During this busy time we’re surrounded by Christmas reminders, and sometimes as well as instilling excitement, I for one can feel overwhelmed. So how do we switch off, and manage our minds?
For me, a slice of quiet with a candle or book, and my phone put away, works wonders. Making yourself stop can be a skill though.
Kelly Bassett created her business The Interior Warrior, to focus on the calm we can nurture within our home. Particularly apt as Christmas is on the horizon, Kelly explains “life is demanding but it is how you make it less demanding for yourself, that is the key”. She continues, “none of us have it all worked out all of the time. There are moments in everyone’s life when things become too much and completely consuming. This is when we need to find our pause button.”
As Kelly highlights that Christmas time can be a struggle for our mental and physical wellbeing, she outlines some useful rituals to put into place:
The thought of slowing down, being with those you love and just enjoying that time together seems to have gone in the opposite direction. It now feels like we are hitting Christmas at 100mph. Christmas is a great time to reconnect with yourself and create traditions that work for you and your family.
Forage natural plants to place in the home and create a unique place that makes you feel truly relaxed and blissed out. Find a scent that makes you feel grounded. Home fragrances can really energise you. Why feel burnt out when you can take the time to nourish yourself?
This is by far one of the hardest things to do. However, we need to set life boundaries for ourselves and others, and Christmas is no different. We have all done it, haven’t we? Felt compelled to say yes to something, knowing that we actually mean no. That yes turns our inner dialogue into thinking about how we could avoid the event. And when the day arrives, that sense of dread is overwhelming on your soul and when you’re physically there, you can’t wait to leave.
All these emotions have a huge effect on our mental and physical health. I advise my clients to have a ‘Slow down. All is calm’ calendar for the month of December, and even some of November. As a print out of the month, you book time out for you where you don’t do anything on those days other than be you. It could be a movie night, an essential oil detox bath, a walk- anything that rebalances you and takes you away from the stress of daily life. This really helps my clients with saying no, as they then have a clear vision of what makes them feel good.
It is something we do 24/7 without thinking. But, most of us don’t breathe to our full capacity as our lifestyles are currently overloaded and overstimulating us, creating a fight or flight response. Breathing in and out slowly can really calm our sympathetic nervous system. I recommend this breathing exercise, which I call the breath mountain:
Take either your left or right hand, whichever feels most comfortable to you. With your opposite hand, place your forefinger at the bottom of your wrist. Take a slow breath in and simultaneously slowly raise your forefingers up and along to the tip of your thumb. When you reach the tip of your thumb, slowly exhale, moving your forefinger down to the base of your thumb. Continue this exercise along your fingers slowly with your breath and forefinger, until you reach the opposite side of your wrist. It is such a great tool to use, and you should feel a lot better in that short space of time.
Kelly Bassett, The Interior Warrior
Never underestimate the art of giving to yourself. We are constantly reminded to place our own oxygen mask on first. This applies to real life too!
I believe you are richer by the amount of time you have to do the things that you love. Spend time with those that you love. I truly believe this will be published one day, rather than The Rich List. Of course, we desire financial wealth, however this doesn’t always enhance our happiness. This really ties in to making time on your ‘Slow down. All is calm’ calendar.
We put so much pressure on ourselves when we gift others. Yet it is so nice so give something back and last year I made a give back advent calendar for my daughter. We left a pound in the trolley, donated to a food bank, paid forward a coffee and donated some of her toys to a children’s hospital.
The art of giving is incredible, but don’t forget to give back to yourself.
Helen Wilson-Beevers is a writer and beauty editor. Find out more about Helen over at BeautyStylus.com.
Create bespoke gift sets and more at our Chelsea boutique. December opening hours here
Look to the past for your present this Christmas, with unique gifts that make both you and your recipient feel fabulous… From gifts for the one who has everything (Gifts For Her and Gifts For Him) to luxury Gifts For The Home and Stocking Fillers – we have you covered.
Images: Kelly Bassett