Well, hello, it has been a while! It’s so hard to get back into blogging after taking a break but I’m jumping in here with a post about festive overwhelm. It may be the most wonderful time of the year but it often brings with it a gigantic To Do list, expectations to manage, social and financial pressures against a backdrop of winter illnesses and end of year / term pressures.
I’m feeling unusually calm this year. I have tried to be organised which probably helps but I think I’ve also let go of lots of pressures that I would have put upon myself in previous years. If you are feeling the pressure then here are 5 ideas to get you back to a place of festive calm.
1) Write a list. If you are struggling under a mountain of things you have to do then start by grabbing a cup of tea (or whatever) and writing a list. I find even just the act of writing a list cathartic if I am panicking. Then do yourself a massive favour and cross off anything that absolutely doesn’t need to be done before Christmas or what you can delegate. Then work out when you can do the things on your list and tackle the things you dislike doing first – you will feel so much better for getting them done.
2) Don’t feel bad about turning down social invites. It’s lovely to socialise at this time of year but having a packed diary (or having to do multiple bedtimes solo as my husband is out) feels me with dread. I’ve always found it odd that you might rush around trying to see family and friends in November and December then have an empty diary for January. Much better to spread things out I think!
3) Keep things simple, don’t feel like you have to do it all. When I was a child Christmas outings were school parties, a trip to a department store Grotto plus an evening at a Pantomime. These days there are so many more options – local attractions all seem to have Christmas themed activities, light shows, plays, ballets, markets, festive steam train rides, ice skating etc. I definitely find the choice overwhelming and try to limit activities as my kids are tired too. When I talk to them about things they want to do at Christmas, simple pleasures like baking, Christmas films and walking round the neighbourhood to see peoples lights feature on their list.
4) Have the sort of Christmas you / your family want and don’t compare it to others. I like baking and making things at any time of year but especially at Christmas. That would be someone else’s ideas of a bad time I am sure. I don’t like the idea of ice skating and I’m not a fan of Christmas markets but I’m sure that is someone else’s idea of a great time. Also, be mindful that social media never tells the whole story so don’t look at other’s Instagram and Facebook posts and think that they are having a much better time than you. Remember, you see their highlights not the whole picture.
4) Look after yourself. All of this busyness, cold weather, rich food and drink, late nights and winter illnesses puts your body under a lot of stress. Get as many early nights, glasses of water, fruit and vegetables as you possibly can so you can enjoy Christmas when it gets here!
I hope you have a great Christmas and thanks for reading. I’m planning to be back with more regular posts in 2018, though I am posting regularly on Instagram so please follow me there if you would like to see more of my Christmas plans and activities.