You know it’s Christmas when carparks are crowded, road rage is rampant and you have that sinking feeling in your stomach that not everything’s going to get done in time.
‘D-day’ aka Christmas is looming. There’s shopping to do, gifts to wrap, food to prepare, kids to entertain, travel to plan, guest rooms to make, and garages to declutter. It’s crazy, right?! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
What’s even crazier is that this scenario happens EVERY year!
It’s time to let go of your old chaotic ways so you can connect with what’s most important to you, especially during the festive season.
In this article, I share two simple ways to help you cruise through the Christmas season and arrive in the New Year feeling refreshed and ready to live your life to the fullest.
If you’re craving a sense of calm continuity in your life this Christmas and year-round, this is for you!
// 1. Avoid the crazy chaos by having a plan
I know this sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how many people do the same thing every year and expect to get a different result. If you want this Christmas to be calmer and less chaotic than last year, you need to be prepared to do something different. And that includes having a plan!
When you don’t have a plan, the Christmas season can quickly become chaotic and overwhelming. You know this time of year is going to be busy. It always is. You know you need to prepare similar things to what you did last year. There’s a pattern. And whenever there’s a pattern you can easily turn that pattern into a plan! But how do you actually do this? Simple! Enter the Life Sorted App, which organises your hectic family life. It will help you do things like:
- Schedule and invite family members to attend Christmas and New Year celebrations.
- View the schedule of each family member in a simple combined calendar so you know who is attending your Christmas and New Year events (or not), and who still needs to reply to an invite.
- Keep a shared shopping list for Christmas gifts and groceries that anyone can add to, so whoever gets to the shops next knows exactly what to buy.
- Chat with family members about the details of your upcoming Christmas event, making sure everyone has all the info they need like the start time and perhaps the most important discussion of all – ‘Who’s bringing the pavlova?’
Benefits of planning
Planning ahead gives you the freedom to make decisions that will support your sanity during the silly season and beyond.
For example, if you know that wrapping Christmas presents drives you crazy then delegate it or choose not to do it.
Give yourself the time you need to make an alternative arrangement for your precious presents. For example, you could drop them over to a friend’s place who loves wrapping (yes, these people do exist and I’m one of them!), you could order or make reusable fabric gift bags or check out some other creative Christmas wrapping ideas to free yourself up to focus on things that are more important to you.
// 2. Remember to breathe!
Again, this one’s a no-brainer. But, you’d be surprised how many people forget to breathe during stressful situations. While we can’t avoid all sources of stress in our lives, we can develop a healthier response to stress. The stress response can result in health problems, such as high blood pressure, an increased chance of getting colds or other illnesses and even anxiety and depression.
We can combat stress by eliciting the relaxation response. The relaxation response can be achieved is by doing abdominal breathing aka breathing deeply. Abdominal breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness. You could also do focused breathing activities such as Yoga or Thai Chi, Qi Gong or mindfulness meditation. Check out this article on Breathing Techniques: A Guide to the Science and Methods
Another great tool that will keep you calm is aptly named Calm! Calm is an Elizabeth Gilbert-endorsed app for meditation and mindfulness that helps you manage anxiety, lower stress and sleep better. Elizabeth is the writer of Eat, Pray, Love so the app’s gotta be good, right!
Be calm and connect this Christmas
So there you have it. A simple two-step process for taking back the reigns on your life and living a calm and connected life this Christmas and beyond.