Christmas is a time for love, peace and goodwill. However, it can be a time of stress and frustration. Here are our 10 tips for maintaining your sanity over Christmas and coming out of it feeling better, fitter and ready to embrace the New Year 2009.
1. Fresh Air. Take advantage of the kids waking up early. Let them open a present and then get the wellies on and go out for a 30min walk before breakfast. Don't let the weather be an excuse. There is no unsuitable weather, just unsuitable clothes.
2. Call someone. After breakfast, break out an old book of phone numbers and ring one of them. Family, friend, acquaitance, whoever. Don't aim to have a prolonged conversation, just give them a call, wish them Merry Christmas and let them know that you have been thinking of them and hope they are well. Then hang up and enjoy a coffee in the warm glow.
3. Do something constructive. Gather the throng together and tell them to go out and collect litter off your street for 30mins. Put gloves on provide bags and make a difference. You never know, a neighbour or two may join you.
4. Go knocking. Pick an address in your neighbourhood where you don't know the person living there. Pop round, introduce yourself and wish them a Merry Christmas. You could take over a flask of coffee, some chocolates or a card (homemade). Just a quick visit.
5. Turn off the TV. After dinner find a game and play it. Charades or Karioke are always good starters or break out a board game or a pack of cards. Grandparents vs Kids at Twister can always be entertaining!
6. Take some Time. This is the most valuable commodity over Christmas. You must take a 20min break for yourself. But it must be time for yourself. A quiet time. Time to think, consider, dream or if you can, switch off. The best medicine there is, 20 minutes of silence. Go out for a quick walk and find a bench (churches are good), sit in the car or garage. Lock yourself in the bathroom or spare room if you have one.
7. Dance. Put on your favourite music and let yourself go. Don't expect others to join in, but if you are uninhibited you will find they will. Have a bad dancing contest or a Daddy dancing contest. Act out a film or TV moment like Grease, Joseph or a Disney Classic.
8. Discuss/Question. Have a debate. Pick teams, select a subject and by the toss of a coin decide which team will be for and which team against the subject. It is a good idea to have a Chairperson to settle any points and calm any heated debates. Ask the children what they would like to debate. Subjects could be; Should children be allowed to vote? Is junk food ever good for you? Is it possible to be over-educated? Are cars a good thing? Is Father Christmas real?
9. Read. Dig out a pile of old books or get down to the library and take it in turns to read a passage from a book or a couple of verses of poetry. You can use magazines, newspapers or if you want to just talk about a topic you are interested in.
10. Tell all those you are sharing the day with that you love them. Take time during the day to approach everyone and let them know that you love them.
Don't worry if you can't do all 10 tips everyone helps a little bit. If you do manage all 10, then you will feel physically, mentally and emotionally rejuvenated. Have a wonderful Christmas time, we wish you all the Season's cheer from ISAK and an amazing New Year.