There’s a madness that takes over in the weeks counting down to Christmas. We’ve all experienced it. 2020 has thrown even more at us than usual and we’re tipping that people are going to be ready for some big celebrations.
You’ve got presents to buy and wrap for everybody from your in-laws to your kids’ teachers, to the office Kris Kringle. It seems like every person you’ve ever met is attempting to “Catch you before Christmas” as if we’ll all perish immediately afterwards, and there are a ton of loose ends at work that you have to tie-up before the office shuts down. We won’t even pretend you’ve got time to clean the house.
We’re always busy but there’s a reason they call the countdown to Christmas the “silly season”. Christmas. Gets. Crazy.
These tips will help you to keep calm amidst the madness. Read your way to relaxation…
How to keep calm approaching Christmas
Use gift guides and shop online
We’ve put together a handy Christmas Gift Guide that will also help you support small local businesses through your shopping. Save yourself the stress of racing around the shops (especially if you’d have kids in tow) and make your list using our Christmas Gift Guide first- many of the gifts can be purchased online so you can avoid traipsing to busy shopping centres!
Carve more than meat
Make sure you carve out some time to be alone and enjoy some quiet. Lock the bathroom door. Run yourself a bath and set a meditation going (there are great mediation apps you can set to play on your phone) then jump in a big bath filled with a soothing bath milk or bath salts to help you unwind in a setting where you won’t be tempted to even touch your phone. Turn off the bright bathroom lights and replace them with candlelight and watch your mood instantly change. You can source beautiful candles and bath and body products right here in the Shire from Hutwoods, Hudson and Kingsley, Grace Candles, Urban Rituelle or Like Zen, which will take your relaxation to the next level.
Use your scents
There are some essential oils that you just cannot help but be calmed by. When you’re frantic beyond words, you can force a little bit of calm on yourself by diffusing essential oils that will fill you with serenity. Lavender, Bergamot, Chamomile, Frankincense and Fragonia are known for their calming and soothing properties. Choose one oil, buy a blend, or blend a few yourself to create a scent that you can have diffusing right through the house when you arrive home from your umpteenth errand/work/school pick-up so that you are instantly calmer, even if only a little. Or grab yourself a pulse point roller blend to instil some calm into your day even when you’re on the go and take a little whiff of your wrist every time you start to feel rushed and overwhelmed.
Let music be your guide
You can use music to calm yourself almost unknowingly. Just like leaving an essential oil diffusing will fill your nose and settle you, calming background music fills your ears and induces the same effect. So make sure that if you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed or even just a bit too frantic, that you turn off anything not conducive to helping you slow your mind and put on the kind of music you’d hear in a day spa or at least a very chilled out cafe!
Don’t neglect your skin
Sometimes when we feel run down, the quickest way to trick ourselves into feeling like we can take on the world again is to give our surface a pick-me-up. A fragrant herbal facial steam or clay mask can do wonders for making you feel reinvigorated.
Christmas time is fairly loaded with treats, but if the kids’ candy canes aren’t cutting it you should try quality handmade confectionery, chocolates, and baked goods from local small business like Clever Cookie, Bec Bakes, Nina’s Chocolates, Adora Handmade Chocolates, Essenze and Shire Sweets and Gifts. Sometimes the simple act of stopping to enjoy a treat can pull you out of the craziness just long enough to slow your breathing and help you refocus.
Wine is a relaxant so allow yourself a glass of the good stuff, maybe while taking that bubble bath and let the tension ooze away.
Read your way to serenity
Take at least 15 minutes before you go to bed to read something (that’s not on your phone), which distracts you from your endless to-do list. A magazine or something fictional that completely transports you to another world and snaps you out of your very busy world. This also ensures that the last thing you look at before bed is not a bright screen!
If you’re the type of person who thinks of a million new things as your head hits the pillow and you find it difficult to go to sleep right away, keep a notebook beside your bed and write down anything you’ll want to remember to follow up for the next day. We can’t promise your kids won’t wake through the night, but you’ll at least the get the night off to a good start if your mind is clear.
We hope you manage to remember these tips as the excitement and errands begin escalating. If all else fails, close your eyes, breathe in and out slowly for 10 seconds and then at least try number 7 (wine!)