I was an adult when I experienced my first real Christmas. It was spent with my new boyfriend (now fiancé) at home with his family. I was blown away both by how absolutely awesome it was and how much work went into making Christmas Day a wonderful family experience. That Christmas still remains my favourite Christmas experience.
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, any other cultural or religious day or whether you celebrate nothing at all, the holiday period is a great opportunity to take a break and embrace time with the ones you love. What dampens the holiday spirit more than anything though is that every year it starts earlier, seems to be getting bigger, more expensive and comes with more pressure to deliver “the best holidays ever.” If you’re introverted or the organiser in your household, the holidays can me a monumental anxiety builder.
I’m not typically much of a “should” person but this year I’ve come up with 5 “must do’s” to ensure that you thrive this holiday season.
I was recently looking through the photos and videos on my computer and came across hours of video from my favourite gigs. I re-lived great moments from Slash, ACDC (at Donnington!). Fleetwood Mac and more. In all honesty, it was probably the first time I’d watched them back since the original gig and I probably spent more time focussed on trying to capture the moment than enjoying the moment.
The holidays are a time to let go of the phone. Not everything needs to be captured for later and in fact, even if you did, there’s a large chance that it’s only going to be locked in the endless scroll of photos on your phone anyway. Try leaving your phone behind and really enjoy the company, the moments and the food without the need to record it all. For the moments you just have to capture, if they’re good enough to be recorded then they’re good enough to be printed out and revisited.
Take a personal break
This one is particularly important if you’re an introvert. At this time of year we tend to bump up our social calendar and then spend the key days with our nearest and dearest. Did you know that on average it takes us just 4 hours of family time on Christmas Day before the first fight starts. Finding time for yourself is incredibly important as it increases our resilience and mental strength, reboots our brain and helps us unwind. It can also be incredibly important as a way to de-escalate any social anxiety we might find ourselves experiencing.
We say it every year but 2019 really has flown by. Regardless of that fact, we’ve all packed in a lot on those nearly 365 days. The holidays are a great time to have a year in review and to celebrate and show thanks for those moments that meant the most.
For added benefits and great feelings you could make this an opportunity to all share those moments you are most grateful for or you can capture them for the long term. My fiance and I have a jar of memories which we add to with moments that make us laugh, make us smile and make us count our blessings.
“Gratitude is the wine of the soul Go on, get drunk.”
This month is all about enjoying the finer things in life. Having said that, it’s important to strike a balance. Keeping active throughout the festive season can help us keep our health on track and also mitigates any anxiety we might be having around our food choices. Of course there are a bunch of other great reasons to stay active in December so maintain those activities that you love, whether it be attending your favourite yoga class, getting out for a walk or a swim or sweating it out in your favourite HIIT class. The key here is to keep consistent.
Enjoy time with the ones you love
At the end of the day, what is this time of year all about if it’s not about reconnecting with the ones you love? Laugh, share, eat and create wonderful memories with those you’re closest to. You don’t need to spend a lot of money. We’re all busy these days so put everything else aside and give the gift of your time and most importantly, your undivided attention. One of the greatest gifts a summer Christmas down under gives us is the ability to get outdoors so if you’re feeling a little claustrophobic, go outside and play!
Lastly, take a moment also to consider those who find this time of year difficult. helping out those in need or spending time with those that don’t have family can provide positive benefits to the both of you.
Wishing you the most fabulous festive season however you do it.