“Yes dear?” I replied
“It’s December 1st.”
“Uh-huh, and…?” My mind scanning and mentally wondering what was coming next.
“It’s December 1st… 24 days to Christmas. Have you got our Advent Calendar?” Two pairs of eyes looked at me….
“Oh ….I started to aplogise then backtracked… you’re 17, do you really still want an Advent Calendar?”
Obviously they did.
Christmas Is A Busy Time
As a parent I am sure you can identify with the run up to Christmas. If your household is anything like mine, the next 24 days are jam packed, school plays, work Christmas parties, social functions, trips to family, catching-up with friends who I haven’t seen all year, shopping and planning for who gets what , who goes where and where shall we go.
The List Goes On and Life Gets In The Way
Despite my yogic practices and desire to remain calm and centered, I always end up feeling anxious, and worried around this time of year. I worry will I have enough money, enough time and enough energy to get through the next 24 days and still keep going through to New Year Celebrations. I over eat and my daily yoga practices go out of the window as I burn the candle at both ends.
This year is going to be different.
This year, I am determined to have a Stress-Free Christmas. I am determined to cut back, give more and spend less. With three teenage daughters this is a challenge at the best of times. But this year, starting from today I have made the commitment that for the next 24 days I am going to find time every day to remind myself to be calm, considerate and conscious. And here is how I am going to do it.
Six Days Later…
6 days have passed since I wrote the last entry. 17 more days to go. God created the world in seven days. All I want is 7 days of peace and calm. It is easier, as the bible says for a camel to get through the eye of the needle then for me to always be calm, balanced and serene! I must be the most crazy –impatient yogi ever! I just want things my way…is that too much to ask for… Anyway, as the story goes, we are all here to learn and I believe the Creator chose me to be a yoga teacher and yogi to learn patience and share my journey through real life examples.
24/7 Ways To Enjoy Your Stress- free Christmas
Taking all this into account, in my dream world, here is my top 24/7 ways to enjoy a stress-free Christmas.
1. Escape into fantasy world. Down tools and watch DVDs with your children. My favourites are the Lion King, Pocahontas, Michael McIntyre’s ‘Hello Wembley’ and my all time favourite….The Princess and the Frog…. Princess Tiana is the original ‘Alice in Wonderland-Dreams Do Come True’ fairy tale.’
2. Have duvet mornings. Forget washing up, tiding up and picking up. Spend as long as you can chillaxin’ and slopping around in your pajamas. Why not bring your duvet downstairs and curl up on the settee, read a girly magazine and have a lay-in downstairs.
3. Listen to your child. This is hard. Totally surrender and listen to your child. You will be amazed at how wonderful your child feels to have your undivided attention.
4. Spend sacred time alone at the beginning and end of each day. I have a daily spiritual practice which eases me into the day and refocus my mind at nighttime.
5. Eat Well and Exercise. Ummm. Aim to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Up your vegetable and fresh fruit intake. Drink more water. Whenever I can, I sip warm water with a slice of lemon in it throughout the day. This helps to hydrate my brain, flush toxins and alkalize the body. Walk more, stretch your body during the day, and take 2 minute mini-yoga vacations whenever you remember.
6. Read classical yoga texts, this will open your mind to infinite possibilities and healthier ways of living. Chapter 3 in The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga by Deepak Chopra and David Simon , offers an excellent, easy to read summary of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (8 limbs of yoga.)
7. Release All Expectations. A hard one for me as I am a bit of a control-freak. But when I allow myself to be guided and give others, the space to be themselves, life flows and magic happens.
Remember Parento’s 80/20 Rule
I am going to stop here. Seven tips is enough for one day. Originally, I intended to offer you 24 ways to be more and stress less, but I have run out of ideas and on reflection, seven is a nice number. It is doable. Remember Parento’s 80/20 rule (20% of your actions produces 80% of your results) and chose a couple of the above seven suggestions.
Remember to give yourself a pat-on-the-back as you chill and breathe easily through the next few days.
I trust you find these suggestions helpful. I am always looking for ways to be calmer and stay in the flow and welcome all your suggestions.
Please record your thoughts and inspirations in the comment box below..and lets all have a Restful and Stress-free Christmas.