How to slow down to go faster this Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but Christmas can, for many of us, also be one of the most
stressful and exhausting times of the year. Finding balance in the run-up to Christmas is essential to make sure that you’re still sparkling come December 25th.

Here are some ideas that may help if you’re feeling squeezed this December.

Understanding the difference between pleasure versus meaning is key.
Pleasure is all about the immediate return, where we’re feeling good. So, for example, when we’re pampering ourselves or enjoying a pre-Christmas glass of fizz with friends, we’ll get an instant dopamine hit. Dopamine is known as the feel-good’ hormone that gives you feelings of satisfaction, pleasure and motivation.
It’s an immediate reward and makes our brain feel good in the short term.

It’s important to balance this with the idea of meaning, reflecting on what’s really important to us – it’s much more purposeful and while it doesn’t necessarily give us an immediate pleasure hit, it’s all about the long-term gain for our health, happiness and wellbeing.

This does mean, though, that things may feel quite tough at times – but keep on going!
In mid-life in particular when we’re often juggling many different roles and responsibilities, we tend to pursue activities that can be challenging, but also more meaningful, to us such as caring for others. We’re seeking that intrinsic reward rather than extrinsic pleasure which is much more meaningful and purposeful and actually much better for us in the long term.

It can help to stop and remember this when you’re stressed about having to buy all the presents with a never ending to do list and you’re running around like a crazy thing or putting pressure on yourself to create the perfect Christmas.

Managing your time is essential.
Just where does the time go?! I’m sure that there are plenty of us who wish we had more hours in
the day and, over Christmas, finding time does seem to be even more elusive.

Figure out what your non-negotiable routines and traditions are; how can you make sure you
structure those in without putting too much pressure on yourself? And remember that those happy
pictures of families enjoying a festive day out that you see on Instagram aren’t always all they
seem. Switching off socials for a while is oh so very good for you – at any time – but particularly over the festive season.

One final tip when it comes to work, is to start planning now for the new year instead of trying to cram everything in before Christmas. ‘Nothing new November’ is a good reframe!

Need a little practical help?

I’ll be hosting a 30-minute online Christmas Slow Down CALM Hub workshop with mindfulness expert Cheryl Finch on December 13th.
Cheryl has nurtured a passion for complementary health care for more than 20 years and is trained
in Reiki, Swedish massage, Aromatherapy and mindfulness, and mindfulness is just the tonic needed
to maximise peace this Christmas.

Not only is it a powerful coping strategy in itself, allowing us to step back and feel less pushed about
by our thoughts and feelings, but it also forms the foundation for self-care and helps us to stay calm
amidst the Christmas squeeze.
To grab one of the last few spaces, visit: and follow the link to register.

Sarah, our Founder, is always happy to talk about the issues leaders, teams and businesses are facing, and how we can unpack problems together to find and design for unmet needs.
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