As the festive season is now upon us, I have been noticing a swing in the emotions of many around me.

Clearly, this year has been the year of experiencing many more emotions, fear, panic, stress, etc, however, the festive season always brings on a whole range of emotions on its own too.

On one hand, there is a beautiful magical child-like range of emotions. Hearing the joyful music, seeing the lights and decorations everywhere. Many people with a spring in their step knowing a break from the day to day grind is on the horizon. 
Even for those with the most ‘grinchiest’ of mindsets about Christmas can’t deny there is beauty around with homes and businesses displaying happiness and twinkling lights!

On the other hand, there can be deep feelings too. 
Many will have lost or been separated from loved ones. Christmas songs can invoke memories that whilst usually happy, can have a mark of sadness as well. There are also some who are now split families and having to navigate two sets of traditions, and embracing new members of the family.

So how do we move forward through this season that can be so full of mixed emotions?

Here are 7 ideas to embrace: 

1. Become a merry memory for someone.

If you feel like you are starting to wallow in loneliness or overwhelm, reach out and help others in need.

This time of year there are plenty of places needing assistance, so you could volunteer at a community kitchen, at a homeless shelter, or even go and bring some cheer to the residents of your local nursing home. 




2. Bring ease to gift-giving with Children 

Ever since we started a special gift-giving tradition in our family it has made things so much easier. Our girls would write their special letters to Santa, not providing a list, but telling Santa what they love most at the moment. Santa would get ideas from that letter and send special surprises to them. Also, we have a conversation with them around

- Something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read”.

Whilst we told them they won’t get everything they pop in each section of the list, it gives us ideas on 4 special gifts we can get them along the lines of things they would like, instead of a gazillion gifts we aren’t sure they would like……(being a giving person there is nothing I like more than buying presents for people, so it helps also me control myself lol


3. Connect with nature.

Nature is a great healer - and so very grounding. So depending on where in the world you are - you could go and

- sit near the beach and listen to the waves,

- build a beautiful snowman,

- sit on the banks of a river, or

- go somewhere to watch the sunset, sunrise, or gaze at the moon. 



4. Understand it's okay to say NO 

Take time to enjoy what is happening around you and enjoy the little experiences that come along with the festive season.

If you can't make it to certain events, don't be afraid to say “no.” Take some time now to sit down and look through your calendar, mark out days you will be free, and then look at your invitations and prioritise them.

Think about how they align with you, your available time, and what you consider a non-negotiable.



5. Create a budget and stick to it.


Before you start your Christmas shopping, set a budget, create a list, and do some online research.

Often you can find similar, or even better prices online, and that means avoiding the crowds too!

Of course, there is fun being amongst it all, so consider making 2 lists, one with everything you can get online, and the second with those things you couldn’t...then go out find them, and spend the rest of that time enjoying the atmosphere!

Things to consider for your list are -

1) Who are you buying for this year?
2) How much can you afford to spend on each gift?
3) Who could you hand-make gifts for instead?

The key is - now you’ve created the budget - you need to stick to it!

6. Keep your weekly routine 

At this time, it is so easy to fall out of your routine - then incredibly difficult to get back into it. So maintain it!

Whilst it may be tempting to start having late-night dinners, sleeping-in the next day, skipping exercise, etc….these are all tricky to re-implement especially when you have children to start getting out of bed earlier by the time school goes back.

The easiest way to avoid the stress of getting back into your routine is to stick with ‘your normal’ as much as possible.


7. Keep your nourishment routine.

This is another routine that it is so so easy to fall out of - think about all the yummy Christmas treats around - yes I’ll admit we have already made 2 batches of rocky road this year…..(they were practice for gifts I promise….lol)….however sugar is addictive so try to limit the amount of sugary snacks, late-night eating, skipping of meals, overeating, etc., because as I mentioned earlier, it is tricky to get back into a routine again.

Most people indulge, and then on New Year's Eve make a resolution that they will stop eating sugar again…….how about you keep your healthy eating routine, and just have the occasional ‘treat’ for want of a better term, instead of creating resolutions that add pressure to your mindset - and then you feel guilty for not achieving anyway :)


How do you know you are suffering from holiday stress? 

According to research your body will tell you, however with the bus-y-ness of the season many of us just ignore the signs…... So here are some of the more common symptoms of stress:

- Headaches
- Trouble sleeping
- Fatigue
- Trouble focusing or concentrating
- Feelings of anxiety
- Mood swings
- Unexplained pain throughout the body
- Digestive difficulties
- Cold, sweaty palms
- Changes in appetite
- Clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth

When you start to notice these patterns - it’s time to ground yourself, re-focus on what truly is important, and relax. My favourite things to do for grounding are:

1) take off my shoes and walk along the grass,

2) hug a tree (yes! they are grounded in the earth so let them help you!), or

3) use a therapeutic grade essential oil. My absolute favorite is actually one called ‘Grounding’ by Young Living.

I hope you gained some inspiration from this blog and some ways to help you move from Festively Stressed to Festively Fabulous!

Finally, I absolutely love having essential oils diffusing around me, so at the end of every blog I like to leave you with a recipe relating to the subject.     Enjoy this special blend!

REINDEER GAMES

Ingredients
  • 3 drops Clove essential oil  
  • 3 drops Christmas Spirit essential oil blend 
  • 2 drops Lemon essential oil

Instructions
Add drops into your diffuser as per diffuser instructions.



PS: Please note I only use and recommend Young Living Essential Oils.   If you are just starting out and don't understand the difference yet, don't worry, I was there too until 11 years when ago I started researching.  I always thought all essential oils were the same, and it was such a wormhole of information! Because I like to make life easier for everyone, I created a Facebook group with all the basic information I found.   This group will make your research so much easier.   Click here if you would like access :) 



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