Isn’t it strange, the most effective tools in our life are the simplest and free.
Most of us get caught up in the commercialisation of Christmas. We forget it’s about spending time with those we love and/or just noticing our surrounds – being thankful for just being.
Unintentionally, we let the bombardment of commercials and subtle marketing infiltrate us without realising it’s happening. Gradually, in the run-up to the ‘big day’, we start to let the pressure in.
Some of us set unrealistic goals of getting ‘over the top’ presents for our loved ones instead of just telling them we love them. We hunt down items that are often disregarded quickly afterwards. For some of us, the price paid for this goods will be high – usually assigned to a credit card taking months to pay off.
So, let’s just breathe. Be mindful of ourselves and take back control. My personal survival steps are:
1. Ask myself would the person really love and appreciate the gift or discard it quickly?
2. Honestly, can I afford it? Would I be willing to draw the cash out rather than use a debit/credit card – cards make us forget we’re spending our cash so be careful!
3. Having armed myself with the answers to the above, I draw up a list of the gifts I need to buy with shops, locations and price.
4. Before going out, I take 10 minutes to breathe consciously:
Breathe in slowly for the count of 3
Hold the breathe for the count of 3
Slowly release for the count of 3
Repeat these three breathing steps several times until I’m engulfed in a feeling of calmness.
With each breath, I concentrate on how my body is feeling. Over time my mind wonders – which, with a day’s shopping ahead it invariably does wonder! – I re-focus bringing my mind back to how my body is feeling.
I am so relaxed and peaceful by the time I reach the shops, Christmas shopping becomes enjoyable – not a chore.
Why not try this? Let me know how you feel. Remember – no one can see what you are doing or hear you focussing on your body as you breathe.
A very happy Christmas and peaceful New Year.