The festive season is upon us and generally, we all look forward to Christmas don’t we? There’s something about that whole festive buildup of shopping and preparing, menu planning, friends and  family present buying et cetera …all that anticipation especially as we look forward to some much needed downtime after a long year….let’s face it Christmas is the longest break that many of us get away from our regular schedules: Yay!

So we start visualising a great time and the closer we get to the Big day …the more our stress and anxiety levels increase as what we fantasise about in our heads about the jolly festive season, in reality, can turn into a rather hellish experience for some why is that?

As Healer Samantha Richardson from says “This is partly due to unrealistic expectations we place upon ourselves to spend money we don’t have, be continuously joyful and to have the best time ever!

Before you know it we’re in the full flow of Christmas mania, as we find ourselves trying to actually arrange Christmas…gift buying, food planning and people wrangling PLUS our own personal deadlines as we try to get stuff done before the end of the year, which often leads us to start reflecting on how our year has been …what we’ve achieved, where things haven’t gone as planned etc….we often forget about the ‘journey’ aspect of our year ….and the fact that all journeys include bumps in the road.

Here’s a question: Why is it that we try to become a combination of wonder woman and superwoman? Trying to be everything to everyone? The best partner, mother, daughter, friend, host and cook? So much so that we often don’t enjoy the season or even think about relaxing until it’s time to go back to work… sound familiar?

Why do we repeat the same old patterns where we expect more of ourselves that we can actually deliver we have visions of making everything perfect for everyone else, visions of harmonious family relationships even though often deep down we know that Christmas can often be tricky to say the least.

Clearly it seems that many of us expect more of ourselves that we can actually deliver we have visions of making everything perfect for everyone we have visions of harmonious family relationships even though often deep down we know that Christmas can often be tricky to say the least.

So, how can we avoid falling into the trap of stress anxiety and disappointment this festive season….what can we do differently?

For me one of the biggest things that you can do to make this festive season will be easier and more stress free is to give yourself permission – permission to just do the best you can no more no less permission to allow things to just be permission to rest when you need to rest, permission to say no if you don’t feel like doing something …permission to say hell yes if you really do want to do something. You should take some quiet time for yourself at your feet up and watch some favourite movie your program that you really want to see the mission to have self-care time just give yourself permission!

Well we’ve also asked some of our favourite contributors for their tips and this is what they said:

Sonia Greyson Newman – Life coach

“If hosting, we have a tendency to do way too much. Putting on a banquet like a feast is not uncommon. Only do what is necessary, plan in advance and enlist help from others to take the pressure off.”

“Gift giving is a beautiful thing but with commercialism comes high expectations by others but also self-imposed. It’s important to spend within your means. Consider giving home made gifts, made from the heart, rather than blowing out your credit card balance and then paying for it months or years to come.”

 Lisa Cybaniak – Life coach

Have a plan: be organised, know your desired outcome & plan how you’ll achieve it.”

“Say no – you can’t be everything to everyone, so choose what & who is most important, and aligned with your desired outcome”

Samantha Richardson- Healer Morning Magic!

“Start the day with a positive intention. How you start the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day, e.g. “Today I will focus my attention on all things which bring me joy”. Repeat throughout the day. You will be amazed how much your day improves.”

 Be conscious of your conversations. Be conscious of how you speak! We are all energy! Our words hold energetic vibrations too. Like magnets, like attracts like. When you speak negatively you are sending out a vibrational indicator to the universe to bring you more of the same. Become mindful of the words you are using. And, the conversations you are listening or contributing too. If Auntie Alice is going on her rampage about Cousin Joe then interject with a positive comment and if she doesn’t want to hear it, then make your excuses and step away from the situation. If this isn’t possible then don’t engage in the conversation. Remember your words are dictating your future experiences. Place great value on them and with whom you share them with.”

Sonia Greyson Newman – Life coach

We do not choose our family and family dynamics can be a struggle to manage and navigate. You yourself may get on with all your family but members within your family may not get on with each other. Approach a tensed situation with love and that will dramatically change our perception and behaviour.”

Michelle Roques – O’Neill – Healer & Aromatherapist

“It’s simple, the in breath is as important as the out breath; so take time to fill yourself up especially as your energy levels will diminished – taking a moment to reset whether it’s a symbolic shower, restorative bath or 15 minutes or deep abdominal breathing.

Karen Cummings Palmer -Health coach

Focusing on adding in rather then taking away this festive season.  Anti-inflammatory Omega 3’s stress managing adaptogens and immunity boosting Vitamin C and zinc are all non negotiable’s for me this season.”

 Sonia Greyson Newman – Life coach

 Most of all it is important to take time to connect with yourself, do things that relax you. Go for walks in nature etc.  Make some time to review the past 12 months and celebrate your success, no matter how small they were.

 Lisa Cybaniak – Life coach

 Implement daily self-care. These are the times we push that  concept aside when really we should be implementing more of it!”

At the end of the day, it’s Christmas and it’s yours to enjoy as well as everyone else’s. I hope that you have a wonderful time.

As Samantha Richardson says “It’s okay not to feel great. Allow your emotions a voice, whether it is sharing them with a friend or writing them in a journal. Once you allow yourself to express how you feel, you can feel more positive. Journaling at the end of your day will enable you to enter sleep with a clear mind. How you enter sleep will determine how you start your next day. The journal represents an energetic reset button!”