This time of year can be overwhelming, whether you love the festivities or not, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s seven realistic ways to stay calm over Christmas
Christmas doesn’t have to come over you like a tidal wave. Give yourself the space to make choices for the kind of festivities that works for you.
It mightn’t be the first thing that occurs to you, but Christmas is an ideal time to practice balance. This time of year simultaneously pulls us in opposite directions. An outward pull of lights and parties and an inner pull towards rest and hibernation at this, the darkest part of the year.
A welcome by-product of a Big Fat Irish Christmas is that the time between Christmas and New Year’s is pretty dead. Those inboxes finally go quiet for a few days. Find the balance that fits you between enjoying the festivities and getting a chance to rest and recharge.
A little party never killed nobody. Seriously. Do your best with the basics of nutrition, hydration, sleep and movement, then enjoy the things you like and save the guilt. Maybe some of your socialising can incorporate keeping active? Use your time off to take a hike with friends or family. Try that sea swim. You might even like it!
Know your limits
Prioritise the events and gatherings that matter to you and be realistic with yourself about how much you can do this month. It’s easier to turn things down well in advance than at the last minute.
That also applies to setting your financial limits. Planning your spending avoids the headache of a massive credit card bill in January and helps you to stay on track when confronted by festive temptation.
Do it your way
Yes, Christmas is a time of tradition but it doesn’t mean that you have to rinse and repeat the same routine every year. If 12 pubs isn’t your scene, find other events that truly appeal to you. Every tradition started somewhere.
Keep it real
Be conscious of your social media consumption and how it affects you. Remember that most of what’s on Instagram is a lie anyway. Beyond the filters, turkeys get overcooked, families argue, we forget to buy batteries, Santa mixes toys up and candles are left in dangerous places. How about we all post some of our outtakes this year instead?
Be compassionate with yourself
For loads of reasons Christmas might not be your thing. Or maybe this year will be especially hard. That’s okay. Be compassionate with yourself. Think in advance of things you like to do. Be open with the people close to you about how you feel. If you need more support connect with relevant organisations or professionals.
Be mindful of those around you and make an effort to check in with those you know who’ve had a tough year or don’t love Christmas.
Make someone’s day
On kindness, it’s a great thing to practice all year round but especially at Christmas. If there’s a cause you believe in it’s a good time to act on your intentions, whether that’s financially or practically. Be conscious of all the people who work hardest at this time of year and treat them with kindness.
Gráinne Conroy is a yoga and barre teacher. She holds degrees in Business and Psychology and a has background in business, and in arts education. More information is available here