Although dubbed 'the most wonderful time of the year', Christmas and the festive period can be stressful and overwhelming. It should be a time to relax, but if you're the head caterer or in charge of the gift shopping it's easy to be sidetracked by the to-do list (we speak from experience here). Maintaining a balance and having a calm and mindful Christmas is the best way to set yourself up for starting the new year on a positive note, so here's our top tips for a mindful festive week:
1. Keep your expectations realistic.
Opening presents under a large, beautifully lit tree, everyone smiling at the wonderful gifts they all wanted... the Pinterest/Instagram Christmas of dreams. In the real world Christmas Day is often chaos, and the run up often leaves us slightly flapping on Christmas Eve. Don't panic, it's not worth it, enjoy the special moments and if the potatoes have to wait to be peeled until the morning because your kids want to watch The Snowman, let the peeling wait.
2. Maintain some normal routine
Many of us travel to family over the Christmas period, or have family travel to us. Having lots of people around for festive activities can upset your daily routine which naturally puts us out of balance. Try to maintain just a few things from your daily routine, whether it's your breakfast, morning yoga or even reading a few pages of your book before bed, no matter the time. Completing even the simplest of activities from our daily routine can help us keep rooted through these busy few days.
3. Eat and drink mindfully
Rich, delicious food, treats galore and plenty of festive tipples are usually in order over this time of year. It's a chance to indulge in some of our favourites with a perfectly reasonable excuse - Christmas! However, over-indulgence can leave us feeling a little worse for wear; hangovers and food comas are not conducive to a happy Christmas so keep an eye on your portion size, eat slowly and savour your meals and enjoy special cocktails and plenty of wine consciously.
4. Squeeze in some fresh air
Good for the body and good for the soul, getting out on a walk will blow away the cobwebs, get your body moving and deliver a good dose of fresh air to rejuvenate the mind. It'll probably be the most steps you do in a week too!
5. Think ahead
Betwixt Christmas and New Year is the best time to gather your thoughts for the year ahead. Many of us set resolutions, many of which we don't keep, but it is a good time to think about some reasonable goals. What is it you want to achieve in the next year? Will this be the year you travel to a new place, learn a new skill or even finally sign up to the gym? Planning positive goals stimulates motivation and is a great way to set a positive mindset for the new year.
So whatever your festive plans, take it easy and enjoy.