Self care activities for December

Hey readers,

December can be a busy time of year for us all and we can be swept away by everything else that is happening that we forget to look after ourselves or give our selves some time out to take self care. So, here are some practical self care activites you can do this December to help reduce the stress of the Christmas period.

Mindfulness.

Practice some mindfulness – look around and see the lights twinkling from the decorations in the Christmas tree.

blur branch celebration christmas

Bath.

Have a long soak in the bath and unwind. Let your muscles relax and give your body that time to rest.

Sleep.

Have an early night and switch off the technology, even take a book to bed to read and escape with a story.

Exercise.

Go for an evening walk and get some fresh air. Enjoy not having to rush about but just soak up the scenery.

Drink.

Make a yummy hot chocolate and drink it whilst wathcing your favourite programme. Just focus on the moment and forget about that to-do list. There is something lovely about holding a hot cup of your favourite drink in your hands and feeling all cosy.

beverage blur candy candy cane

Being realistic.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the business of the festive season create limits to stick to. Instead of doing wrapping in one go do it over two days. There is no point rushing about when it will tip you over the edge. It makes you feel stressed and causes tension in the home. It is important to break down goals that are manageable and realistic to achieve.

Ask for help.

If you are struggling then ask for help – it is not a crime and you are not a failure in doing this. In actual fact, it takes more courage and strength to know when to stop and give someone else the responsibility. It is better productivity that way.

Remember.

Remind yourself that it is ok to stop and not be busy. It is ok to time out for yourself and your wellbeing. It is ok to do nothing even though you feel that the festive period is about constantly being on the go. It is ok to have time out for yourself to rejuvenate and charge your batteries.

De-clutter.

During this period I find that de-cluttering helps my mind. Sorting out through unwanted toys that boys don’t use and passing them on to someone else ready for Christmas when they get tons more to replace the space that once was.

I find it relaxing just putting music on and pottering about. I like to get things in order and get areas tidy. It is a calming and I love the feeling after when you get a sense of satisfaction.

Write.

I find writing relaxing (hence why I blog) though you don’t necessarily have to do that if you don’t want to. You could write a gratitude diary where you write the number of positive things that have happened to you that day. It doesn’t have too big it could be simply having a shower, getting out of bed. It is the small things and getting into this pattern can really help enhance a more positive mindset over time.

hand pen writing plant

Cheers for reading X

My Christmas holiday traditions

Hey readers,

Today I want to talk about Christmas traditions that I and my family partake in.

So, where do I Start I guess with Christmas Eve I tend to now tune in to Channel Four’s special Christmas movie they air each year. I have done this since the boys were little and it is just a lovely way to settle down in the eve before Christmas. Channel four are normally good at picking some really calm films perfect to watch just for bed. The kind of things are The Snowman and the snowdog or we are going on a bear hunt.

Image result for the snowman and snowdog

Along with watching Christmas Eve film, we make a luxury hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows, yummy.

Each year my boys ‘help’ with putting up the Christmas tree whilst blasting out old classic Jazz Christmas songs, I also prefer that music and reminds me of my own childhood.

boy beside christmas tree illustration

On Christmas day I love to go for a family walk, normally ending up at a park. When we go to the park it is bizarre because it is so eerily quiet when normally it would be buzzing with kids everywhere.

Can’t be Christmas without an advent calendar to lead us up to Christmas. Nothing like getting a tiny chocolate in the morning, lol.

Every year we go visit Santa locally (it was the same one I went to as a kid so happy memories associated) so it holds happy memories not just for my children but for me as well. It is really fun as there is a Santa sleigh ride where you still in a sleigh and it moves. It is really pretty with the lights and the kids get all excited to go meet Santa.

My boys are now at that age where they love to write Christmas cards to relatives and friends. They love personalising it with their drawing and stickers – it is a lovely activity to do during Saturday afternoon.

Every Christmas I put up two stockings up for the boys to enjoy small little presents and random items, which ironically are some of their favourite things they get over Christmas.

This tradition is more of my husband’s thing, which is Christmas crackers at the table. Me personally I think they are a waste of money but I am sure I waste money on other things over Christmas. Nonetheless, the boys the surprise of the noise from pulling on crackers and we can have a laugh at the rubbish jokes that come with the crackers.

