Christmas Survival Guide
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or is it? For many people it can be filled with stress, family conflicts, money worries, over-indulgence and feeling overwhelmed by the need to make everyone happy. Here are our key strategies on how to make sure you don’t just survive, but thrive during the festive season…
1. What’s your true meaning of Christmas?
People often just give a knee-jerk response of ‘family’, ‘sharing gifts’ or even, ‘turkey!’ when they’re asked this question. It’s important to think of what it means to you. We often repeat the patterns we learned as children, so that can impact your current reality - whether that be good or bad - to quite an extent. It’s really important that we are aware of this (not only at Christmas but throughout or lives), so that we consciously take forward the patterns that serve us but discard the ones that do not. In terms of Christmas, in your life right now, what you do you want Christmas to be about? Instead of getting lost in the frenzy of gifts, food and stress, choose to connect with a deeper meaning and ensure this is your intention, to stay connected to this over the holidays.
2. Decide how you want to spend your time
Ok so this may polarise a lot of people but hear us out! It’s our belief that if you decide where you want to be and who you want to be with, you are actually doing everyone a favour. So if you prefer to have a quiet one than have the whole family round to your house for three different sittings of turkey - then do that. If you don’t want to spend the day visiting twenty different relatives and getting home in a right fettle with yourself at 8pm - then change your plans and communicate that with your family.
You see, we have a simple rule, ‘Do something with a happy heart, or don’t do it at all.’
Too many people who are doing things, ‘because it’s what everyone else wants / expects’ and we go about the whole thing moaning about it. Don’t be that person! A lot of the time, you also don’t actually know for a fact that it’s what everyone else wants. There’s a lot of assuming that goes on, (and you know what that did) so either have a conversation and let everyone know that plans are different or be happy with your decision.
You can tell when someone is doing something they don’t want to do and it’s usually fairly palpable! So think about it, if you’re doing it with the right motivation and the right intention, then great - have the house full of people, feed them all up to the gills...but be happy whilst you’re planning it and doing it!
3. Prepare yourself
It can be tempting when there’s a lot of other things going, to let our self-care go. This is when you need it most! So many of us get colds and generally get run down - it’s no surprise! We can run ourselves into the ground trying to make it ‘special’ for everyone then we are too sick (emotionally and physically!) to enjoy it ourselves. This is especially true when there’s more alcohol flowing as it can really impact your immune system. Stepping up your nutrition to make sure you’re having healthy meals as much as possible, drinking plenty of water and keeping up your gym or usual physical activities is key on top of making sure that you are getting a good night’s sleep.
4. Money sense
We are just as guilty as the next person for going a little wild and spoiling the ones we love on occasion. If you can and you’re happy to, then that’s absolutely fine. Where it becomes an issue, is when you’re over-stretching yourself financially. Agree your budget for spending, list out all of the people you’re buying for then allocate a budget for each person - then stick to it! We don’t know about you, but one personal and thoughtful present rather than a sack full of stuff, always means so much more. Remember what Christmas is about for you!
5. Ditch the idea of perfect
Whatever you want your Christmas to be, wanting it to be ‘perfect’ is usually a recipe for disappointment. I personally loved the years when my Mum left stuffing in the oven or forgot to wrap one of our gifts then remembered on Boxing Day - creating so many funny memories that tickle us to this day! Who remembers the ‘perfect’ things?! Perfect is a myth that we chase but never catch. All it does is makes us unhappy and overly self-critical - and this is absolutely one of those tips that doesn’t just apply to Christmas planning! Forget the rules! Just be present, enjoy yourself and create fun memories instead of perfect ones.
Christmas is a special time - then again, so is any other day of the week...if you decide that it can be.
Donna & Cheryl xx
P.S. We would love to hear if you have any Christmas challenges that you would like some help with! Drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and see what we would do!