Your cool, calm & col­lected Christ­mas

Can you sail through the silly sea­son with your san­ity in­tact? Of course you can! Here’s how

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Contents -

How to breeze through the silly sea­son with your san­ity in­tact

don’t you just love all those lit­tle reminders that there are only X more sleeps un­til Christ­mas? Time’s a tick­ing and your shop­ping days are num­bered!

Ah, Christ­mas. We love the fes­tive hub­bub of the yule­tide sea­son – the an­tic­i­pa­tion, the lights, dec­o­ra­tions, happy get-to­geth­ers, party frocks, pressies and food.

But the stress? Yeah, we don’t love that part. Even though we know it’s com­ing, the sea­son some­how still man­ages to sneak up on us.

Breathe! We’re about to stream­line this thing so you can con­cen­trate on the real busi­ness at hand – en­joy­ing time (and maybe a lit­tle wine) with your spe­cial peeps!

1 LIST IT, LOVE IT

To-do lists help you sort things into not-so-over­whelm­ing chunks – so much more ef­fec­tive than try­ing to keep it all straight in your head. Make a few to cover your most press­ing needs: bud­gets, gifts, meal plans, food shop­ping and who’s bring­ing what. Re­view of­ten and cross things off as you get ’em done.

2 FEEL THE STRETCH

Tight, tense mus­cles are both a sign and a cause of stress, and of­ten we don’t even re­alise we’re suf­fer­ing. Gen­tle neck and shoul­der stretches can pro­vide in­stant calm. Also, try the begin­ner yoga ‘child’s pose’ to re­lieve ten­sion in your back, bum and thighs. Ah­hhh!

(Youtube a few how-to videos).

3 CURB YOUR CAF­FEINE

That first lovely dou­ble shot latte? It’s the bomb for kick­start­ing your day and may in­deed im­prove fo­cus and help you get things done. A few too many, though, will leave you jit­tery and anx­ious. Know your limit and switch to sip­ping de­caf, herbal tea and/or H₂O in­stead. Even the rit­ual of slow­ing your roll to stop and make tea is calm­ing.

4 MAS­SAGE YOUR PC6

Say what? That’s acu­pres­sure talk for a sim­ple, ef­fec­tive way to calm nerves and re­duce anx­i­ety. (It’s good for set­tling nau­sea, too.) To find the peri­cardium 6 (PC6) pres­sure point, place three mid­dle fin­gers from your right hand against the crease (next to your hand) of your in­ner left wrist. The spot where your in­dex fin­ger now rests, be­tween the ten­dons of your fore­arm, is where it’s at. Use your thumb to gently mas­sage the area while tak­ing slow, deep breaths.

5 TIDY YOUR SPACE

Clut­ter causes in­ner chaos. Spend a few min­utes ev­ery day pick­ing up and putting away. Yes, it’s that sim­ple.

6 CLICK IT

Jam-packed shops with no place to park? No thanks. On­line shop­ping is eas­ier and safer than ever. You can do all your gift re­search and pur­chas­ing in your py­ja­mas while sip­ping a chilled chardon­nay. Many com­pa­nies of­fer gift-wrap­ping as well as free ship­ping. How per­fectly civilised!

7 TAKE SHORT­CUTS

There’s no shame in cut­ting cor­ners where you can. Many gro­cery stores, deli coun­ters and bak­eries of­fer gourmet-style good­ies – and even en­tire meals – that re­quire next-to-no prep. While you’re at it, in­vest in a nifty so­lar light-show pro­jec­tor to stick in the front yard of your home and skip string­ing hun­dreds of tra­di­tional lights and fight­ing with burnt-out bulbs. Get ’em at Bun­nings and other ma­jor home goods stores.

8 SEND AN E-CARD, SAVE A TREE

We know cards are lovely to re­ceive in the mail, but if you’re run­ning low on time or cash, de­sign and press send on your own creative e-card. Add a pic of the fam and some news from your year and move right along.

9 DI­VIDE AND CON­QUER

You’re just one per­son. You don’t have to do it all. Don’t be a mar­tyr to the cause. Use your words and ask for help! The word of the day is ‘del­e­gate’.

10 GO FOR ‘GOOD ENOUGH’

Yep, you want the place to look fab for guests, but if there’s no film crew com­ing, don’t sweat it. Give the bath­rooms a once over, run a broom through and strate­gi­cally po­si­tion a few vases of fresh flow­ers about the place. Your wel­com­ing hug is all that’s needed.

11 DON’T GET ‘HANGRY’

Busy days on the run of­ten lead to ques­tion­able grab-and-go eat­ing or sim­ply for­get­ting to re­fuel al­to­gether. A week or so of that and you’ll be feel­ing icky. Make at least one meal a day health­ful with lots of crunchy, colour­ful salad ve­g­ies and a lean pro­tein.

12 SCHED­ULE FUN

With the hours you’ve saved by not run­ning all over town like a blue-ar­sed fly, you’ll have time to meet friends, take the kids to see Santa, get your pam­per on (manda­tory high­lights, pedi, mas­sage and spray tan!) and gen­er­ally ra­di­ate glad tid­ings and good­will to all. Merry Christ­mas!

Keep your calm by deeply stop­ping to breathe and slowly when­ever you feel the need

ban­ish xmas tears with yoga,time out or a sooth­ing cuppa

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