Mindfully Prepare For The Big Christmas Dinner
Christmas is coming!
The excitement and anticipatory anxiety are becoming palpable around us, there’s so much preparation to do. And especially if you hosting the Christmas Day meal at home too!
That’s the day when the whole family will be together under one roof, and we want it to be perfect! Just tip-top amazing, easy, non-confrontational, and beautiful, so that we can cherish those memories into the years to come. It’s not too much to ask, is it?
Although the flashback from last year shows otherwise. Maybe you are familiar with the similar scenario – loading a dishwasher after the Christmas meal, feeling tired and drained, someone’s thoughtless comment echoing through your mind. The comment that slipped into the conversation like a bomb, out of nowhere. That comment shattered the very essence of what you wanted to create – a special day of loving and laughing and making merry memories together.
At that moment you felt that you didn’t want to do another Christmas ever again really. Yet here you are again, and this time you are determined to do it differently.
The Perfect Plan?
And yet, I am willing to bet that the plan is the same – your to-do list has practically got all the same words as last year :
- a very special present for the spouse who doesn’t need anything
- amazing and amusing gifts for little ones
- something for the grown-up kids too
- get the biggest tree
- order a bird in time
- get the sprouts before they’ve sold out
- make a cake, or maybe get the best Christmas pudding instead.
And the actual day will go as usual: wake up early to finish the cooking, prepare veg and cook some more, tidy the house, get everything ready, quickly jump in the shower, and be ready for the guests to start arriving.
The very real outcome will be that you’ll end up super-tired & over-emotional again. And feeling very vulnerable like that often leads to being easily triggered by anyone’s actions or words.
The definition of madness, often credited to Albert Einstein, states:
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
And yes, the food’s got to be prepared, and the house readied, and the presents wrapped.
Is it possible to do it all differently this time around?
How to Have a Very Merry Christmas
Even though the overall plan will stay same, there is something you can do to make it easeful and more joyful.
Here’s my plan to mindfully prepare for the Big Christmas Dinner – it will be worth your while, helping you stay centred and relaxed!
Start the Day Right
- Wake up earlier – if possible at 5:30 am
- Go to bathroom, toilet, scrape your tongue and brush your teeth, and wash your face
- Step into the kitchen and drink two pints of hot water – add freshly squeezed lemon to taste for that extra zing
- Move – shake your arms, kick up your knees, hop around, dance, or run up and down the stairs until you feel slightly breathless and awake (5-20 minutes)
- Sit down. Set the timer on your phone for 10-20 minutes. (Go on – be generous!) Ground your feet, and let the spine rise. Quickly run in your mind through the steps that you will take prepping for the guests, the meal, the aftermath – once is enough. AND THEN JUST SIT, and let yourself feel into your body, your breath – touch that infinite space within you where you feel at ease and happy and relaxed
When the timer chimes, open your eyes but hold that feeling of ease in your awareness as a barometer to guide you through the day.
- Stay connected to that inner stillness – reminding yourself to check in every hour (set the little reminder on your phone – do it the night before, or straight after you finished with morning practices).
- When the reminder sounds – Stop for 1 minute, take a few mindful breaths, relax your jaw, your brow, your shoulders, and your belly, let the belly be expanded by the breath on the inhale, and slow down each exhale.
- ‘Shake it out’ regularly throughout the day – dance, hop, make funny moves – shake out the tension from the body – after all, it’s Christmas – no one will mind you prancing about.
- Cultivate compassionate thoughts – for yourself and for others.
- Love and laugh madly!
Have a very Merry Christmas!
Let me know how it goes in the comments below plus I’d love to hear what little tips you use to manage the stress of these amazing days of connection and family!
About the Yoga Health Coaching Blogger
Cece LaCena; Yoga Teacher, Licensed Homeopath/Naturopath, Nutritionist, Ayurvedic Massage Practitioner and Yoga Health Coach in training. In the very unlikely series of events, Cece discovered yoga at the age of 9, cigarettes at 10, and vodka by 13. What ensued was a magnificent epic journey soon leading toward the inevitable destruction by the age of 20, and eventually to the radical change in trajectory which saved her life. Since learning tools for natural healing, and automating her own Habits, she guides others on their journey into joy, freedom, ease and vibrant health on all levels of their being. Discover more about Cece on at Thrive with Vibrant Wellness and Ease and connect with her on facebook – you’ll love her journey.
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