The festive season is often a busy time of year with many expectations from ourselves and others. It’s important to take some time to assess the festive season ahead, create a mindful approach and take some action steps to assist you to thrive!
1. Identify what causes you stress during the festive season.
Sit down with a nice cup of tea, your favourite notebook and pen and consider all the tasks and considerations on you for the festive season. While this can be a difficult and overwhelming thing to do, the key is, to be honest with yourself to feel more organized and in control. Don’t forget to reframe your thoughts along the way to make those tasks work for you. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Shopping – will it be online or in-store, is it as simple as a kris kringle as well as the kids or, is it shopping for everyone, including extended family? How can you make shopping fun? Break it up with a nice meal or special drink, drag someone along you like the company of and spend quality time together; alternatively, use it as some alone time.
- Food preparation – do you need to set the menu and cook for a large group, or is it everyone brings something, and the pressure is eased? Can you organize meal delivery or get hold of a ready-made menu with recipes, and you can put it together without too much thought involved? Remember to include foods you like to eat!
- The home – do we need to make our home entertainment ready, does this include gardening, dusting, grabbing that extra table and chairs out of storage or from your Aunts house? Set a schedule for these tasks and share it, so everyone knows what’s happening when and delegate wherever possible.
- Travel – how many locations do you have to visit, and is it a rush, how can you stretch out the whole of the festive period, so you’re not overwhelmed and rushing from place to place? Make it clear to others what you’re juggling to find win-win solutions to make it work.
- Appearance – how would you like to look for events during the festive season, would you like to purchase something new, or do you have something already in the wardrobe that you’d love to wear? Think about how you’ll feel at the event, both for comfort according to the weather and calibre of the occasion but also just for you and what makes you feel great about your appearance. Do you need to schedule some time with the hairdresser or even just a pamper evening at home, complete with a bath by candlelight, so you’re feeling your best?
2. Connect with what is happy and joyful for you.
What do you love about the festive season? Is it decorating, giving, events, opportunities to catch up with family and friends, or a spiritual connection to something bigger? Make time to do what you love. Find moments of joy and sit with that feeling. Don’t let the long lists of tasks and commitments get in the way of remembering what you really love about the festive season.
3. Clarify your budget and spending habits.
Nothing quite steals the joy than overspending during the festive season and being worried about finances. While we are all aware of the increase in the cost of living, there has never been a better time to normalize creating a budget and sticking to it. Having a strict budget can encourage us to connect on a deeper level; spending more time simply being with others and sharing tasks can reduce costs significantly. Further to this, consider homemade or homegrown gifts as well as preloved options.
4. Discover tools to manage family stress.
As you have been thinking about what causes you stress and what brings you joy during the festive season, it is also helpful to think about people and relationships. Who are you most looking forward to spending time with? It’s important to reach out and let them know how valuable they are to you. Be mindful of how you are filling your time with people you genuinely enjoy the company of. Furthermore, consider people whom you’d rather avoid. Remember to keep plenty of space between you, and when there is interaction, it’s important to look for the good and keep the mindset of curiosity on board. Ask them questions, get to know them, and be committed to listening to their perspective and point of view, even if it is the opposite of yourself. You certainly don’t need to respond if you’d prefer to just let it be. Staying open-minded and curious is a great way to keep calm during interactions.
5. Reassess your routine, diet and exercise habits during the festive season.
Where do your usual habits fall over? Is this a welcome change of routine that you relish or does it throw you completely off balance. Be discerning and get committed. What do you want to keep and what are you looking forward to changing for a little while a least. Be honest with yourself and be clear about what you’re really eating, drinking and doing throughout the festive season. Increasing our awareness can sometimes be enough to help us to stay on track and look after ourselves.
6. Get plenty of rest and downtime.
We all know how busy the festive season can be. We can all have a case of FOMO (fear of missing out) which leads us to being overcommitted, busy, stressed and unable to enjoy the festive season and all it has to offer. Shift your perspective over to JOMO (joy of missing out) be truly discerning about what brings you joy and where you may be overstretched. Saying no to events graciously and being our best selves all require us to get some well earned rest and downtime. How are you going to prioritise it?
7. Seek support.
Remember that the festive season can be tricky and we can be going through some particularly difficult life events too. Have someone available who is genuinely supportive you can debrief with. Sometimes this is a family member or friend and other times it’s a health care professional. Whoever it is the most important part is that you don’t feel alone and have someone on your side.
About the Author
Jill Kratsis, Naturopath and Workplace Wellbeing Specialist
Jill is a wellness expert, having worked in consulting, training, and lecturing for over 20 years. Jill’s focus is on the development and delivery of workplace wellbeing programs to assist individuals, teams, and organisations in flourishing.
Knowing there is a lot of information available to people, her philosophy is to keep things simple; translating the complex into user-friendly and easy tools to improve health, wellbeing, and life. This enables individuals to go on a journey of lifestyle development, being able to discern what is right for them at the time to optimize their health and wellbeing in a way that works. Her audience can range from the CEO and Executive team, right through to participants starting their careers or even customers of an organisation.
Jill has extensive experience working both one-on-one and in group settings with a range of top-tier and well-known government and private organisations. She is a well-respected and highly sought-after facilitator. Jill commonly presents on topics such as wellness practices, stress management, resilience, burnout, work-life balance, mental health, nutrition, and leadership.
Jill is the mum of two daughters and consistently role-models wellness practices for them and her local community. She enjoys time outdoors and has an extensive vegetable and medicinal garden. Jill shares wellbeing information both online and in person, educating about food as medicine and kitchen garden medicines.