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6 Ways To Keep Your Christmas Wellbeing Truly Joyous
Christmas is a magical time, but it often brings feelings of sadness - we've all heard of the Christmas blues. Being a parent can definitely take its toll during the season and that's why Daddilife has given their top six tips to preventing letting that mood overtake the joy.
As much as Christmas is a great time of year, it's also a time where parents can easily get stressed - family visits, food to cook, places to go, kids in the home or around all day. How can we keep perspective and what are those little moments that can help parents get through the holidays with a sense of calm and enriching their own wellbeing?
1. Five minute time out - Not for the kids - for you!
Start by listening to your emotions and recognising when things are starting to build up. Just 5 minutes of deep breathing will help to stop stress spiralling out of control and get you back on track. Find a quiet place - the bedroom is perfect, but the sofa will do just as well. Set a timer on your phone, to begin with, as five minutes goes by surprisingly slowly when you do this!
Gently but deeply breathe in through your nose to a count of 5, feeling your stomach rise, then slowly breathe out through your mouth to another count of 5. Focus on the count and the feeling of your breath. If you lose focus, gently return your attention to the breathing and allow your mind to enjoy the peace. After just 5 minutes, you should find your shoulders have relaxed and you have more energy and clarity of thought.
Whenever you start to feel tension building, take another few 5 in, 5 out breaths - wherever you happen to be.
2. Get outside - or feel as if you have.
Family time is wonderful, but large doses of it spent indoors teamed with rich food and excited children can get stressful. Blow off some steam with a festive stroll. If you’re lucky to have sea or country nearby that’s perfect, but a walk around the block to admire the Christmas lights in the windows will do just as well.
If you can’t embrace the outdoors, try creating a subtle background atmosphere with a scented candle or aromatherapy oil. Mandarin is fresh and energising, whereas pine or cedarwood give an evocatively festive scent and a nod to the great outdoors.
3. Try a mindfulness exercise - it’s all about savouring the moment!
Though Christmas especially should be a time of enjoying the present, sometimes we all need that extra technique to reset our mind.
This simple immersion technique is a useful tool to help us start enjoying whatever we are engaged with at that moment, rather than rushing from one task to another with barely a conscious recognition of the experience.
Here’s how it works: whatever you’re doing, whether it’s a mundane chore or playing with your latest must have baby gadgets, truly immerse yourself in it. When you’re undertaking the activity, try to immerse yourself in the sensations that are more rooted in the present. It’s a great exercise to try and regain consciousness of how we are spending our precious time.
Maybe get the whole family to try it too – asking questions in a calm manner to really explore something together.
4. Remember to have fun.
When your children are grown up, they won’t remember how many gifts they had, they’ll remember the time you spent with them creating traditions they’ll want to do with their own children. So make a gift of your time and enjoy laughing together. Play simple, traditional games as a family - or even quickly create new ones with just a few household items like this Mini Foosball Table. Or grab a pack of cards to play games like snap, cheat or chase the ace that even the younger babies will enjoy. Put on some music too - traditional carols are hard to resist singing along with, and Motown Christmas songs will get everyone bopping away.
5. Keep it simple.It really helps keep the seasonal stress levels manageable if you can maintain a sense of perspective - not always easy with the pressures of home and work we are faced with nowadays. Consider where the pressure is coming from – internal? Family? Media? Decide for yourself what's important to you. Stuck for gift ideas? Write out a pledge on a gift card - for example, to take your wife or mother flowers once a month.
Create a pack of family movie night vouchers - where you will make the popcorn! Your gifts will be so much more appreciated for their thought and lasting value than an expensive impulse buy that ends up pushed to the back of the cupboard.
6. Zzzzs are your friend.
A good night’s sleep is a well-deserved gift to yourself. Get into your Christmas Pajama’s early, make everyone hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows and snuggle down early at least one night over the holiday time to recharge your batteries and prepare you for the next round of family fun!
From keeping Christmas joyous to potty training toddlers to dad jokes; Daddilife curate the very best Dad content for everything you need to know. You can read more stories over on their website.
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