Christmas is coming, only …. days to go. The commercialised whirlwind designed to get us to spend $$$’s  by motivating us with fear. Christmas parties, end of year concerts, final deadlines before the Summer break. As the madness of Christmas approaches it is easy to feel overwhelmed. It is yet another layer of pressure on top of everything else that is already going on.

Here are some simple tips to help stay slightly more sane during the Christmas season:

  • Keep it simple. Decide what is really important, focus on that and let the rest go. Phrases like “Just for now….”, “Just for this year….”, may make it easier do this differently this year.
  • Look for small joys. Deliberately look for the small things that feel good. First coffee in the morning, a flower in bloom, the smell of fresh bread. Thirsty percent of the brain’s cortex is dedicated to vision, so visual cues are very powerful. Take photos of small things that bring joy, that way you can go back and look at them when things are feeling tough.
  • Stay in the present moment. By consciously staying with right now we can enjoy right now without the worries and concerns of tomorrow stealing our energy and joy.
  • Play. Look for fun. Often adult life is very serious. Reminding ourselves how to play may help us find new energy.
  • Close enough is good enough. Constantly demanding perfection is tiring, draining and let’s face it impossible to achieve.
  • Breathe. Blow bubbles. Blow toy windmills. Breathing long, slow, smooth out-breaths has a huge effect on calming both body and mind.
  • Say No. This can be hard, but ultimately we pay the price if we overdo things. Using the phrase- “’Can I think about that and get back to you?” takes the pressure out of making an immediate decision and allows space to decide if that is something you really want to do.

Viv, Support Services, Cancer Society Wellington

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