I’m not sure about you, but for me this time of the Year seems to be on fast forward and there is so much to get done and no more hours in the day. I’ve found that this is when I really have to rely on my mindfulness practices to ensure that I do not become overwhelmed, as this does not lead to a great holiday or Christmas for anyone. I have often found that my daughter seems to absorb this energy from around her too. There’s a few things that I do to try and slow it down, to make this time more enjoyable for all.
Easier said than done when everyone tries to fit everything into the last month of the Year! But I have learnt over the Years to say no and this has been really helpful in allowing me to maintain some routine during this busy time. I like a routine and so does my family (although they may not always realise it) and I am also trying to teach my daughter this too, so if she gets overwhelmed in the future, she will have this as a strategy to use if she needs to.
Go with the flow
Contradictory to the above information, sometimes it is also good to loosen routines a bit, allow for flexibility and go with the flow. This means that I lower my expectations on things and it also means that I am not disappointed when things don’t go to plan. As a perfectionist, I find this very difficult to do, but again I have also found it helpful in reducing my overwhelm during these busy periods. Which means that I enjoy them more too. For example; with home schooling happening for most of this Year previously my expectation may have been about catching up on work that we have missed. But, I have also recognised that we are all tired from the unpredictability of this Year and we have also lacked social interactions for much of the Year. Therefore I have lowered my expecatations around “catching up” and decided to just focus on the present moment.
Get out and exercise
My absolute favourite thing to do to be present and mindful is to get out and exercise. I’m not talking about spending hours exercising or even exercise that is intensive. But being outside helps me a lot and just focussing and enjoying gentle movement in any form just helps me to reset and relax in the present moment. We have absolutely loved our family walks this Year during lockdowns and I think this is something we will be doing over Christmas period too. I guess we are also grateful now that we can get out and about for our walks too.
My mind is often very busy and it’s difficult to switch off. This is why I try to practise mindfulness daily, especially during busy times. I have found that this can be done in many ways. While exercising, journaling, while performing household chores, gardening, reading or colouring. I try to be in the moment and stop my mind from wandering. This is also another strategy I would like my daughter to learn and practise and luckily with more focus on mindfulness there are many wonderful resources available to help your daughter do this such as this book called You Are Positively Awesome, which is full of self-care prompts and words to live by. It can be found here https://mygirlswellbeing.com/product/you-are-positively-awesome/ (affiliate)
Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is of a general nature and is a reflection of my own personal experiences and thoughts. This should not be considered as individual advice.