Just thinking about Christmas can bring on feelings of exhaustion.
Whatever way you look at it, December is an emotional time. With the silly season comes the end of year parties, catch-ups, work functions, deadlines and Christmas shopping!
How do we survive all of this AND reach the end of it with our sanity intact, as well as our ability to be present on the day with our kids?
Kinderling meditation guru, author and mum Amy Taylor-Kabbaz has the answers.
“Open your diary and look at your week ahead.” Amy begins “And if you have the end of year concert, the ballet concert and the Christmas shopping to do, you have to cut out other things. Be honest with yourself, because you’re trying to fit things in a calendar and life that doesn’t have any room” she explains.
Once you know what’s on your plate, see what you can cut out from that list and what things you must hold onto for your own sanity, like sleep, meditation and exercise.
Listen to Amy on Feed Play Love:
2. Create strong boundaries
Ask yourself how you’d like to feel on Christmas Day?
If that answer is “rested and present for your kids”, then you need to ask yourself: do you really have to see everyone before Christmas Day?
“It doesn’t mean we don’t love our friends if we can’t see them before Christmas. But we have to accept our limitations and look at our quality of life. So we don’t get to Christmas so burnt out that we forget to connect with the ones who we really love, like our kids” Amy offers.
3. Activate the ‘hour of power’
Amy says she learnt this little hack of creating an ‘hour of power’ from a life-coach years ago. She says it really helps you consolidate and achieve everything you need to do.
“She [the life-coach] called it the ‘hour of power’. It works by creating a list, maybe in your phone, that you add things to as you think of them, through the week. Then she’d set aside one day a week where she’d open up the list and start doing whatever was on it,” says Amy.
“All the things that drive us nuts are not actually that hard to do – it’s just that we haven’t blocked out a time to do them,” Amy explains. “Take a big deep breath and let it go onto the list, knowing that you have a time allocated that week when you can do it.”
4. Write a family Christmas mission statement
Getting clear on your family values at this time of year can also help with prioritising.
“Close your eyes and imagine how you want to feel in your body and in your health on Christmas morning when you hear their little voices and the sun hasn’t even come up yet.
“Imagine how it will feel to be rested enough to be excited about that? What obligations do you want to be free of? Christmas is for our children but it goes so fast, and if we are not present, then we will miss it,” Amy explains.
5. Be real about Christmas ‘holidays’
Going on holidays can be challenging at any time of year when you have children. How can we enjoy our children and get the downtime and relaxation we need?
“There’s no magic solution for this one,” Amy suggests. “Holidays with little kids can actually feel like more work because our kids are out of their home and routine.”
Amy says accepting that you’re not going to get all the things you need from your holiday from the outset, will help.
“I heard a great quote once that said, ‘Our greatest suffering comes from our fantasy life.’ And that’s never more true than in this scenario. Commit to one tiny thing for you – be it a meditation once a day or one night with a babysitter – and just be.”
I’m feeling more relaxed already – how about you?