A Peaceful Christmas

Christmas has really been portrayed throughout the ages as a giant party, an unravelling of new things, a time of laughter, cheer, indulgence and family. However for many people Christmas and the festive season has become a lot more stressful. Almost painful.

Hurtful relationship arise at the forefront of minds, anxiety about being around large crowds (families and shopping malls), the obligation to buy more and more and more. Cooking fancy meals. The feeling of obligation to family (no matter how toxic or positive the relationship), comes under pressure. So how can you have a peaceful Christmas? Below are a few tips, to help you not just get through the festive season, but remain in a peaceful state of balance throughout the festivities. So you can begin the New Year feeling peaceful and balanced.

  • Bring in your New Year’s resolutions early. Choosing to take care of your physical body can have a great impact on how you feel and your emotions. Start a new exercise routine. Simply stretching helps to clear your chakras of fears and anxiety and is a wonderful introduction to your wellbeing ritual.Look at what you are consuming internally. When you feel nervous or under-pressure to you start to snack on the foods that you know wreak havoc on your digestion? I have always felt the direct relationship between food, and our internal state of wellbeing. Staying away from alcoholic beverages and highly processed chemical laden foods can do wonders for your wellbeing. Stick to fruits and vegetables, and if you have major anxiety try out some low histamine options. Eat what makes you feel good, light and happy. A wonderful idea is to keep a food journal of what you ate (even if it’s just listing the junk food treats), and the following day to write down your mood. This helps you to see how food can really influence your wellbeing.
  • Get some sunshine! A little time in the sun can do wonders for your mind. Garden, get creative in the fresh air. Pulling away from the overwhelm of Christmas can help to realign and centre your being.
  • Listen to your bodies cues, go to the bathroom when you need too, eat at regular meal times. These seem like such basic wellbeing tools but we often forget them. Honestly when someone is chatting and you feel rude excusing yourself to go to the bathroom this is simply the bodies way of saying, listen to me! I need some tlc : )
  • Choose the events you’ll attend in advance and mentally prepare for them. If a relationship is just too toxic, or damaging for your self-esteem, you don’t have to go. Even if it seems the proper and expected thing to do. Saying no is a sacred right, one that has been overlooked largely in our society. Guilt at not attending an event is normal, it is showing you is that constrictive feelings of obligation have been stepping in the way of your inner peace.If you do end up at an event that makes you feel a little on the squeamish, anxious side, choose to focus your energy on the people who help to uplift your mood. Children are wonderful to help you reconnect to life’s joy. If you have one person you’re close to at an event, discuss your anxieties beforehand. Come up with a code that can get you out of situations quickly – a squeeze of the hand, a known gesture – where you will have a heroine or hero who will pull you away from the person who may be draining your feel good wellbeing pot, when you don’t feel strong enough to say no.
  • Take time for yourself during big events. Go for a walk outside, away from a family party. Take the kids out, a pet, or yourself. Being outside and away from the action can help to soothe your soul. You’ve turned up, you’re there, but you are still making time for yourself. Delightful!
  • Plan your outfit for the day ahead of time and go easy on yourself about your appearance. If your prepared in advanced it will be easier to leave, or welcome guests into your home. It takes away one less thing to panic about. I find that Christmas can be such a big catch up that there is this pressure to look well balanced and grounded. Whilst you’re cooking, and running around trying to get everyone together to run out the door, grooming yourself can feel like a chore!
  • Of course, practice the rituals that make your feel clean and balanced, washed hair (is the blow dryer really necessary?), clean teeth, moisturiser, long baths etc. Just see if there are any elements to your routine that can be skipped. Let go of the expectation to cover your face in makeup and synthetic perfumes. These can be mood disruptors. Choose some natural essential oils as perfume and let mother nature do the rest! Could you spend the extra time in meditation, or reading a book? Simply being born and resting peacefully in our own skin is a great gift, you don’t need to be better than who you are. You are already magnificent!
  • Remember that lots of people feel lonely, bullied, anxious, and sad this time of year. It’s not always the smiles that are promoted everywhere. This remembrance may help you to be gentler on yourself, or too reach out to someone else who you know is in pain, or seems a little distant over the season. A compliment, a kind word shared, is powerful and touches the soul.
  • Find a beautiful crystal that brings you peace. Pop it in your pocket or wear it. Touching the crystals is a reminder to connect to your wellbeing and high vibration crystals can help lift our mood.
  • If shopping centres overwhelm you, try local markets, second hand stores, and local craft stores instead. Stay away from brightly lit, commercialised centres. You can stay away from the crowds. Shop in the evenings, or online. Look for alternatives, it’s okay to be sensitive, and it’s okay to protect your energy. It may be a little late or this one, but collecting presents over the year is a wonderful way to not feel overwhelmed financially and energetically at Christmas. Choose one lovely item for someone, and don’t feel like you need to over give, especially when it can be almost overwhelming for the receivers who may already have so much stuff. Handmade gifts, i.e. bath salts, olive oil with rosemary and chili in recycled jars, paintings done by your children make lovely options. Wrap presents way in advance, using natural fibres, this way it’s done, and doesn’t need to be over thought.
