Five tips to help you survive Christmas

Stress, conflict, rising blood pressure and anxiety – it might be the season of good cheer, but there’s no doubt Christmas can be one of the most challenging times of the year as well.

So, what’s the solution? We caught up with Melbourne based psychotherapist and anxiety expert, Pauline McKinnon, who has been a leader in the field of therapeutic meditation for over 30 years. Pauline had these tips to share.

1. Give yourself the night off

Pauline says that in the lead up to Christmas, we sometimes overlook personal needs.

“It’s a good idea to make a few dates for yourself, some evenings when you just stop doing and relax. For me, after 9 o’clock is ‘Pauline time’. I forget about Christmas pressure and take some time to enjoy personal interests.

“This is not opting out – it’s self-care through planned procrastination!”

2. Beware of stressful family members

“The obligation surrounding socialising with certain family members with whom we don’t really connect is one of the more difficult things about Christmas,” says Pauline.

“Find your inner ‘zen-mode’ and try to let things slide. Being the bigger person isn’t just the mature thing to do, it’s the best way to avoid confrontation and ensure a happy Christmas Day for you and your family.”

3. Treat yourself… it’s Christmas!

Going over the top with food and drink consumption is never recommended, but Pauline says we shouldn’t be afraid to indulge just a little at Christmas time.

“The whole point of Christmas is celebration… Let’s treat ourselves with the spirit of Christmas well in mind.”

4. Remember to exercise!

Pauline says the benefits of exercise are not only physical, but mental as well.

“Exercise shares a lot in common with meditation. And this doesn’t have to be vigorous, either. Walking is the most naturally beneficial form of exercise, so spend some time out in the park!”

5. Stillness meditation

With so much going on around you, it can be challenging setting aside time for meditation. But Pauline says the lead up to Christmas and throughout the Festive Season is when we need it the most.

“It’s really healthy to know how to clear your mind of any distractions and let your mind rest. The practice of natural mental rest leads to inner calm, a necessity when managing the festive season with poise and grace.”

Pauline says the value of stillness meditation lies its effortlessness.

“Stillness meditation allows rest for body, mind and spirit leading to self-healing. Those who travel this path discover life transformed.”

If you would like to learn more about stillness meditation, you can visit this website.