5 tips for a mindful Christmas

It's the most wonderful time of the year......

For some people it is, but it can also be a time that can take over your life with endless to-do lists and nagging thoughts that steal away your happiness. So how do we make sure that doesn't happen?

Here are 5 things you can do:

1. Be mindful of your time

Have your ever checked how many hours you spend on all your Christmas to-do's? Most people say they do more then they would actually want to do. So where does that go wrong?

Maybe you're time-positive, which means you always think things take less time then they actually do.

Maybe you are saying yes too much and end up with more then you can handle.

Maybe you get so enthusiastic that you just take on too much.

If any of these apply to you, then it's time to make some changes.

You and no one else is responsible for how much time you spend preparing for Christmas. And if you say yes to something you didn't really want to do, all you end up with is resentment. And we don't need any of that, because that negativity will cost you a lot of energy, which you can use for other things right now.

What you can do?

- Ask for help. The person who can help might not be able to do things fully up to your standards, but at least it's off your plate. (If you struggle with this, read the next tip)

- Take a shortcut. Do those cookies really have to be home made and does the wrapping have to be perfect? Settle for 'good enough' and save yourself some time to relax.

- Say 'no' and stick to it. Don't let yourself be guilt-tripped into doing things you really don't see the value in. Your time is important and you decide what you do with it.

2. Be mindful of your priorities

Are you trying to create the 'perfect Christmas'? Then you might have been watching too many movies. It's all very beautiful and romantic, but it just isn't real life.

There is this fairy tale picture of what Christmas is supposed to be, and if yours doesn't fit that perfect picture then it seems like you have somehow failed or there is something wrong with you. This is simply not true.

I dare you to have your own, perfectly flawed and unconventional Christmas celebration. To fail to meet expectations and be a lot more honest about what is important to you in these days. We don't have to impress anyone or try to keep up this idea that we can do it all. We are messy people with messy lives and that's okay.

3. Be mindful of your spending

Do you know how much you spend on your Christmas celebrations? Do you have a budget? Do you stick to it?

Any celebration can secretly cost a lot more then we originally had in mind. But dare I say....it's just Christmas. Yes, it is wonderful to spend time together, have decorations, presents, nice food, but all of that doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg. Christmas isn't worth getting into financial struggles over. Ask yourself, what is the real value of these Christmas days?

4. Be mindful of others

Most of us spend time with friends and/or family over Christmas. Quality time that we don't often have in our busy lives. They say the best present we can give is our presence and this is a wonderful opportunity to do just that. A lot of people say that what they are missing in their lives is real connection. We can use these Christmas days to draw closer to each other and give people that human connection that they are craving.

We can also be of support to people who are feeling the loss of a loved one at Christmas. Let them know that we are thinking of them and are here for them. Christmas isn't easy for everyone, but we can be the light in someone else's darkness.

5. Be mindful of you

How are you holding up? Check in with yourself and make self-care a priority in these busy times. Moments in which you put down the to-do list and spend some time doing what you love doing. Sometimes we just need to 'check out' for a bit, so we can return to things with renewed energy. If you don't have a lot of time to relax, then check out this article that I wrote. It might help.

I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a wonderful 2019.

#mindfulness #christmas

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