The Festive Season
What does the festive season mean to you? Do you get stressed thinking about buying presents and trying to find the time and energy to keep everyone happy? Are you feeling completely overwhelmed and wishing it was over already? Has the festive season become a time you dread, rather than the celebration it should be?
It seems that every year the festive season starts earlier and gets bigger and bigger; the spending, the eating, the drinking… We come out the other side feeling broken (and broke!), thoroughly exhausted and unhealthy. It really does not have to be this way- and it should not be this way. We need to remind ourselves of what this time of year is all about. Whether you take on the religious aspects or not, I still believe that the most important thing we should be doing at this time of year is appreciating our loved ones and being thankful for everyone and everything in our lives. Take pleasure in the little things in life by going back to the basics. This time of year gives you an excuse to prioritise spending time with loved ones. For a couple of days we get to forget about work, leave the laundry and take the time to just enjoy each other’s company. I asked my son what he was looking forward to most about Christmas and while you might think he would have said presents, he actually said ‘mummy and daddy being at home, so we can all be together’. We all lead busy lives and work often takes us away from our children, so this is the time to just appreciate spending time together and give them the love and attention they crave.
Not getting stressed over Christmas is of course easier said than done, so sometimes we need a little help. I know I am preaching to the converted when I tell you how much yoga can help relieve stress and anxiety, and how beneficial it is for both mind and body. Although it seems that at this time of year we often feel that we simply don’t have the time, or we feel guilty about taking time out for ourselves. You may not always have the time to go to a class, but consider getting your yoga mat out and spending a little time every day to just focus on your breathing, in and out. Try to turn off the mind chatter and just ‘be’. It can be as little as just taking ten minutes first thing in the morning to consider your mindset for the day ahead, or in the middle of the day when you start to feel that stress is getting the better of you. This can also be treated as a family activity, especially when the kids are getting over-stimulated and are struggling to switch off. My seven year old son has a very active mind and often feels overwhelmed, but he really enjoys yoga as it makes him feel relaxed, so a little yoga before bed works wonders.
Remind yourself not to get bogged down and stressed by the festive season. Remember that it is absolutely fine to say no sometimes and to step away for a moment of calm. Merry Christmas everyone, take care of yourself and enjoy the festive season.
Helen was born in London but has always been mesmerised by the sea and that was one of the many reasons for her decision to study at Brighton University many moons ago. Whilst she left this wonderful city briefly, she finally moved back just over 3 years ago and is now delighted to call Hove her home. She set up the Brighton & Hove Working Mums group on Facebook over a year ago, as a safe environment for working mums to get advice without judgement and promote their businesses. A mother herself, of two gorgeous children, she spends her time copywriting and blogging about anything she feels passionate about.