are you spending longer in the car park fighting for a car space than in the shopping centre itself?

I have some simple suggestions to help you move through December with ease and set yourself up for a successful 2015.

 

Breathe.

Notice your breath during the day and stop to observe it for even just a few minutes. Whether you are stuck in traffic (or the shopping centre car park), working late or can’t get away from chatterbox Uncle Bob at Christmas dinner, tune into your breath. Mindfully take 5 deep belly breaths in and slowly exhale. Focus on the breath. When you are ready, come back to what it was you were doing, more calm and relaxed.

Use a mantra.

Select a special mantra to get through the madness of the silly season. If you get overwhelmed, repeat the mantra in your mind. You can also use it together with the breath work (see point 1). Some useful mantras might be ‘I am calm, there is no rush,’ ‘I am grateful for everything I have,’ ‘I don’t have to do everything and be everything to everyone,’ or my favourite for using anytime of the year is ‘I am doing the best that I can right now.’

Say no.

Like a lot. Try saying no to something at least twice a day in December. Whether that be taking on extra work, picking someone else’s children up from school, working that extra shift or catching up with the 10th friend who MUST see you before Christmas (even though they haven’t seen you all year!) Try to notice when you are saying yes just to people please. Put yourself first. 

Shop local.

Avoid those hideously busy shopping centres and their car parks and get creative with your shopping. No one wants to spend all of their valuable time lining up for a car park to find they then have to queue to purchase their gifts as well. Time is precious. Suss out your hidden gems, those small shopping nooks on the high street where you can find unique gifts and don’t need to line up to park or purchase. Perhaps they are within walking distance. Shopping local also supports small businesses and your dollar means the world to small business owners.

Shop online.

Although many may say online shopping has ruined the retail industry, it is good for the economy and there are so many benefits. Shop at your convenience from the comfort of your own home with a cup of tea in hand. No lines, no leaving the house. Ah bliss! Most online businesses offer free shipping and discounts over Christmas and the New Year too.

Get creative.

Think outside of the box. Make a gift with thought. Bake, paint, draw, make. Get your creative juices flowing and give a gift or cards to remember. Have a craft night and invite your friends over to create in company. Kill two birds with one stone. Host an intimate Christmas party with gift making all in one. 

Simplify.

Don’t complicate life more than you have to. Consider doing a Kris Kringle for your family and friends. Return to point 3. Say no again. Reflect on what Christmas means to you. Is it all about the gift giving? You don’t have to buy into the commercialisation of the festive season. Stay true to you and your beliefs.

Prioritise self-care.

It can be hard to look after yourself when life gets busy. Though this is the time when you need to the most, particularly if Christmas time brings up any sad emotions. Take 10 minutes out of each day to read, take a bath, get a massage or buy some yummy, healthy ready-made-meals to save you time in the kitchen and ensure you’re well nourished. I love Eat Fit Food for this. Don’t let the exercise slip. Steal a sleep in over the weekend. Be sure to stay well hydrated.

Give gifts with meaning.

Christmas can feel very commercial and break the bank! While some don’t celebrate the event at all, for those who do, the meaning of Christmas can be lost. I see Christmas and New Year as a time to celebrate family and friends and take a well deserved break. In my family we do a KK with my siblings, but I still buy for my parents, Nan and four nieces and nephew. I’ve decided this year to write a list of the ‘10 things I love about you’ for each and every one of them. I see it as a wonderful exercise of reflection and gratitude for having them in my life. These words go largely unspoken during the year but it’s important for them to see just how special they are to me. And guess what? It will cost me nothing and give me so much! 

You may consider giving a gift of a donation to a charity, sponsoring a child in an underdeveloped country or perhaps a save the animals charity. Your dollar does count.

Celebrate.

Don't forget to take time to celebrate the year that was. Reflect on the challenges and give gratitude for the successes. Tell those the closest to you how much you love and appreciate them. Most importantly celebrate you! You've done a brilliant job this year. As 2015 creeps upon us, think about setting new intentions and desires for how you would like to feel in the New Year. What is it that you want in your life? 

 

Do you have any tips or strategies for getting through the silly season? 

Do you find it hard to say no? If you need support for getting through the silly season reach out. I am offering 50% off my coaching packages until the 31st of December 2014. Read more here.

Stuck for gift ideas? Yogamona has a range of gift ideas from yoga wear, yoga accessories, jewellery, coaching packages and the Nourish to Flourish wellness retreat from 9-11th January 2015. Gift vouchers are also now available.

 

If you enjoyed this blog post and think it may be useful to someone you know, go ahead and share the love on Facebook, Twitter or email. Enjoy this December and don't get caught up in the overwhelm of the silly season.