Christmas day is a big day for many and the key to enjoying it to its fullest is by starting it right. Chances are, there will be a lot of interactions happening, both with people and food. Energy is going to be given and taken from all angles. And there may be an expectation of perfection, whether you are the host or the guest. Or even if you are spending Christmas alone. But still, either way, the day should be relaxing and joyous. It is one of the very few days of the year that there is an overall feeling of bliss across the world, and you should make the most of it. Regardless of your position in it all.
I have listed some ideas on how to start the day. Most are quick and more about taking a moment of mindfulness more than actually performing tasks. But I specifically wanted to mention our ability to find reasons why we can’t do many things. And point out that when it comes to taking a few minutes to evaluate and focus on yourself, we can all do it, at any point.
Even if you wake up next to a partner, who may be wide awake and wants to start chatting. Or if there are kids running into your room to jump on the bed and demand Christmas presents. You can request they give you 10 minutes to start your day. Or remove yourself for a few minutes. Or even stay in their company, while practicing your ability to fade the happy noises into the background. Maybe make the excitement and chatting part of your process. After all, they are your loved ones. And their presence could aid your sense of calm. But still, try to calm your mind and focus your energy on yourself for a few minutes. The very first thing you should think about is you. Before the day gets carried away with itself, treat your body and mind to a bit of TLC.
Leave Your Phone for a Moment
Most people use their phones to check the time and like to see what that is when waking up. Fair enough. But try to leave it at that. Checking your email, social media, or the news, are all activities that can unintentionally interfere with your morning, and subsequently, the rest of your day. So to start your day right, push that button again to switch the screen off and lie back in the bed for a moment. Allow your body to activate. Then see if you can get up and spend just 5 or 10 minutes focusing on only yourself, before falling into the routine of a normal morning. Hopefully you can move onto the next suggestions before exposing yourself to an electronic device.
Move Your Body
Move a little. Not a lot, I’m not asking you to start your day right off the bat with a run or doing anything that would be extreme for you. But move your body a little. Get the blood flowing and the muscles a little stretched. Maybe go for a stroll and get some fresh air. Chances are, first thing on a Christmas morning there won’t be any traffic in the streets either. If you prefer to stay indoors, try some light stretching. Even if it is just 10 minutes. You would be surprised at what a difference it will make to the rest of your day.
Again, this doesn’t have to be anything serious. Just take a moment, maybe while walking or stretching, to take a few healthy, deep, cleansing breaths. They can do wonders for the entire system. Ideally, I recommend briefly stopping a couple more times during the course of the day to take a few deep breaths. But it is a great start to even just take this one moment in the morning, to shut everything else out, maybe close your eyes, and truly breathe.
Drink a Glass of Water
Treat your entire system. Let the first thing you consume be a glass of water. Just one glass, even if it is a small one. After a night of sleeping and perspiring, your body needs to be re-hydrated. And the best thing you can do to start your day right is by drinking some water (filtered water would be ideal). And if you have on hand, maybe even pop a slice of lemon in it. Try not to add ice or have chilled water. Just smooth, relaxing, hydrating water that is easy for your body to consume.
Choose Breakfast Wisely
Many people spend much of Christmas day (and the days before) eating all manner of things and too much of them. So do your body a favour and eat something light and nourishing for breakfast. Eating a healthy breakfast every day has been shown to help people maintain a healthy weight, have more strength and endurance, and concentrate better on difficult tasks.
The best breakfast for your body and mind combines protein, whole grains, and healthy fats. And if you really want to treat yourself, try some vegetables. It may sound odd at first, but a veg filled omelet is delicious. Or another favourite of mine is a little cinnamon and salt sprinkled over mashed squash, like butternut or gem squash.
Try to avoid sugars because they raise your blood sugar levels causing an inevitable crash later in the day. Most doctors and nutritionists recommend fruit in the morning, but to be honest, I have found my energy levels during the entire day are much more balanced if I avoid even fruit first thing in the morning. If you can wait until the second half of the morning before consuming anything sugary, you may find that your energy levels are better maintained during the second half of the day.
Avoid Any Stressful Decision Making
A tricky one, because often questions are thrown at us in the morning, either by others or our own anxious minds. Try to avoid making big decisions or answering any serious questions before you have had a chance to start your day properly. Even something like picking an outfit can be stressful for some in the morning. So, if you have time, do it after breakfast. Or maybe lay out a selection the night before.
It’s Your Choice
This is something that may be hard to hear for some. But, most of the time, it really is your choice as to how the day progresses. So even if you don’t manage to start your day right with these more ideal steps. Before you tackle the world, try some simple positive affirmation. Before your brain starts spinning down a spiral of negativity (which can be pretty addictive), stop and calm your mind. Tell it that it will be a good day. And take your first step with a smile on your face. Because you know what, even if it’s not a totally awesome day today, maybe tomorrow will be a great day. And you know what? Everything is actually going to be okay.