The silly season does something funny to us. There’s just something about Mariah’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” that activates some primal part of my brain reserved for mince pies and tinsel that nothing else can touch.
On top of this, Christmas/The Festive Season seems to bring up a lot of latent emotions and sometimes mixed feelings that can really influence the way peeps behave with each other. Generally, of course, this is positive — festivity! cheer! hugs and love! But sometimes the ~pressure~ of buying presents and gorging on succulent meat can really get the best of us, rendering our brains essentially useless.
In these cases, it’s important to stay chilled — and conveniently enough, here’s five easy ways to do so:
1. Keep your eyes on the prize
What I mean by this is… remember what this time of year is all about. Yes, gorging on food is part of it, but really — it’s about giving, spending time with family, and looking back on the year past.
I actually think Christmas is just a convenient excuse for families to spend some much-needed time together, as this usually falls by the wayside during the year. Whatever the festive season means to you, make the most of the time with the people/animals/things you love most.
2. Practice gratitude
Okay, I know this will sound woo-woo to a lot of y’all, but… being grateful for what you have is a sure-fire way to immediately boost your happiness. Immediately.
I dare you to try it and not feel even a modicum of happiness. Impossible, I tell you!
3. Take time for yourself
This may be slightly biased coming from a highly massively incredibly introverted individual (in the classical sense of the word — I swear I love people! really!), but during the silly season, personal spaces seem to get invaded by (well-meaning) family members. Coming from a small family, I don’t think I’ve ever had to experience this on a grand scale — but just doing Christmas shopping at Chadstone is enough to induce a vague form of terror in my being.
This emphasis on family, and community, and others can make it difficult to shine a light on yourself — but don’t feel guilty about taking some “me time”. In fact, “me time” is now a personal favourite slogan of mine — and I feel zero shame about it!
Take a bath, paint your nails, do a face mask, read a book… anything to put the focus back on yourself, and keep yo’self sane.
4. Don’t overeat (too much)
As someone who has lost 10kg (and also gained a few back), it might hearten you to hear that weight loss is super easy. Very logical, makes perfect sense. However, easy in theory doesn’t always translate to real life — and when temptation is lying in front of you at every opportunity, it’s hard to master even a shred of self-control. And it’s much easier to be chilled out when you feel good about yourself physically.
So I’m here to help you!
It’s quite simple: try to stop eating before you’re really full. And this isn’t just on Christmas day — where I feel it’s understandable to be a lil’ lax and loosen your belt buckle just a tad — but in all the Xmas parties, gatherings and the like that pop up in the lead up to Christmas.
5. Spread the love!
As I mentioned above, when we practice gratitude, we feel happier. I feel the same about focusing on and giving to others: being a tad less narcissistic (which is different to practicing self care, btw) can often be a very good thing.
Keep in mind that there are loads of people less fortunate than you — and you won’t always know who they are. Practice kindness in the small, everyday interactions… it may sound cheesy, but even the littlest act of kindness can make somebody’s day.
And that’s it for now. I don’t mean to get all preachy here, and you can always take these tips with a grain of salt — but hopefully they’ve provided some value to you!
How do you plan on staying chilled this Christmas? Let me know!