Are you looking forward to Christmas, the joy of a family get together, opening presents, sharing food, laughing over silly games and tumbling into bed pleasantly exhausted, looking forward to doing it all over again on Boxing Day? Or is your experience of Christmas slightly different, family tensions, too much food and physical and mental exhaustion leaving you feeling as if you want to stay in bed on Boxing Day?!
Here are some of my ideas on how to make the most of what can be a very enjoyable few days!
1) Ensure you get plenty of sleep in the week before Christmas. Lack of sleep has a big impact on our ability to cope with additional stresses and you will be far more likely to be able to deal with problems, if they arise, if you’ve topped up your quota of sleep in the preceding days.
2) 7/11 breathing, a great way to reduce levels of anxiety. Breath in to the count of 7 and out to the count of 11, when you breath out for longer than you breath in, your body can’t help but relax.
3) If you’re concerned about getting along with others, decide your strategy before the event. Avoid triggering arguments or starting conversations to get ‘a reaction’! If you get bored easily, plan ways to keep yourself entertained, knowing this is just one day in the year and you’re probably giving lots of pleasure to other family members just by being there!
4) Limit your alcohol intake! Most of us enjoy a drink at Christmas, but take it easy! As well as reducing inhibitions, too much alcohol also reduces you tolerance levels, making it more difficult to get along with those family members perhaps you don’t see eye to eye with!
5) Distract yourself and others with activities, get everyone playing a game, put together your nephews mecano with him, offer to wash up after the meal if you need a bit of ‘down’ time! Get everyone out for a walk to work off that Christmas meal and fresh air has a wonderful way of blowing the mental cobwebs away!
6) One of my own key strategies is to enjoy each moment, knowing that I create my own happiness. Don’t expect others to entertain you or make you happy, do whatever you need to do to enjoy that one special day in the year and you could be surprised at how keen you are to get up and do it all over again on Boxing Day!