As we head towards the busiest month of the year, I am craving some slow moments. Yes I love the festive period, I’m definitely a big Christmas fan. But, most years I have such a busy December, full of parties and activities that I arrive at New Year feeling burnt out and ill. Most new years start for me with flu and I’m determined to not let that happen this year, especially as my baby boy isn’t sleeping through the night yet.
Is it possible to have a wonderful Christmas time without the rushing, the busyness and stress?
I’ll be following the following steps in order to create myself a slow December. Could you do the same?
CREATE SOME RITUALS
Can you identify an activity that makes you apply the brakes? For me thats Yoga and reading and I plan to do lots of it in Winter. Perhaps you like knitting, colouring or walking, whatever it is, do it often.
GET SOME FRESH AIR
Fresh air is a well known stress reliever and often in Winter we can stay inside all day. Try and get out every day if you can for a short walk, head to the park with the kids or just walk to the shop (or pub). Kids are never bothered by the weather if they have the right clothes on so be inspired by your children and don’t hibernate.
Multi tasking used to be celebrated but I feel like those days are well over from a work and a home point of view. Do one thing at a time and do it well. If you are working then work, don’t try and keep the kids entertained. Or play with your kids, without having your phone in your hand. Slow down and appreciate the moment.
Deep breathing really helps to relieve stress. If you find yourself tired or anxious with the busyness then find some time out for some long, slow breaths. They will slow your heartbeat and stabilise your blood pressure by getting all that lovely oxygen and energy into your body.
PLAN IN NO ACTIVITY TIME
Don’t feel like you have to fill every minute with an activity with your kids. I like to leave a morning or an afternoon free and have nothing planned. To let the kids play at home, let them work out what to do with their time and have some relaxation time of their own. A bit of downtime for everyone is so beneficial.
MONITOR YOUR SCREEN TIME
I’ve really started being more mindful of using my phone and I’ve given myself certain times of the day when I will look at it. I know Instagram isn’t real life and I’m really tired of the comparison and unreal-ness of it sometimes. I’ve been doing a switch off Saturday for a couple of months now, and it often runs into Sunday and I can honestly say I feel so much better for it. Don’t use your time to scroll and compare other people’s Christmas time to yours, it likely isn’t real and comparison really is the thief of joy.
Some meal planning and prepping can go a long way in helping you slow down on a daily basis. You won’t need to spend hours on end in the supermarket for a start. While you are at it eat slower, saviour the taste of what you are eating and don’t have a meal on the run if you can help it. Take your lunch breaks, its an hour of me time every day to eat and rest.
SLEEP IS SELF CARE
December can often be tiring so make sure you actually prioritise your own sleep. With my baby not sleeping through the night yet, I really know how important this is. Don’t fill every afternoon with activities and ensure you can get the odd nap in to catch up on sleep. I manage a sleep every Tuesday, #tuesdaysnoozeday I call it. I can often bribe my preschooler into a nap also so manage around 3-4 naps a week at the moment. It really helps your mindset to know you will catch up on some sleep when feeling deathly tired.
MEDITATE EVERY DAY
I’m a big fan of the Calm app and finding 10 minutes a day to have a quiet moment isn’t difficult. Even on the busiest days you can find 10 minutes when the kids go to bed, before they work, during nap time or in a work meeting room (or loo). Headphones in, close your eyes and enjoy a welcome pause in your day. Through regular practice you can become more mindful in everything you do.
I read this somewhere and I thought what a great tip to help a slow December! The roads can be so busy during the festive period, with lots of people rushing to get somewhere. Realistically though, going too fast really only gets you there a few minutes quicker and it’s obviously more dangerous. So slowdown, don’t get raged, play some calming music and use your time at traffic lights to do some pelvic floor exercises!
LET GO OF PERFECTIONISM
As a recovering perfectionist I know how hard it is to let go of control but we must do it for our own sanity. Accept that you don’t have to do everything, let your partner pick up some of the slack and accept help even if you don’t like to do it. Learn to say no. Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful and you’ll have the best time if you focus on people rather than things and activities.
A merry Christmas and a peaceful new year to you x