So in my last article we started to look at the 10 top tips for surviving Christmas the feminine way...or as I like to think of it, 10 tips for a fabulously feminine festive season! :)
We looked at making time for you, preparing, not trying to do everything, rehydrating and smiling as our starter...and now we're moving onto our main course (complete with roast potatoes and all the trimmings!) and dessert...
6. The four Rs - Rest, Relax, Recharge and Reward!
When time gets short, us ladies sometimes decide that to create more of it we will simply stay up later, get up earlier or worse...both! When you have a lot to do, it's even more important to make sure that you get plenty of rest to ensure that you have the energy to do what you want to do during the day. Making sure that you get enough sleep is crucial to you being able to enjoy the Christmas season. Also, take some time during the day to have a bit of a break. Make sure that you take at least 15 minutes every couple of hours to just sit, relax and recharge your batteries before doing something else.
In addition, be sure to acknowledge and reward yourself when you've done something or ticked a job off your list. It's important to appreciate just how much you are doing and take a moment to give yourself a pat on the back (or a little treat) to congratulate yourself before you move onto the next. Those little moments are a perfect chance to stop and have a little relax to reward yourself for a job well done (and smile to get that boost of feel good chemicals and enjoy the process!)
7. Create your own Christmas magic
Now this is not something that I've ever struggled with, but sometimes being an adult can take some of the fun out of Christmas. The money, the pressure to get the perfect presents bought, wrapped and delivered in time, getting all the food (and trying not to consume too much of it!)...it can create a lot of stress and take a lot of effort. So the best way to keep connected with your femininity over the festive season is to reconnect with your inner child. Bring back the fun, playful elements that you loved from Christmas when you were younger. Take time every day to indulge this side of you. Be a big kid, take time to laugh, dance, tell silly jokes, throw a snowball...or even better build a snowman or snow angels. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I revert to a virtual 5 year old, every time the topic of Christmas comes up, and come December 25th grown up tendencies are nowhere to be seen...as is demonstrated with our family's annual 'snowball' fight with balled up pieces of discarded wrapping paper! So find something that will feed your inner child (and I don't mean mince pies!) and let them have a bit of fun! :D
8. Fresh Air
It's all too easy over Christmas to enter the "Christmas bubble" at whatever location you are celebrating on December 24th and not see the outside world again until the 27th or beyond. We get into that warm space that's filled with presents, wine, food, wine, celebrations, wine (...you get the idea!) and it's easy to forget for a couple of days that the outside world exists. This can sometimes be a good thing. Sometimes it can be a little bit too much for us...especially when you add hyperactive children and family members into the mix. Emotions run high in the holiday season, both positive and negative, and when you add into the mix an excess of food and drink it can sometimes lead to a little bit of overwhelm. In order to break this pattern and step out of the bubble (for the sake of sanity, and staying connected to your feminine!) remember to take the time to get a little fresh air every now and again. You could nip out for a short walk, or even just step out into the garden for a few minutes (with a scarf and appropriate attire) to get a little head space, to breathe and just enjoy the fresh air for a bit.
9. Be present
When I say be present, I don't mean to cover yourself up in reels of wrapping paper, topping off with a big bow and a label saying "Love Santa". This is all about actually taking the time to stop and enjoy the moment that you are in. Being present to what is happening around you. Taking it all in and appreciating it. So many of us have a continuous dialogue in our heads of "30 minutes till the potatoes need to go on, still have to peel the carrots, oh and where did I put those crackers for the table...etc..etc.." or something to that effect. With all of that distracting our mind, is it any wonder that boxing day arrives and Christmas seems to have passed in a blur, with all of the details seeming a bit fuzzy around the edges? Now, while one too many festive drinkies could be partially to blame for the lack of festive recollection and the day seeming to disappear in the blink of an eye, it's not the whole story. Not being present in the moment is a major factor in us actually missing the best of the big day, because we are focusing on what we have done / haven't done / should have done / should be doing / need to do next. So remember on the big day to recognise the moments which you would like to really appreciate, be present in and remember long into the New Year. When you find them to bring yourself completely into the moment to enjoy them, put the voices in your head on mute (just for a short while, you can un-mute them later if you want to). At these moments focus on your senses, hear everything that is being said, see all the vivid colours and facial expressions of those around you, focus on how you feel and take a little mental picture of the moment that you can bring to mind any time you like....you'll have a full album by the New Year! :)
As any of you who read my "Attitude of Gratitude" blog post will know, gratitude is they key to neutralising negative emotions virtually instantly. It is physically impossible to feel fear and gratitude simultaneously. Likewise, it's impossible to feel anger and gratitude at the same time. The same goes for unhappiness. Gratitude is so powerful, and is something that we need to make an integral part of our Christmas celebrations. We all have so much to be thankful for, regardless of our individual circumstances. There is always someone who would wish to be in our shoes for one reason or another (and no, not just because they're a beautiful pair of festive heels!) If the belts are a little tight this Christmas, remember that half of the world, over 3 Billion people live on less than $2 a day. If you get caught with the winter sniffles this year, remember the health problems that others are suffering which are so much worse. If you have a family spat...think of those people who would give anything to have their family member back with them for one more Christmas. You always have something to be grateful for...health, friends, family, the ability to smile...the list is unlimited.
So take a moment, or several, this Christmas to feel grateful for all of the wonderful things in your life that you are thankful for.
...and if you feel moved to do so, you could do something which someone else could be grateful for. You could donate to a charity, you could do something kind for a stranger, it doesn't have to be anything big or cost any money...just doing something nice for someone else because you can. If the person who you do this for would like to pay you back...just ask them to "Pay it Forward" and do something nice for someone else. The Pay It Forward Day website has loads of ideas for things that you can do for others - get creative this Christmas and spread the Gratitude!
So there you have it, our 10 top tips for a fabulously feminine festive season. I wish each and every one of you a Christmas season full of fun, laughter and love.