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Finding balance in the Christmas chaos

Secret Santa, cards to write, gifts to buy, gifts to wrap, nativity play, carol concert, Christmas Jumper Day, Elf on the Shelf.... As we hurtle headlong into December it's easy to find ourselves launched into panic and chaos scrambling to get ready for the festive period whilst juggling work and life.

For many it is the busiest time of year and that can bring overwhelm and exhaustion with it. Add in the endless social media posts of everyone else's amazing trees, fireplaces and hilarious Elf on the Shelf antics, those of us who jumped out of bed at 4am to move the elf because we forgot, can be left feeling like we must be doing something wrong. Everyone else has their s**t together so why don't I?

Firstly, we all know that social media only shows the good bits yet we still easily slip into FOMO mode when we see that glimpse into other people's worlds. Giving yourself a power hour at the start and end of the day where you disconnect from your phone and stop scrolling can be a great way to start and end the day. Take yourself away from your misplaced feelings of inadequacy that your elf is yet again hiding in the breakfast cereal or the FOMO effect because you haven't got tickets to the latest meet and greet with Father Christmas. The start and end of the day are when your mind is moving between the daily beta brainwaves and the sleepy alpha and theta brainwaves and during these brainwave changes our minds are most easily influenced. Stepping away from scrolling at these times reduces the effect social media has on us.

Secondly, try changing your word choices to change your mindset. When we are busy and overwhelmed we often slip into the 'I have to...' or 'I must do...' which implies there is no wriggle room and leads to additional overwhelm. Try changing your word choice to 'I get to...' and shift the negative association of having to do something into a more positive choice.

'I get to....' but I don't want to! Many of us are tied into Christmas traditions that actually don't serve us well and at worst impact on our wellbeing. People pleasing and keeping the peace can be huge causes of stress and frustration during the festive period. Practising saying no to the things you don't want and placing boundaries on your time and space are essential tools to finding balance.

Book an appointment with yourself and stick to it as you would an appointment with someone else. You can choose the length of time you spend and what you do...but make sure you stick to it and make it nourishing and energising.

Remember to breathe. Yes I know you can breathe without thinking about it, that's another amazing thing our mind and body does for us. However, when we are busy and stressed we often don't breathe deeply enough to access the happy hormones in our body like oxytocin. Taking a minute of deep breaths, a few times a day really helps balance our mind and body. Why not piggy back your deep breathing onto another habit you have. If you took deep breaths each time you boiled the kettle, for the time it took to boil, you'd find yourself feeling calmer in mind and body without having to do anything extra in your already busy day.

To find out more easy ways to get balance and calm in a busy world, sign up for my Countdown to a Calm Christmas. Each week day, from Dec 1st- 24th I'll email you an easy win or top tip to help find calm and balance.

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