The holiday season is upon us. Love it or loath it, there’s no escaping it – life gets busy, the diary fills up, there is a lot to do and expectations are high.

Many of us are wiped out by Christmas, or wake up in January feeling strung-out, overloaded or exhausted, wishing we’d done things differently. So, is it possible to embrace all of the fun and festive frolics AND stay stress free?

Here are my top tips for doing just that >>

Plan in some quiet time… Get ahead before everyone else fills your time. Book yourself a night in, or a morning of ‘shopping’ (aka coffee and cake). Protect this time at all costs and don’t give it up for anyone.

PRESS PAUSEMake the ‘jobs’ fun… There is so much to do over the festive period and the list of ‘jobs’ can feel endless, but there are ways to make things feel less heavy. Have a glass of wine while wrapping your presents, do your food shopping with a friend, or catch up on your favourite TV show when cooking.

Don’t buy what you don’t need… Do yourself a favour and forget about filling the fridge with ‘just in case’ food. Worry less about everything matching and resist having every drink imaginable ready for anyone who pops in.

Stay with nature… This season can be so ‘synthetic’, with lots of plastic, flashing lights and central heating. Staying connected to nature can offset the impact of this, so take regular walks, or have a cup of tea in the garden when you can.

Eat your greens… We tend to eat more carbs and sugar at this time of year, which can deplete our energy levels and make our bodies feel sluggish. Indulge if you wish, but balance this out with vitamin-rich, ‘grounding’ foods like leafy greens and root vegetables. You’ll be thankful for it come January!

Cherish the time between Christmas and New Year… Try not to front load your festive season, or get too hooked on the ‘main events’. There is a whole portion of delicious time to enjoy and the window between Christmas and New Year is a perfect time for calm reflection and dreaming.

Book activities that enable quiet time… With a bit of strategic planning, you can do things, spend time with people you love and get some quiet time all at once! Try planning a trip to the cinema, host a family movie night, or simply have a duvet day at home in your pyjamas.

Gift yourself some self-care… Try a holistic treatment like reflexology or shiatsu, or book a yoga class. You could also try some new essential oils for use in a diffuser or the bath. Frankincense is perfect for this time of year – extremely calming and grounding and, of course, super seasonal!

Happy Christmas – and see you in 2018.

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