The festive season is a time of great excitement, but it is also full of seemingly unending social engagements and mad rushes. If you find that your zen starts slipping over the festive season, have a look at our clever get-calm-quick tricks that can help you keep your cool this Christmas.
While we love Christmas, we all know that it can sometimes be far from merry. The end of year work rush, high expectations of the day itself, and being crammed into a room full of relatives that you haven’t seen in months, can make you more stressed than the Christmas turkey.
Add a little serenity to the chaos with these six chill-out tips:
When tempers start to flare with family members…
Have a calm Christmas by taking yourself away from any situation when you’re feeling uneasy or uncomfortable. Take a few moments to sit somewhere quiet and breathe deeply.
When feeling this way, it’s a good idea to try the four-seven-eight technique:
- Put one hand on your upper chest, the other below your belly button, to feel your breath going in and out.
- Exhale through your mouth, then inhale deeply through your nose for a count of four, using your diaphragm and abdominal muscles.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven. Let it out slowly through your mouth for a count of eight.
- Repeat at least twice until you feel calmer.
You worry Christmas won’t live up to your expectations…
‘Expectations rarely match reality!’ says therapist David James Lees. ‘Holding on to a belief that Christmas should be a certain way is setting yourself up for frustration and failure.
Our tip? Learn to savour the small stuff by becoming more realistic and flexible and embracing the unexpected. Say to yourself, ‘My Christmas won’t be perfect, but it will be unique to me and special in its own way.’
You feel resentful…
‘You may start feeling this if you think you’re being taken advantage of,’ says author, Elizabeth Kuhnke.
‘Before that happens, set out clear boundaries. Give people things to do. If your brother-in-law is a great bartender, ask him to take care of drinks. Or perhaps your sister creates beautiful flower arrangements? If everyone is clear about what’s expected of them, you’ll have a happier day – and so will they.’
Delegate and share responsibilities between your loved ones. Be clear with your expectations and communicate your feelings to make sure everyone’s on the same page.
Try this calm-inducing tension time-out
Yoga practitioner and wellbeing expert Dani Binnington reveals her top mindfulness techniques for keeping cool this Christmas.
‘If you’re in the middle of preparing Christmas dinner and you’re finding yourself super anxious about not getting everything done in time, then S.T.O.P for a few moments’, says Dani.
- Stop whatever you’re doing, take a seat, close your eyes and notice how you’re feeling at that moment.
- Take a deep breath, feel your feet on the ground beneath you and let the earth become your support.
- Observe your breath, as it comes into your nostrils. Expand your ribs to inhale deeply, and let go of tension and stress as you exhale.
- Pause and observe your thoughts without giving each too much attention.
Through pausing, breathing and listening, you’ll be able to deal with anxiety and stress in a really effective way. Stay calm this Christmas – and beyond – by giving it a go the next time you feel overwhelmed.