  • Choose what goes into your mind at Christmas. Children and adults get swept up in the hype of Christmas from television commercials and movies. This expectation of the ‘perfect’ Christmas filled with loads of wonderful family ties commercial presents is most often unrealistic and overwhelming. For children, avoiding television shows that have any sort of advertising, are Christmas based, or are associated with spin off products that they may love or we feel obligated to purchase for them releases a lot of pressure. If children aren’t exposed to the greed promoted on television then brands and the pressure to consume greatly drops, they are simply happy to share the moment. It then intrinsically filters into our own childhood programming of how we think a proper Christmas ‘should be’, and what it looks like.
  • Depending on your relationship it’s often okay to ask generous relatives to give experiences, (music lessons, swimming pool passes, concerts tickets etc) as gifts rather than things that your child may not need. On the flip side if you feel really pressured to purchase alot for Christmas try to go within and look at the need to perform, that you feel. What’s something simple you could give? Could you find something in a second had shop? Or make a gift?
  • If it’s too much, choose to not get so involved in the festivities. Pull back. Stay centred and just enjoy what is happening around you rather than needing to dive into everything and creating overwhelming expectations for yourself.
  • Cooking doesn’t have to be overwhelming for the day. Meals can be prepared the day before. Choose one special dish (this is the key, just one) to make, even if it’s doubled to take to multiple events. If this stressful and note your forte, buy something healthy and delightful beforehand. Being honest with what we feel, and really looking at how you can cut back on the overwhelm can make a great difference.
  • Children love to spend time with their parents. This is really the greatest gift. Time to grow and nature one another is so balancing. Much better than meltdowns in shopping malls, tiredness and hunger all round! When we pull back from the hype, connection with people who are positive and grounding is the greatest gift. Time spent with children can help to improve relationships and bring peace to both child and parent.
  • Giving to others in need. Christmas is a great time to become involved in charity organisations. So many families need that little nudge of help on Christmas. And there is something in the miracle of giving that seems to float back and settle in your heart and soul. Food banks are wonderful places to donate, especially organisations who bring hampers to families on Christmas Eve or Day. You know your donation will touch someone at Christmas. One thing to note is that when hampers are being organised it’s really lovely to donate food that will make Christmas extra special. Cans and bulk supplies are good, yet there is also something magical in donating treats, vegan chocolates, and supplies that can make a real Christmas themed feast. Along with ingredients for dishes where someone may have allergies or illness, gluten free pasta, organic foods etc.
  • You can also donate Christmas gifts. One note with this is if it’s for a large organisation don’t pre-wrap the presents (I made this mistake one year!) the gifts are sorted through for appropriateness and safety (even if properly labelled) and are generally wrapped in store. This year my family and has been collecting craft supplies for children in third world countries. Nice items which aren’t easily available, and I’ve been making heaps of reusable menstrual pads for women in remote areas. It’s so nice using organic fabrics and putting your heart into something for others. I honestly hadn’t expected to feel better internally for it, as normally we give and just let it go, but I think that making the menstrual pads by hand, having family help out and putting so much time and energy into the donation has been so internally rewarding. It’s also really motivated to find other ways, and to become more active in charity organisations as a New Year’s resolution. An unexpected blessing!
  • Even when we take the time to care for ourselves over the Christmas period with the advent of family and spending time with those who can trigger your the most, unhealed wounds can surface. Try to practise non-reaction. This is a wonderful tool. And something that we often need reminders for.
  • If you have an argument or become flustered, instead of sinking into the, Why did I? cycle, try to take a step back and not react. It’s okay, we all make mistakes, we all become flustered. If someone is triggering you, can you not react? Not feed their need for self-validation? Their inherent desire for power which is accumulated through bullying? Before going into Christmas, look at the parts of yourself that you hate, that you can’t accept and instead of leaving them as open wounds try to just be with them. If someone tries to poke these wounds, can you ignore them? Can you delve within the self and ask, Who am I? Feel the light of creation that allows the breath to flow in and out of your lips. Feel into the stillness behind the words, behind the thoughts, behind everything. You are beautiful and valuable. I love you. No matter what. No matter the buts. May you have a joyous and peaceful Christmas and know that my prayers are with you.