Christmas can be a wonderful time of year but it can also be a particularly stressful one, with all sorts of unexpected pressures. Here are three things I will be practising to help myself (and everyone around me!) stay happy and contented this festive season.
1. Taking a stretch
The more stressed you are, the more your body will tense naturally. Stop right now and notice your jaw – is it a little clenched? Your shoulders – do they feel tense? If so, take a few minutes to move around. Do some shoulder rolls, massage your temples, reach your arms overhead and take a big stretch. You’ll feel more energised and relaxed in no time.
2. Trying to live in the moment
The idea here is to focus on what it is you’re doing, whether you’re cooking Christmas lunch or doing the washing up! Try and enjoy the smell of freshly roasted potatoes as you cook, or the feeling of the water on your hands while washing the pots and pans.
3. Pausing and taking a breath
Taking time to breathe consciously is my top tip for a happy Christmas 2014! Stop what you are doing for a moment, shut your eyes and place a hand on your belly, just below the navel. Take a deep, steady inhalation through your nose followed by a long, smooth exhalation through your nose (exhale through your mouth if this is difficult). You should feel less anxious and ready to approach the next festive activity!
Enjoy! And have a truly Happy Christmas!