Does the idea of staying calm and collected during Christmas season seem a little ridiculous? Think again…
Your timings were way off and now you’ve got to work out how to keep your roast potatoes crispy while you wait for the turkey to finish cooking.
Meanwhile your niece is doing her best Mariah Carey rendition as your dad tells his fifth cracker joke of the morning.
Christmas can be stressful on the day but the lead-up is it’s own beast. And while you wouldn’t trade it in for anything, it’s important to maintain your sanity among all the chaos.
Sound like a pipe dream? Think again. Here are seven ways to nourish your soul this Christmas.
1. Get your head down
Your days of waiting up for Santa might be gone, but even as a certified grown-up Christmas can throw your sleeping routine out of whack. Endless social arrangements, late-night wrapping and overindulging can mean you’re waking up feeling not so fresh, which in turn can impact your mood.
We’re not saying miss the Christmas party so that you can get your eight hours, but try and stick to some kind of bedtime routine and your body and mind will thank you.
2. Do some self-care
Baths aren’t what they used to be. Once deemed a soap and water necessity, these days a long soak is a thing of opulence and luxury.
Forget about trying to manipulate your blunt pair of scissors into producing the perfect, curly ribbon for your pile of presents and give your soul (and your skin) the attention it deserves.
We’re talking candles, music, tonnes of bubbles - the works. Try philosophy’s sparkling hollyberries bubble bath for a Christmassy way to melt away your seasonal stress.
To hold onto the title of the best-smelling member of the household follow up with a spritz of philosophy’s amazing grace fragrance, which has soft scents of bergamot and musk. The bottle’s even had a festive makeover this year and each product is adorned with uplifting, optimistic prose to get you through.
Granted, there’s few things more irritating than being told to ‘chill out’ when you’re in the throes of a to-do list as long as your arm and feeling like you’re about to implode from stress. Having said that, chill out.
The simplicity of remembering to breathe is something that sounds obvious but is important to remember during Christmas chaos. It can be as easy as a 5-minute meditation session in your bedroom before you start your day, and with apps like Headspace you can do it all from your phone.
4. Move yourself
There’s something about the Christmas holiday that makes us wired to stay indoors and watch festive reruns for the 14th time. It’s British tradition and it’s beautiful.
But to avoid the dreaded brain fog and to get a time out from the telly (and festive chores) take 20 minutes to go for a jog, do some yoga or whatever exercise makes you feel good. Trust us, your mind will thank you for it.
5. Eat wisely
In between going to town on the Roses and snaffling all the festive canapés you can manage (you need to warm up your stomach before the main event, obviously) make sure you include some food that will fuel you through Christmas.
Yes, we sound like your Mum but it makes a difference to how you feel. Brazil nuts, oats, bananas and spinach all have mood-boosting qualities. The perfect excuse to put that smoothie blender on the Christmas list…
6. Value your personal space
There’s nothing quite like being shacked up with the people you love the most for days on end to make you realise quite how important personal space is.
And while that’s what Christmas is all about, it’s easy to start to feel overwhelmed and revert back to your childhood modus operandi of bickering with your brother over who was sitting in the comfy armchair first.
To keep yourself feeling zen this Christmas, make sure you take some time out. Whether it’s retreating to your room for 45 minutes to listen to a podcast or going for a walk, getting some time alone will help keep you sane.
If you really want to get that warm Christmassy feeling, it’s time to put your volunteering hat on. Charities like Crisis, NSPCC and Community Christmas are all looking for people to help out with their Christmas initiatives.
Volunteering makes you feel good, which has the knock on effect of reducing stress. Put simply, it’s nice to be nice, and helping people worse off than you isn’t only good for the community but good for your soul.