Regardless of the holiday season being a 'holiday', for some it can sometimes feel anything but. From the end of November right up to the 1st January, it's an endless, jam-packed scenario of parties, events, shopping, cooking, cleaning, and lets not forget, spending!
The final weeks of the year tends to be a very stressful time for most people, and it also coincides with your diet, exercise habits and healthy choices taking a nosedive. So how do you practice mindfulness during this hectic, crazy-busy time? How do you keep calm and relaxed, as well as being focused and 'on-track'?
Here, we explain the secrets to finding that all important zen during the Christmas craze:
1. Schedule in some 'alone time'
Your calendar can get manic as soon as you start accepting all those party invites and events, so before you start saying 'yes', gather them all up and pause. Assess your calendar and decided which events to attend, and where to block time out for you and only you. It can be an hour for a workout class, an afternoon to catch up on TV, or even a night in with a glass of wine, a face masque and a relaxing bath.
Amidst all the frantic happenings, you need time to yourself to remember what the season is about, reflect on the year, and set goals for the season ahead.
2. Practice meditation and relaxation
Once the chaos sets in, its important to find the time and head space to refocus and unwind. The secret is to make something become a habit, because if once a habit is formed, it's hard to break. And practicing mindfulness is a very good habit to have!
There are various meditation, yoga and relaxation videos online to help you along, but if you are looking for something much more just about 'you', then find a natural lit area, light some candles, spray some calming mist and concentrate of deep breathing. Doing this for 15 minutes before going to bed at night, or first thing in the morning, can form an easy-to-achieve habit.
3. Be budget aware
One of the biggest causes of stress in December is down to money, which most people (sadly!) familiarize with. Money discussions and dilemmas are pretty much the main part of Christmas, making it a far cry from the ‘most wonderful time of year’ for some that everyone sings about.
Avoid the anxiety and stress from money and know your budget from the beginning. Be true to it- even if it means taking a little longer to find the right gift. Set an amount for each person, and don't be tempted to go over it. Why not shop the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales too to ensure you get the best offers? We've put together some top Black Friday shopping tips here.
4. Show yourself some gratitude
It's easy to get worked up about buying for other people, hosting for other people, and generally focusing on their needs. Don't forget about yourself and all your achievements and hard work this year. You'll have earnt a good Christmas and New Year for yourself, and deserve to treat yourself, as well as give yourself pampering time!
During your online shopping sprees, don't forget to add in the odd item (or two!) purely for yourself. You deserve that nourishing face mask - or that dreamy matte lipstick - just as much as the people you are gifting. So don't be too hard on yourself!