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5 ways to make it a stress-free holiday season (meditation included)

Stress Free Christmas 1

You’ll know it when you see it…once the lights, the trees, and all those sparkly things are out, you know that the holidays are upon us! And as the excitement builds up, the holiday rush also suddenly creeps in. Next thing you know, you’re caught in the middle of Christmas crazy.

As the famous Christmas song goes, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”, we can’t help but feel the pressure of putting the responsibility on ourselves to really make it wonderful. The festive spirit of the holidays suddenly turns into a long list of chores, errands, and items to prepare. So how about turning things around this year and focusing on actually celebrating Christmas? We got a bunch of ideas:

1 – Check your lists.

Go ahead and list down everything you want to do, buy, and prepare for Christmas. And then be like Santa, make the list and check it twice. See which ones you can do away with and stick to the essentials.

2 – Go easy on your gift list.

While you might want every friend and family member to receive something from you this Christmas, leave the actual presents for the kids. The grown-ups get the creative gifts – e-cards, Christmas call (the holidays are the perfect time to catch up and reconnect with loved ones), online gift vouchers (HINT: Courage My Love is actually running a Christmas giveaway promo!)

3 – Downsize on the Christmas details.Stress Free Christmas tree

We take advantage of the holidays as a time to decorate and to make the house more festive. We even throw in some general cleaning so our place is presentable enough to receive guests. This time, identify focal points to put Christmas décor – the front door, the Christmas tree, and the common room where everyone gathers. Same rule applies when you feel the need to be squeaky clean – focus on the common areas; the private rooms may be cleaned at a later time.

 

4 – Go for a potluck for the Christmas dinner.

There’s definitely a great feeling of accomplishment when you see the Christmas menu you put together all laid out on the dinner table. But imagine the kitchen frenzy you can avoid when you request your guests to bring something for the holiday dinner, right?

Stress Free Christmas Yin Yang

5 – Staycation is the new vacation.

A holiday getaway is irresistible; except that you have to hustle your way in a busy airport, secure hotel bookings, and make sure you packed everything you need. Staycation is quite practical and a very low-key way of spending time with your loved ones. Sit by the Christmas tree, switch on your favourite Christmas movie, bring out the popcorn, and you’ve got yourselves the most chill holidays!

A simple 10 minute meditation to practice to keep things calm

This meditation can be practiced seated or laying down comfortably. It can be really nice to find a quiet place outside to practice. First read through the steps, then sit or lay comfortably in your chosen spot and follow the steps with your eyes closed.

Step 1:
Notice all the parts of your body which are touching the chair / floor / ground and actively let your weight melt into those places. Allow for 2 minutes to fully explore the physical tension seeping out of your muscles, skin and bones and grounding towards the earth. You can move onto the next step once you feel a sense relaxation in your body.

Step 2:
Focus your attention on your breathing. Take a slow inhale while silently counting the seconds it takes to breathe in completely. Once your breath is full, pause for a moment before completely exhaling. Once you are empty, hold the breath out for a moment before you repeat the breathing in part of the exercise, counting slowly. Continue for 3 – 5 minutes.

Step 3:
Return your breathing to normal and observe your body as a whole. Sense both the calm and the vitality you feel. Imagine going back into your days activities connected to these feelings. Imagine how much lighter you are when you carry out your activities from a more centred place inside yourself.

Step 4:
Take a deep breath in a sigh it out through an open mouth 3 times, opening your eyes on the 3rd breath.

Enjoy!

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