As we move closer towards Christmas, it seems that we get busier. Along with this comes multiple stressors — attending various social functions; decorating the house and tree; planning the gifts; preparing food and so on. I’m sure that many of you could add another stress factor or two into the mix.
In past years I’ve had work commitments plus hosted christmas lunch. Not that I ever had to do it all on my own, other family members shared the meal preparations, which has been great. But there is always the worry that perhaps there won’t be enough food — the reality is that usually there is too much food, and we are stuck with all these leftovers despite sending food home with people!
Then there is the stress of money — or lack of. Despite attempting to spread the load cost-wise for food, someone always seems to end up with a larger share. Add to that the cost of buying presents then that can mean serious financial hardship.
In my early married life, I can remember sitting up till the wee hours on Christmas morning finishing off the gifts I’d made to save money. There is a certain satisfaction in that, but it can also mean lots of stress.
Or the time we as a family made the decision that we weren’t going to buy presents for everybody, just for the children. Then when we arrived with our share of the food, we discovered that not all of those attending had got this memo, and we were embarrassed because we didn’t have presents for everyone. In hindsight that should have been our cue to turn around and go home, but unfortunately you cannot predict the future, so we stayed, had a great day until it all came unstuck because of too much alcohol. But I prefer to remember the good parts of the day, because focusing on the unpleasant can lead to more stress.
So with all the stress surrounding us at this time of the year, what do we do to relieve it?
I walk every day for a minimum of twenty minutes, which I find quite relaxing and rather therapeutic. Then I use my essential oils, I diffuse them around the house, inhale them directly when I find myself getting uptight. I also use them in a relaxing bath – Lavender plus some Epsom salts, dim the lights, play some relaxing music and just lie there for twenty minutes or so. It can really make such a difference in that it relaxes and sets you up for a great nights sleep.
Getting a good sleep is so important, especially at such a busy time. After a good seven or eight hours you can achieve so much more, be calmer and can plan a lot better.
This year I’m making a point to take more care of myself, so I don’t get too stressed like past years. Sometimes I just go and sit quietly, pick up my crochet and do a few rounds before getting back to my lists. Deep breathing works well too.
So what will you do to de-stress this week?