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How To Slow Down This Festive Season

11

Christmas is undoubtedly one of the busiest times of year and each year the ‘build-up’ starts earlier and earlier.
That intense anticipation brings with it immense pressure. Pressure to get gifts purchased, homes decorated,
Santa visits organised, matching Christmas pjs, relatives invited over for dinner, and an endless merry go round
of meet ups and visits, as well as a million other things. Of course, most of these things don’t’ really matter in the
grand scheme of things; it’s being together that matters the most, however, it can be difficult to see that under
the glaze of festive pressure.
The last couple of Christmas seasons may have been a little different to previous years, but there’s no doubt that
it’s still a very busy time of the year for us all.
In fact, most of us can find ourselves feeling completely burned out by the time the day itself comes around.
So what can we do to ensure we don’t end the year in a complete heap, mentally and physically?

1. Learn To Say No
This is a hugely important skill many of us could do with re-visiting, not just at Christmas either, but all year-
round. If any of you have toddlers in your lives, you’ll know all to well about how easily and unashamedly they
roll out the word ‘no’. If they do not feel like doing something, they put their tiny foot down and say ‘no’.
Now of course that could be over something as arbitrary as putting on their shoes, but the message is still one
we can learn from. If you find yourself feeling over committed around the festive season but just feel you cannot
say no and end up getting stressed out, then take a moment to stop and think, what would a toddler do? If they
didn’t want to do it, they’d say no and sometimes we need to take the guilt away and do the same.

2. Focus On Less
They say ‘less is more’ and honestly it’s never more true than at Christmas time. Many of us can feel under huge
pressure to go all out on a myriad of things and experiences, however, when it comes down to it, the key to a
happy Christmas is simply celebrating with loved ones. Often, it can be so much more meaningful and authentic
to just focus in on less. So instead of trying to tick everything off your growing list, try and streamline your
Christmas. Think of it as doing a few things really well and smoothly, instead of getting completely overwhelmed
and stressed out trying to do everything.

3. Make Your Own Traditions
This is such an important one. Christmas is a time laded with traditions, from ones laid down by society, to the
ones we’ve grown up with in our families, we like to keep up those rituals because they have meaning for us.
However, often when people go out on their own, be it living away from home, in a couple or when they’ve a
family of their own, they can feel under pressure to keep up all of the traditions each party has had as children.
This can often be completely unattainable and a point of contention and stress. But if you remember that at
Christmas you should now start to make your own traditions, then you’ll feel much more at ease and really enjoy
the process of taking ownership of your festive season.

4. Live In The Moment
Much of Christmas can be in the build up or anticipation and often when the day itself comes, many of us are
tired, stressed and unable to really enjoy it. We are focussed too much on having ‘the perfect day’ and instead
we miss living in the moment of ‘the perfect day.’
So instead of worrying if you have the best roasties or if the house is a complete mess, why not take the time to
sit back and enjoy your meal. Focus on the food. Focus on those around the table. Take your time to eat.

Remember the conversations, the awful jokes in the crackers, the loved ones you may not have seen in forever
and live the moment. People won’t remember your roasties, but they will remember the feeling of the day.

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