We all seem to go just a tiny bit crazy over the holiday season. We rush around like the world is going to end to morrow with “To Do” lists a mile long.

And an even longer list of “Shoulds”: 

I should buy everyone I know a gift including the kids teachers, the postman, the garbage collection guy and the lady that does my hair.

I should go home for the holidays. I should go to all the events I am invited too so I don’t hurt any one’s feelings.

My house should be decorated and everything should be cleaned and look like the team from House and Garden are about to drop by for a photo shoot.

I should cook everything form scratch and provide alternatives in case any vegan/lactose intolerant/gluten free/following a strict diet/Paleo/ nut allergic people stop by.

I should prepare enough food in case the apocalypse happens over the holiday break happens.

*Yawn* makes me tired just writing it. The reality is that we don’t need to do any of that stuff. What we need more than anything is to take a deep breath ( gone on just try it, right now) and relax.

We need to switch our focus back to what the holiday season is all about ; LOVE, PEACE and GOODWILL to ALL. The holidays are a time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the coming year with anticipation of better things to come.

Here’s a list to help guide you through the coming season:

(1) Breathe: If you find yourself getting worked up or agitated take a moment to take three nice, slow deep breaths. If you are still worked up try another three. Trust me, just pausing to breathe can make the world of difference.

(2) Simplify: Write a list of all that you need to do. Now look at it and decide how you can cross at least half of it off. Do you really need to make everything from scratch or can you buy some of it ready made? Is it really important to clean the windows, clean the carpets and reorganise the linen cupboard or could you just leave that til later?  Does the garden really have to look perfect? Get the idea? Pull back to a level of sanity.

(3) Delegate: Look at your list again and ask yourself who else could do that job for you?

(4) Enjoy: IF you aren’t having fun then you are doing it wrong! The holidays are about FUN and if you are so busy running from one task to the next that you are just stressed and grumpy then everybody loses

(5) Hydrate: ( this one is for all of us in the Southern Hemisphere!)  While you are out and about doing all your Christmas jobs remember to DRINK, and NO, I don’t mean alcohol! It gets hot and shopping is hard work so always take a water bottle with you and actually drink it.

(6) BREATHE: Yes, I know it’s on here twice because that is how important it is.

(7) Hug: Hug yourself, hug your kids, hug your friends, hug your partner. Hugging releases oxytocin which is not only the bonding hormone but also makes us feel more connected, relaxed and secure and we could all do with more of that.

(8) Relax: Christmas is only one day and we all try to cram in so much activity and a years worth of bonding into one day. We also have far too high an expectation of what our family holiday is supposed to be or should ( there’s that word again!) so just STOP and let it all unfold without feeling you have to control it all.

That’s it in a nutshell. What is your best tip for surviving the holidays? Leave me a comment below.

My book “Every Goddesses Guide to Sex, Love and Life” is coming out in the New Year. Join my email list to keep up to date with all things  Goddess -y

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