Christmas can be challenging for so many reasons. Even when life is going along smoothly, the festive season is far from the fun filled love-in we imagine it to be. In fact it can often be laced with fatigue, frustration and family tensions. But even in the midst of this emotional overwhelm, it’s possible to find moments to recharge your batteries and create a meaningful Christmas for you. Here’s how.
Think about what’s important to you
I know this sounds terribly corporate but…before you start your holidays think about what you want to get out of them. And more importantly how you want to feel when the new year comes around. If what you want most from your time off, is to catch up on sleep and see the lovely friends you’ve missed all year long, then this must be top of your list. Otherwise, you’ll find your two weeks off have gone by in a blur of gift wrapping, turkey basting and falling asleep in front of the TV. Not only this, but you will feel resentful once it’s time to get back to your usual routine. Your needs are no less important than anyone else’s, so keep your priorities in mind and make sure you make the time to create your own meaningful Christmas.
Take time for yourself throughout the day
Have you ever ended up sitting on the lid of the loo at a Christmas party, just so you could get some quiet time? If so, it’s fair to surmise that you lean towards solitude, and you probably need to build some solo time in throughout your day.
Fashion designer, Nicole Richie, does this by getting up an hour before her children, having a herbal tea and watching Desperate Housewives. But you can do whatever works for you. Whether it’s taking a quick walk in the morning, having a midday siesta or leaving a party alone by 9pm. Neglecting your need for quietude can lead to a sense of being over stimulated, short tempered and just generally fractious. Honour your need to unwind alone, and make sure you block it into your day.
Mentally file away those meaningful moments
This tip comes courtesy of Tanith Carey and her excellent book, Feeling Blah?, Every time there is a lovely meaningful moment throughout the festive period, then take the time to mentally file it away. So for example, after a wintry walk with your children you go for a hot chocolate in the local cafe. And as you look across the table, at their little pink noses and chubby cheeks, you think how very lucky you are. Instead of letting this minor magical moment pass you by, consciously commit it to memory and make an effort to bring it out, dust it off and take a good look at it whenever you’re feeling below par.
If you want to share your own tips for a meaningful holiday, then please do. Otherwise I wish you a wonderful break and a happy new year. I’m going to be spending some time with my own friends and family, eating Christmas pud and unwrapping presents. I’ll be back on Friday 12th January 2024, with a review of You could Make this Place Beautiful by Maggie Smith.