How to Enjoy Christmas: 5 Tips for Busy Mums
It’s officially less than one week until Christmas Day. Anyone freaking out? I’ve been consuming mass amounts of coffee and reading/listening to everything about having a minimalist/peaceful/slow/mindful holiday season. It has worked well up until this week, where I’ve suddenly realised that there actually are a lot of things to do, and the 25th is getting closer and closer. So, with that in mind, here are the five things I will be doing this week to stay calm and get through this week with a smile.
1. Let go of personal/professional goals for the week. I’m accepting that a break for a week or two over Xmas is not a big deal. Most people are too busy with their own Xmas prep to worry about whether or not I’ve posted a blog, or updated Instagram, or posted a Facebook ad. This week, everyone is focused on themselves. They’re not watching to see what I’m doing. So I’m giving myself permission to take half the things off my to-do list.
2. Exercising and eating well. We all love to enjoy special foods and drinks over the festive season, and I am a strong believer in this. However, I want to feel good over Xmas too, and feel nice in photos, and have lots of energy. So while I’m enjoying special treats, I’m keeping my portion sizes super small and making sure I go for lots of walks and play with the kids outside. The fresh air and quiet time of my morning/afternoon walks is a real re-energiser too, which is exactly what I need to get through this week.
3. Not procrastinating. As dumb as that sounds, when I’m super busy I often want to leave things till the last minute. I’ll spend all day worrying about how busy I am, and then only attempt to do things as late as possible. This week, I’m changing that. I’m getting in and doing things as soon as I can, to spread my jobs out over the week instead of letting them pile up until Christmas Eve. Anything that can be done earlier, is being done earlier.
4. Saying positive affirmations regularly. Every morning when I wake up, I am saying a few things out loud. “I am so happy and full of energy.” “Today will be fun.” “I enjoy Christmas.” “I’m a good mum.” Etc. They are specifically chosen to counter the negative thoughts I tend to think, so pick some that are the ideal of how you want to feel. This small trick has given me so much more energy and patience, and I find the busyness isn’t stressing me out anymore. It’s all part of the Christmas ‘fun’.
5. Accept other people’s wishes. I know many of us busy mums like to have things go exactly our way. We want our kids to receive certain gifts from relatives, we want our spouses to do certain jobs, we want the day to run a certain way. I’ve realised the more I want things to be in accordance with my will, the more psycho and anxious I get about things. Instead, I’ve begun adopting the mantra, ‘it’s their Christmas too’. If they want to do things differently, that’s okay. I’ll just do my things, and I will let others do as they wish. So far, it’s been a big relief to be able to relax about things. Remember, Christmas is for everyone, not just you or your kids.
As a little side note, if you’re the sort of mama who instead of trying to control things, ends up trying to do everything to keep all your friends and family happy, then your number 5 tip is this: Say no, gracefully, where you know you need to. Let others manage their own expectations, and stick to what is a happier and more peaceful pace for you and your family. Choose things that will help you to all have special memories, not stressful ones. If people are disappo inted, they will soon forget amongst everything else that is going on!
So far I am enjoying this Christmas season so much more than the last couple years. These five little tricks seem to be making a huge difference. I hope they will for you too.
Merry Christmas everyone! Enjoy the prep and planning, and all the unavoidable to-dos, as all these things will be part of your Christmas memories for 2017.