They don’t call it the silly season for nothing. Even here in ‘chilled-out’ Gizzy we’re not immune to the frenetic energy that Christmas brings. Our recent power cuts a timely reminder of the art of slowing down.
Christmas has the potential to reconnect us with family and friends, so long as our own ‘stuff’ doesn’t get in the way. Whether it be the incessant need to get everything done before the end of the year, or the feelings and emotions that Christmas stirs within us, this time of year can be a challenge – if we let it.
I find it’s a tall order at the end of a long and crazy year to have energy in the tank. It’s vital I have energy in mine in order to give it to others, and now it is more important than ever that I find time for myself. So this is as much a note to self as it is for anyone else that needs it. I was going to give a list of reminders, however the last thing anyone needs is another list at this time of year. So here it is short and sweet:
Steal moments to connect with your breath.It’s so empowering. When you feel the stress/overwhelm/anxiety levels on the increase just pause, place your hand on your belly and breathe deep from your belly. Diaphragmatic breathing is the fastest and easiest way to tell your body to relax, it triggers your parasympathetic nervous system and promotes instant calm. You can even do it while you’re cooking Christmas lunch! Try it.
Make it a guilt-free Christmas! You’ll only ever find the word ‘guilt’ in a western dictionary. Eastern cultures don’t comprehend this word. We all go a little silly at this time of year, so cut yourself some slack and enjoy that extra champagne or pavlova, but I’ll add one caveat – ask yourself this question as you go for your third helping – does this nourish me? Or one I ask myself often is, does this blog, social media outlet, newspaper, TV show, podcast etc… nourish my mind?
It’s all about connection. What does it even mean, to give, or to receive? At one level, it is an exchange of ‘things’. For giving and receiving to mean something more, it is important to relate to this concept at a heart level. Giving and receiving is about the opportunity we have for a deep exchange or connection with other people. These gifts aren’t a physical gift at all. It can be the gift of love for someone you love, or (my favourite) conscious listening, or even a favour someone does for you for no apparent reason. Keep it simple.
Lastly, the ultimate gift you can give yourself is self-love (and not just at Christmas). To truly know you are love/loved/lovable, I recommend practicing this little and often:
Let love come through you
instead of forcing love to come from you
or trying to bring love to you
Let love come through you
May your Christmas be peaceful, heartful and bellyful (the latter just not overflowing!)