Mindfulness can be difficult at Christmas. The Happiest Day of the Year can be slightly chaotic at best, and an absolute nightmare at worst. Tensions can run high if you’re spending the day with family, and it can be even worse for those spending the holidays alone. No matter what tomorrow brings, here’s a few tips to get through the day intact.
Congratulations, you did it! You’ve almost made it through the year. Christmas Eve is upon us, and whatever happens across the next few days will come as it will. If you’re struggling to keep your head or maintain you personal boundaries this Christmas season, here’s a few tips to get through the day intact.
(And if you’re still stressing over your Christmas list, head here for a bumper list of sustainable gift ideas, or here for some great suggestions to help you come up with the perfect sustainable gift!)
Keep up your routines
Holidays can be a time when we let everything go – diets slip, exercise goes by the wayside, and self-care routines are abandoned. While a little bit of relaxation can be healthy, letting go of routines you’ve established to help you cope can have negative results on your mental health and mindfulness at Christmas. If you’ve got a practice that you rely on to keep you stable throughout the year, take some time to maintain it throughout the holidays, even if it’s in an abridged form. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably going to need an alarm to keep you on track, but the rewards will be worth it!
See the good in others
For most of us, there’s a family member or two that we don’t always mesh with. Add the tensions of Christmas to that relationship and the situation can escalate drastically, ending in high tension and hurt feelings. If you’re struggling to get along, take a moment to pause and consciously find something good about the other person (even if you have to get a little creative). Focus on the good point and resist the urge to dig that argument any deeper.
Christmas is a commercial cluster-f*ck. There’s no denying it. From the moment the Halloween cobwebs are put away (and sometimes before), we’re force-fed the image of the shiny, picture perfect, happy families Christmas like a foie-gras goose (ew). The pressure to provide the mountain of artfully wrapped presents, the perfect roast, and the timeless happy memories can be overwhelming, so take a moment before the day starts to relieve yourself of any unfair expectations for the day. After all, you don’t have a crew of professionals there to help out, and I can guarantee that team of actors in the holiday movie aren’t doing it on their own.
Take time for yourself
Some people thrive on company, and some people…do not. If interacting with others can be draining, make sure to step out for a moment every now and again to keep those batteries charged- even if it’s just to the bathroom! An app like Headspace can be useful for a super-quick meditation if it’s all getting a bit much, but even a few breaths away from the hustle can be enough to keep the day enjoyable.
Embrace your emotions
Like I said, Christmas can be overwhelming and for some people, emotionally fraught. No matter if the emotions that arise are positive or negative, taking time to experience them rather than trying to squish them down can help get through the day. As someone who has already cried twice today- this can be embarrassing, but it’s going to serve you better in the long run that trying to maintain a picture-perfect
Be kind to yourself
Above all else, be kind to yourself. The end of the year can come with a lot of emotional baggage, no matter who you are. Never forget that at the end of it all, Christmas is just one day in a year that’s been full of them. Be kind to yourself and understanding of those around you. Be a rebel, and enjoy a Christmas day that makes you happy. I’ll see you on the other side!