Remembering that your presence is a present
In talking to lots of women about how they feel around this time of year, it certainly seems that the pressure is kicking in and that unattainable superwoman complex society has given us is overriding our self care and mindfulness practices. Firstly, I want you to know that you aren’t alone in feeling these things and I’m sending you a big virtual hug, because you need love right now, not more guilt.
Secondly, I want to share a few tips for seeing your presence as a present this year. Because you should know that being with the ones you love, fully and joyfully, is going to mean EVERYONE has a better time: you being worn out, stressed out and fed up because you’ve pushed yourself aside dims your presence. Being your shiny self is a present – to yourself and everyone around you.
Tune into your feelings rather than brushing them aside
You are entitled to feel frazzled by trying to be all things to all people, but if it feels like this it’s probably because you know you need to make some changes. There are far too many women getting frazzled and burnt out by what they think other people’s expectations of them are at this time of year! When you really think about it, do you REALLY think that anyone will think any less of you if you swapped one element of what’s stressing you out for something that brings you joy? When things feel like they are spiralling out of control, close your eyes, take a couple of deep breaths and ask yourself whether you HAVE to do-all-the-things.
Ditch and delegate
The first thing you need to ditch is the illusion that you are superhuman. Then you need to look at your list and assess what is actually going to bring joy into your life: if running up lots of credit card debt in order to buy things for people who you already know have plenty is going to leave you feeling stressed out and unfulfilled, you have the power to say no. If going totally present free like we have in the Can Eat family feels like a bridge too far (although I highly recommend it), consider a family secret santa where everyone gives and gets one gift instead of mounds of presents. Or perhaps wrap up elements of the day as gifts – fairy baths, pancake breakfasts and sitting down together to play games are some of the most memorable moments (I’ve seen someone do this recently as an advent calendar for their child and I seriously think more people should give it a go for the actual day).
If you’re hosting, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking your guests to get involved in making the day special – that odd notion that the hostess needs to do everything and everyone else gets the day off is outdated and absurd – it’s your day too!
Use some “flash” self care tools to take a breather
Select a short 5-10 minute guided meditation using an app such as Insight Timer (my favourite)
Put on some incense/essential oils and lie down with a pillow under your knees for a 5 minute savasana
Give yourself a mini hand massage as you apply hand cream
Focus on and repeat a positive affirmation to yourself whilst in the shower
Hands up in the comments below if any of the following apply to you:
I have dietary requirements and I’m anxious about what the festive feasting will have in store for me
I get sucked in by diet culture and am already feeling guilty about “indulging” over Christmas
I want everyone around me to know how loved they are but the shopping, wrapping, decorating, cleaning on top of working is stressing me out
I’d be really happy to share any tips or tools I have for tackling these challenges, let me know if this is something you would benefit from exploring through my Happy, Healthy, Nourished 9 week programme. I’m also offering a FREE 15 minute taster session – perfect to help you refocus on you at this time of year.