Going to school play at Christmas is magical to go and see as parents and see your little ones dressed up and singing Christmas songs. I always come away feeling cosy inside and the boys feel proud of all the effort they put into their roles.

Awful cheesy Christmas jumpers that are just glorious to wear during Christmas. My boys love Christmas jumpers especially when one of theirs has lights on it and sings songs, adds to the excitement of Christmas.

Finally, the last tradition is, of course, leaving a plate out for Santa that consists of a glass of milk, mince pie and a carrot for the reindeer. My kids after being super happy in the morning to see the plate empty bar a few crumbs, hehe.

Cheers for reading X

Autism and Christmas.

Hey readers,

As you are probably aware that Christmas is upon us next month. Christmas can be a lovely time to spend with special people in your life, however, as a person with autism, this period can be rather stressful.

One of the triggers for me is that it is a massive change in my routine and expectations are the biggest areas that I struggle and get quite stressed, probably bound to have at least one meltdown.

abstract art background blur

So, over the years I have tried to find ways that can help me not feel so overwhelmed by all the change because I hate it very much. I thought I would share some of my coping mechanisms, they could help you or someone you know.

Of course, Christmas isn’t just stressful for autistic people it could very easily be someone without it as there are a lot of extra of things you have to deal with especially if you have children, the stress quadruples.

Safe place.

One place that calms me is my safe place, where I go to when I am stressed and that is my bedroom. I have always associated my bedroom with my safe place, even though currently it looks like a bomb has gone off (hubby will one day decorate it, ffs). I still go to my bed to calm down. I have low lights on and put one throw and two sleeping bags, yes excessive but that is a comfort for me. I calm down and it is my space (not the website, lols).

bed bedroom blanket clean

Routine.

I know with Christmas everything goes right out of the window but loosely knowing what is happening helps me a great deal to feel I am in control and there is some structure. I hate not knowing what is happening. Also, my eldest is the same so basically we need it now just for me but for him as well.

Mantras

I like mantras, I like repeating over and over again especially when I am stressed. So saying to myself, ‘it is one day, it lasts x amount of hours and I can get through just like all the other days’ helps me because it is a statement, I can repeat it and it brings me back on focusing on the control which in turns help with managing my anxiety.

Walk.

I used to have this weird idea that you had to stay in all day at Christmas. I appreciate that some people love this, which is absolutely fine. However for me going out for a walk, getting some fresh air really does help clear my head. I feel less closed in with the tree and the disorder of all the toys everywhere etc not in their rightful place. It also calms kids down as well and gets rid of some of that pent-up energy they have.

adult adventure baby child

Talking.

I know it is ironic me saying talk to someone, as I myself am fully aware that communication is one of the hardest things to do, but even if it is written down one word such as change this can help other members maybe bit a bit more patient. I remind husband as brilliantly supportive he is, sometimes with his own stress, a polite prompt that you are struggling goes a long way.  It then gives him the opportunity to a bit more patient and it is a calmer environment for all to manage.

Cheers for reading X

3 Little Buttons

10 signs that Christmas is coming.

Hey readers,

I thought seeming as we are getting nearer and nearer to Christmas, that for a little sh*ts and giggles to help the lovely readers get in the festive mood I would do a light hearted post on sighs that Christmas is even that more closer to knocking on our door. Read below to get some more insight.

1. You know when Christmas is here when you witness the classic Coca Cola advert with the bright red lorry delivering the sugar laid drink to the family. Let’s face it no one cares about calories at Christmas fact! The advert also brings a cheerful jingle that gets stuck in your head, ‘HOLIDAYS ARE COMING’. If that isn’t a sharp reminder that Christmas is fast approaching I don’t know what is.

Image result for cola coca lorry

2. Everywhere you look in restaurants, fast food joints, shops, coffee shops everything has cinnamon in it from your coffee to the candles to even the toilet tissue to wipe your bum, cinnamons got your back, haha.

Image result for cinnamon toilet roll

3. Soon as 1st November comes the music is blasting out in the shops with such classics about wishing it was Christmas every day. However, if it was Christmas every day you would be skint, fat and hallucinating about salad quite frankly.

