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Mindfulness to overcome the madness of the Festive Season

What do you love about Christmas (or the festive season) and how different is it from when you were a young whipper snapper?

Probably the only thing I truly love these days is drinking the Sherry and Bailey’s (we are very generous in our house) that is left out for the Big Man in the red suit and placing the stocking on the beds of my two boys. This is only because I know everything possible has been done, no more shopping can be done before Mr Claus arrives in the middle of the night, to take the glory of all my hard work, and I can finally get some sleep before the ridiculously early morning starts.

With a teenager and pre-teen in the house I’m hoping for some sleep this year (they sleep plenty under normal circumstances). Previous years, I swear I’ve slept for less than 30 minutes between finalising everything and being awoken from slumber to excited shouts of, “has he been yet?”.

So, "Sanda Paus", as me and Paul are known throughout the year by the boys, are starting to get sorted. I was inspired to get into the spirit when I saw the beautiful tree at work going up this week and hearing that many of my friends are all but finished their shopping (aaargh). I’ve finally conceded to pull my finger out – even though it feels way too early.

As I start the mammoth task, I already need a break - so here comes some mindfulness tips.

This led me to reminisce about my childhood Christmas’s and how magical it was. Who knew then that the, “… goose was getting fat” … to be eaten? I had an innocent belief the “goose” was getting fat because it was enjoying all the treats and preparing for a lovely Christmas with its family and little geese babies (yes, I know they are called goslings – but goslings make me think of gooseberries, which I don’t like). And I thought the, "old man" was rich if he got a penny (crikey, showing my age now).

So, as we head at speed towards December, those special trees are being carefully brought out of lofts all over the land ready to dust off and decorate. Real trees are being erected on roundabouts with council workers digging deep to overcome high winds and using their “creative” skills to make them look pretty, in various stages of success (note to said council workers: lights should go around the tree, not up and down it!).

Pretty lights are being unraveled (good luck with that one).

Chocolates are being bought to be kept for Christmas (good luck with one too).

25% off 6 bottles of wine offers are in the shops to entice us to buy and keep for Christmas (double good luck with that one too).

The festivities also make me think of the first argument me and Mr Therapy (oops Mr T) had about whether Antler’s were “Ankler’s” (Paul’s belief) or Antlers (clever me). Oh, how I laughed, and I remind him of this every year.

On a more serious note, Christmas can be difficult for so many. My own children struggle at this time of year, as do so many. I struggle at times as I remember all the wonderful people I had in my life once, but sadly lost along the way. So, as we get lost in the madness of preparation, take some time out for you – self-kindness, self-care, self-compassion. Also, take some time out to be kind in general.

Kindness is a present we can afford to give and being kind releases helpful hormones like Oxytocin, the feel-good hormone, and Serotonin, the happiness hormone. Kindness decreases stress and helps us to connect and keep things in perspective.

Here’s to the best festive season and Christmas we can manage this year and if all else fails you can book up for my post-Christmas and Winter Blue Relaxation Sessions Festive Relaxation & Rewind | SCT Therapy xxx.

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