Enjoy your day by getting what you want out of it, intention at Christmas is everything. Take time, just think about what Christmas means to you and what is most important to those around you. Don’t try and do everything or make everything perfect as it will just lead to pressure and disappointment. If you have thought out what is the most important bits of Christmas then you can concentrate on them and maybe get help with or miss out the other parts.
Remember to breathe, stay calm and present. Christmas is overwhelming even for people who love it. The organisation, the extra people, the food, the presents, the decorations - it’s stimulation and it can be exhausting. Taking a moment in the morning around this busy time, think of your breath, practice taking your inhale all the way down to the pit of your stomach, then swelling it all the way up to your collarbone, take a moment to hold in this lovely full satisfying breath, then exhale fully. When you exhale think of releasing all the things that don’t serve us…like guilt, anxiety, anger. Then make a promise to yourself to have good breathing patterns throughout the day, short and shallow breathing can affect the whole body and thoughts we have. For those of you who do come to class and are familiar with the Ujjayi Breath, take this and use it when you are stuck in traffic, when there is tension amongst family or even when the kids are playing up. Use the Ujjayi breath to soothe your nerves, calm your heart and also to release constant chattering of your mind. If you have the time and space for a 10 minute meditation or sun salutation with your breath, it will set you up for the day.
Rest and relax. So you might have a few days off over Christmas or you might have a few weeks. Don’t waste your days with stress and tension. We have a choice how we react to things. Choose to enjoy and rejuvenate during this time off. Do something for yourself everyday that helps you unwind and enjoy the time. Take the kids for a walk, take a walk by yourself, arrange to have a nap, put your favourite song on and dance around, have a bath, swim at the river or ocean, treat yourself to meeting a friend for coffee, watch your favourite movie. Come to Yoga, get a massage. If you are exhausted from the run up to Christmas - gift yourself a few early nights to catch up.
Move your body. Nothing makes us feel worse than eating and drinking lots and then sitting around all day. Now I’m not about to tell anyone to not eat and be merry over Christmas but maybe make an effort to move your body once a day over the holidays. Walks are great and the whole family can join in. Go to the park and play with the kids, just get outside do a spot of tidying up around your garden, come join us at yoga or do some yoga in your lounge. It makes the feel good endorphins come out to put a smile on your face and remember smiles are contagious.
Rehydrate. As the weather warms up and we are drinking a few caffeinated or alcoholic beverages we tend to dehydrate. Alternate your drinks with water or at least drink water before going to bed. Dehydration makes us tired and grumpy and no one needs a grinch around at Christmas