Image result for i wish it could be christmas everyday

4. You know in June you can see the Christmas lights in the street hung up but not turned on. Well news has it when it is the end of November boom them lights shine bright in the night.

Image result for christmas city lights

5. Most of the shops consist of chocolate, more chocolate and a bit more chocolate.

Image result for christmas chocolates

6. If you flick through the channels you will notice a slight different to the presentation of some channels. Once channels just showcased normal stuff like for instance bog standard let’s say Now that is What I Call Music tv channel to ummmm…..you guessed it Now That Is What I call Christmas. Or, if music is not your thing then don’t worry there is Christmas movie channel 24 hours a day to get you excited with showcasing any old crap that resembles some sort of Christmas tone about it pretty much on repeat since November, Ho Ho Ho.

 True Christmas will show back-to-back Christmas films

7. Lets not forget the endless adverts that are more story based then actually about buying any products.

Image result for john lewis advert

8. Hello pretty Coffee cups from the coffee shops that are decorated with some sort of Christmas paraphernalia such as the stag or a snow man. This is enough to get any insta w*anker in and buy that festive hot chocolate from Costa or any other popular coffee chain. The coffee chain bosses must be milking in it, haha.

9. Home is much cosier now that tree are up. The lights are twinkling and the cat is underneath the tree itching to pull down that rogue tinsel.

Image result for cosy christmas tree living room uk

10. Of course Christmas is about gluttony and that you can be guilt free. Therefore let go and eat six mince pies, two hundred celebrations and the goose fat potatoes because you know why? It’s Christmas, treat yo self! It is in the unwritten rule of Christmas that anything that touches your mouth has no calories.

Image result for goose fat potatoes dripping

Cheers for reading X

How to save money at Christmas time.

Hey readers,

As we are fast approaching Christmas it can be a daunting prospect especially when you haven’t got a lot of money and you wonder how you are going to get through the period without being in debt. Here are my money saving tips for the festive period.

bokeh christmas lights illuminated lights

Supermarkets.

Swap supermarkets when you do the shop for budget friendly ones Lidl and Aldi so much cheaper and the quality is still very good. Remember to write a list before you go as I have been guilt of being caught up in the moment and at least with a list you can stick to it and not buy too much food.

Yellow stickers.

In my household we buy our Christmas meat in the yellow stickers that are reduced at the end of the day and put it in the freezer. Saves an absolutely fortune. Also nowadays people are braver and don’t all go for turkey – don’t feel pressure if you don’t want, there is so many meats to choose from. Even better if you feel up to it you could go vegetarian and save the pounds there.

paper bags near wall

Lists.

I do this when I feel stressed especially when you want to feel in control and set a budget and write a list, do your research, you will feel so much better for it. Check out the latest deals such as Martin Lewis website is excellent in finding the latest deals and offers out there.

Enough is best.

There is this preconceived idea that Christmas is this magic and perfect time for families. You need to change your ideology focus on spending time of family and don’t worry about being perfect, no one is right and it is ok to be enough without everything.

Courier.

If you are sending presents to relatives or friends don’t just rely on Royal Mail as a courier. Have a look around as there can be some services that are much cheaper.

Christmas post.

When sending a Christmas card in the post to someone a cheaper way to do is use second class stamps. However, it may take longer but make sure you’re earlier and then it should not be a problem and your purse will be happier for it.

orange star bokeh light

Christmas tree.

I know it is tempting to have a fresh tree as they seem to be the fashionable thing to do. But really it is a lot cheaper to opt for a fake tree as this will save you money in the long term. Not to mention the positive impact of choosing a more environmentally friendly option as a pose to buying a fresh tree that is chopped down just for Christmas and then checked away in a few weeks’ time.

My supermarket app.

A brilliant app that can save you money is mysupermarket.co.uk as you can look up products and compare them to the top supermarkets to see which is cheaper. You can also see the deals of each shop and grab a hot deal.

IOU.

We all know items in the shops are cheaper instantly after Christmas Day. One way to save some money is between you and say your friend is do an IOU (I owe you) meaning instead of handing your friend a present at Christmas do it after.

Don’t buy presents.

Or what you can do is agree to not buy presents, saves the stress but you can enjoy time with the family instead.

Cheers for reading X</p

3 Little Buttons