I have decided this year I am not buying into the craziness. I know some enjoy the frenetic buying energy of Christmas, but I’m not one of them. I just get stressed and unhappy. And this year ‘by rights’ I could be more stressed as we are hosting two family gatherings. Other years because we lived in such a tiny place we were always the guests, so why exactly was I feeling so put upon then?
So whether things are stressful or not, I will be calm. I will be happy and 'up' and little things will not bother me. Sometimes it is as simple as making a decision to be that way.
I had planned to keep up my walks and yoga as far along December as possible, but it has been too busy in the shop. That’s okay though, I am still calm. Making sure I eat enough protein has been a key factor in this I think. I have been keeping away from junky foods for the most part and planning in a good dollop of protein with each meal. It keeps me full for longer and I haven’t been craving sugar.
And not eating sugary gross foods means I feel happier and more in balance. Despite there sometimes being an instant connection to eating a bag of lollies and then me feeling jittery, hot and irritable, I still didn’t click and change what I did next time. A friend of my Mum’s who is a cancer survivor and is now much more aware of her health stays away from sugar entirely. It’s really not good stuff even though it comes along in bright colours and says ‘look at me I’m fun, you’ll have a good time with me’. And it’s marketed at children!
I’ve also been listening to my good friend Dr Norman Vincent Peale on his audiobook The Power of Positive Thinking. He is a religious man and likes to quote the bible every now and then. I am not particularly religious (I think of myself to be more spiritual) but what he says makes so much sense and it is very calming to listen to him. He really makes me see reason and the world seems a more manageable place after I’ve had a dose.
Dr Peale says none of us are born as worriers and that it is a habit we acquire over time. We go into it bit by bit and so we have to turn things around in a slow and steady manner. I still have a long way to go but I am willing to keep doing the work to be a happy and serene person who lets minor annoyances wash over them.
Another way I have been cultivating calmness is to do things ahead of time. Some family members and I swapped wishlists which I have to say I’m a real fan of now. It takes the stress out of gift giving, and isn’t a ‘surprise’ gift a waste of time and money if it is not used? In my ideal world we would all swap good wishes rather than buy stuff, but who doesn’t like to open a brightly wrapped Christmas present on the day.
My relaxed and calm Christmas feeling was severely tested this morning. The first post on this subject I had been writing over the past few weeks went ‘pop’ just as I hit publish and completely disappeared. Even though I had been saving and autosaving all along, every single word was gone. After checking and rechecking that I couldn’t find it, I decided it wasn’t worth getting upset about and started writing another one.
And now here I am with a second post. And I’m calm. Today I am at home for the whole day, oh joy, and I can really get stuck in and whip our chateau into shape.
Be serene this Christmas everyone!