Christmas can be the most magical time of the year. It can also, as we all know, be stressful, overwhelming and something that people absolutely dread.
We know that we women have a tendency to take on a little too much and Christmas often throws another dozen balls into our over-capacity juggling act!
So the question is, how do we not just survive the Christmas season...but actually ensure that we ENJOY it?
We usually spend so much time at this time of year worrying about whether everyone else is having a good time...and this year it's important to make sure that we have fun too!
So here are ten top tips for making your Christmas as magical as everyone else's:
1. Make time for you
I can hear the protests already! "I don't have time to do everything I'm supposed to do, how am I supposed to find even more time for me?!" The answer is very simple...you can't afford not to. In order to stay in your feminine and enjoy the season you need to make sure that your needs are being met so that you can continue to give to everyone else and make their Christmas wishes come true. Now we're not talking about finding time for a fortnight in Bali (as nice as that would be!)...it's just a case of finding a small pocket of time every day (yes, every day!) over the Christmas period to do something just for you. It could be a simple 10 minute walk to get a bit of fresh air, clear your head and get some space. It could be a 20 minute bubble bath to relax you and let the business of the day melt away. It could even be to find 10 minutes to go to your room, shut out the world and dance full out to a bit of Gaga on your ipod! It could be anything...but try and find at least 10 minutes every day which is just for you...your little Christmas gift to yourself.
Plan ahead. If you know ahead of time what you want to do and when you want to do it, it saves you needing to work it out as you go along...which is the bit that normally gets us a little frazzled! It's all the little "Now what do I need to do next?!" moments that tend to increase our stress levels, but if we plan ahead these become completely and totally redundant. The other thing is to do as much of the 'stuff' that needs doing as far in advance as possible. If you can get the pressies wrapped a week in advance, great. If you can prepare the veg the day before and leave them in bowls of water overnight (or even better buy them pre-prepared!), fantastic. You could also set the table the evening before. Anything that you can do to reduce your list of jobs for the actual day gets a big thumbs up!
3. Don't try and do everything
I know, I know. This isn't the way we're used to operating. But trust me, when I tell you that you're going to enjoy this a whole lot more...
The "Don't try and do everything" tip has two parts to it. The first is to realise that there's probably a lot of things that you think are absolutely essential for a fantastic Christmas... that probably aren't actually very important at all. A perfect Christmas is one in which everyone has a good time together...not one where all trimmings are perfectly executed, but where you end up stressed out, completely fried and balled up in a corner somewhere hugging a bottle of Pinot Grigio. Trust me when I tell you that the people around you would much prefer you to be relaxed and enjoying yourself than running around trying to create the illusion that is the 'perfect Christmas'. If you find yourself getting stressed and overwhelmed, stop, take a deep breath, count to 10 and ask yourself the question "What's really important?"
The second part of this tip is to delegate. No, I'm not suggesting that you provide each member of the family with a list of their responsibilities along with their milestones, expectations and delivery times. But I am saying that it's ok to get everyone else to help out and muck in. Even better, if you've got kids around you can make it fun, make it a game, let them feel like one of the 'grown ups' by being given a job to do!
Over the festive season we have a tendency to...um...overindulge somewhat. There's nothing wrong with a little overindulgence from time to time, but there are a couple of things that you can do to ensure that on boxing day you don't wake up feeling like you've had rudolf, the rest of the reindeer and the elves having an impromptu party in your head! The main one is to rehydrate. We often have a tipple or two as part of our celebrations, which can leave us feeling hugely dehydrated (as well as making the ornaments on the Christmas tree appear a little fuzzy!) In order to combat the Boxing Day Blues, try to balance the alcohol intake with regular doses of good old H2O...your liver and your head will both thank you for it!
5. Smile :)
I know it sounds so simple, but remember to keep a smile on your face throughout the Christmas season. Smiling is far more powerful than most people realise. When you smile it sends a chemical message known as an endorphin throughout your whole body. Endorphins are a 'feel good' chemical which can spread the Christmas spirit from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Although most people have heard of endorphins, they don't know just how strong they are. They have the ability to reduce physical pain and emotional pain and will fill you up with lovely warm fuzzy feelings! They have approximately the same strength as another well known chemical called morphine (yes, really!)...all that feel good power just from a simple smile! These fantastic fuzzy feelings will help you to stay open and in touch with your positive emotions, keeping you feeling fabulously feminine as well. So remember to keep a smile on your face...and you're in for an instant feel good boost (no alcohol required!) :D
Watch this space to find out the rest of the 5 remaining tips for a fantastic feminine festive season!