By Sally Wood and La Muxlow
Christmas is supposed to be “the most wonderful time” of the year. But the reality is, these sparkly few weeks can also be the most stressful – particularly for us mums!
Mums are the nucleus of the home. We’re the queen bees whose survival and thrive-al (yes, we just made that word up) is essential for the whole family unit. We can get completely caught up in Christmas, initially excited but then quickly becoming overwhelmed, running on empty trying to keep up. Sometimes we feel the urge to mimic what our mums did before us or compare ourselves to the friends around us.
It’s easily done – we can all fall into this pattern and get spat out in January as an exhausted mess.
What we know for sure is that our beloveds need OUR health more than they need that item on the “to-do” list.
If you want to do things more mindfully, then perhaps take a moment to ponder some of the pressure that could be released?
Write this down.
“This year I will give the gift of my presence.”
This Christmas, we want to support YOU to stay calm and peaceful through all the silliness. We want you to ride the storm of parties and presents with more grace and ease.
So here are our top 12 ways to lower those stress levels this silly season:
- Celebrations venue.
Pick a venue for Christmas celebrations that doesn’t require you cleaning. We love the idea of parks, gardens and beaches. Bonus points if you share the cooking duties as well!
- Go easy on the gifts.
Our loved ones REALLY don’t need more stuff. Stick to a limit (say 1 present for adults and 5 for kids), and pick from these categories:
- An experience – for kids, think zoo or aquarium tickets, a show or a fun train ride. For adults, think about a class, a new hobby or night out.
- Get out and about in nature – these might be pool toys, swings, activewear or sporting equipment. Anything that gets your loved ones out in nature and moving their bodies.
- Connection building – think of presents that build connection between you. It may be a joint puzzle activity or large canvas family painting.
- Support a charity on their behalf. Charities such as the Orangutan Project will even send a little fluffy toy for you to bring this gift to life for your child. Choose a charity that will mean the most to them. Christmas is the time to practice modelling love to all mankind and generosity of spirit, so use it as an opportunity to discuss the importance of helping others.
- Gift your time – a voucher devoting your time to an activity of their choice is a beautiful way of showing someone you love them. What do they like to do most?
- Top tip – if you’ve been a bit heavy-handed with the gifts in the past, set the expectations early that you’re doing Christmas the eco way this year.
- Get into nature often.
All those Christmas carols and cute decorations can really wear on us after a few weeks. Make sure you refuel your cup regularly by getting away from all that overstimulation and replacing Michael Buble with birdsong.
- Say no to people and parties that drain you.
The silly season is jam-packed with events that put additional strain on us and leave us with so little time to do everything else on the list. If you don’t want to reach January stressed out and exhausted, we’re giving you permission to politely decline! It’s totally okay to schedule in some white space into your calendar (in fact we recommend it!).
- Team up with friends.
Can you cook in bulk and trade meals, or share gift ideas or split the shopping trips? Perhaps you can trade last year’s decorations with a friend to score a cost-effective refresh? Can you plan in some me-time where you share babysitting? How can you leverage your community to make this time easier and much more fun for everyone?