WITH all the pressure that surrounds us all at this time of year, there seems never a better time to talk about ways to create positivity, reduce stress and make the whole process easier.
SO how and why do we need to make this easier? For many busy people this time of year brings feelings of pressure and concern. Constantly try to please and make everyone happy and actually leaving alone the things which pleasure you, is never a great recipe.
PLANNING: is one of the crucial ingredients for making life easier. For those of you reading this who have just been through the 'Self' Modules, you will know that planning means everything to me. Being able to allow yourself time and space to mentally clear away what is distressing you and make a plan to move forward with things that you can achieve, will make it so much more bearable. Finding time to write down what you want to sort today, will mean that these are so much easier to break down and then focus on. There is much research to reinforce the need to track and is a tactic now used by all of the famous diet groups.
MINDFULNESS: This is a word which discussed in the media a great deal. It means nothing more than simply enjoying where you are, and whats around you. Actually looking and exploring the different sights, smells and light sensations will make it a much more pleasurable experience.
FUN: Finding time for fun can be tricky and often feels like a selfish act. But spending time away from anything which causes stress allows you to move forwards faster and encourages creativity. Plan in a late night shopping trip with a friend. Not to go crazy, but instead, to wander and explore. To take in the lights and the smells around you.
CREATING: Allow yourself time to try to be creative. Enjoy the preparation and the experience of what you can so easily achieve. If crafts aren't your thing, create traditions for your friends and family. A favourite pudding, a new way to count down the 12 days before Christmas or going to see a Christmas Festival of Lights are all really amazing and a great distraction from the pressures. Make it a challenge to yourself and try to focus on the minute you are in, not on what you need to do next and where you have to buy things.
JOINING: friends and families together to allow a large group of people can be over whelming. Break down parties into smaller groups, and give each person a job to do or a specific food to bring. Be specific too -it will help a great deal. Remember if you are hosting this party, you have the rights to chose how to make your life easier.
SCALE down your Christmas. Christmas has become commercial, driven by sales and by large scale manufacturers to sell more. Rethink your version of Christmas. Simplify your choice of wrapping. Utilise brown parcel paper and then decorate with velvet ribbon and fresh rosemary - simply perfect. Make your gifts exactly that. not something off a list that you are presented with, but a gift that you feel that person would like. This year the letter to Father Christmas demonstrated a growing need for a much richer 'Father Christmas', and after a stern talk to my children, and a quick rewrite of their lists, it became far more manageable.
There are so many ways to achieve a simple Christmas - and actually I now feel that this has been a truly great learning experience. Now for me Christmas is a lot less about giving and a lot more about enjoying, supporting, caring and loving. x