It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but also one of the most stressful, so it’s more important than ever to take a little time for yourself and practise a more mindful approach to the season. We’ve put together this list of simple steps that you can take to be a little bit more mindful this holiday, so take a read and find out how you can make Christmas that little bit smoother.
1. Manage your expectations
It’s so easy to get sucked in by Christmas ads, the idyllic concept of stockings on the fireplace and a perfectly cooked supermarket magazine-style dinner. Of course, it’s easier said than done, but to avoid falling into a pit of comparing and idealising, it’s essential to understand that your Christmas is your Christmas, no matter how it looks! Take time to reflect on the positives and find happiness in the smaller elements.
2. Know when to switch off
There’s a few things that you should be conscious of switching off during the festive season – social media and your Christmas lights. To avoid comparing yourself, knowing when to remove yourself from your phone or laptop is essential. It’s so much fun to scroll and like all the photos of Christmas trees, food and presents, but be mindful of putting social media down every once in a while. As for the Christmas lights, did you know that exposure to bright lights can leave you overstimulated and unable to relax? Make sure you turn off your lights 30 minutes before bedtime to make sure that your brain starts to wind down.
3. Craft for something other than Christmas
During this time of the year, it’s difficult to stop Christmas from consuming every part of your life, but if crafting is your hobby, try crafting for a reason other than Christmas. Just do it for the love of it! You could even take up a new craft or find one that is ideal for stress relief – we recommend embroidery or cross stitch. As these crafts require patience and small movements, they’re ideal for their calming effects.
4. Festive food for thought
We know it’s easier said than done, but try to avoid the supermarkets during the Christmas period. Food that is just as lovely and fresher can be found in farm shops, at markets or independent stores, which will be much less busy and chaotic than big chain supermarkets. Buying from smaller suppliers will also make the big day feel a whole lot more special!
5. Bring a touch of nature into the home
At this time of the year, there are so many beautiful decoration and ornament choices to fill your home with cheer, but a way of going against the grain is to head out on a walk and forage for natural elements. You can use these to create wreaths or homemade festive flower arrangements! This is a great way to get some fresh air and focus on something creative, rather than buying into commercialism.
6. Find quiet time to recharge
Taking time away from the hustle and bustle is key for this time of year because it’s so easy to get swept up in it all. But even the most avid of extroverts needs a little time alone to recharge their batteries, so much sure you set aside a little time to find a comfy spot, do some reading or crafting, and enjoy a nice warm drink. Hot chocolate is ideal for this time of the year!
7. Make to-do lists and stick to them
On an evening, list out everything that you need to do the next day and be reasonable about the tasks you’re undertaking. You don’t want to do too many big jobs all in one go, so break them down into smaller bite-sized pieces. It can also be helpful to list times for each of these tasks – that way, you’ll be able to schedule in your recharge time as mentioned in the point above. Having your whole day laid out ahead of you means that you’ll be able to see what you’ve got planned and feel a sense of gratification when you tick things off.
8. Treat yourself, you deserve it
While Christmas is the season of giving, it’s important to give back to yourself too. You could purchase yourself a little gift in a ‘to me, from me’ style or let go of any food-related worries and let yourself eat a mince pie that you’ve been saving for the day. As long as you’re mindful about how much you’re treating yourself, you’ll have nothing to worry about.
Even if you take just a couple of these pointers on board, we’re sure that you’ll have a smoother, more relaxed Christmas! If you’ve got any other mindful Christmas tips, let us know on Facebook UK, Facebook USA, Twitter, Instagram UK, Instagram US, Pinterest UK or Pinterest US using the hashtag #crafterscompanion.