Give Your Presence Before The Presents

Nicola Forshaw is the owner of Mindfit, a health & wellbeing practice based in Liverpool city centre. Nicola is a Clinical Hypnotherapist, a member of the British Institute of Hypnotherapy and an accredited Mindfulness trainer. Nicola has taught Mindfulness to individuals, schools and companies across Liverpool and is passionate about improving wellbeing. Nicola@mind-fit.co.uk
Nicola Forshaw is the owner of Mindfit, a health & wellbeing practice based in Liverpool city centre. Nicola is a Clinical Hypnotherapist, a member of the British Institute of Hypnotherapy and an accredited Mindfulness trainer. Nicola has taught Mindfulness to individuals, schools and companies across Liverpool and is passionate about improving wellbeing.
Nicola@mind-fit.co.uk
DECEMBER can be a very exciting and busy time of year. Christmas parties, pantos, sending Christmas cards, putting your deccies up, add to that the stress of cleaning your house for any visitors that make call, what to wear and what to cook, this season can create a lot of stress and a big sigh of relief when it’s all over. So much of Christmas stress is centred around finding the prefect presents for everyone on your list. Family, friends, finding a secret Santa for under £5, the stress! And the list seems to get longer every year. It’s every parent’s nightmare, discovering that this year’s must-have toy is impossible to get. This year’s craze is all about the Hatchimal, an interactive bird that hatches itself out of an egg, and will set you back for £60! They are sold out everywhere leaving parents frantically driving miles in search of one or bidding over the odds on ebay. Christmas morning arrives, the house is beautifully decorated and the children have everything on their Christmas list but many of us are still stressing over cooking the perfect Christmas dinner and can ended up missing out on the best bits. By dropping our agenda and living fully in the present moment with our children and loved ones we get to experience more joy and create happy memories that will last longer than the presents and make all of the pre-Christmas stress seem worthwhile. Most parents recognise the importance of presence over presents but sometimes we get easily distracted striving for perfection. We spend hours and hours on the lead up to Christmas planning and scrutinizing small details, trying to get everything just right, but in reality, it’s usually the simple things that mean the most. You may have lots of extravagant plans to have the perfect Christmas but if they don’t come off or live up to your expectations, that’s ok too, the trick is to look out for something that’s pleasant or pleasurable in the that moment – you may be surprised by what truly makes you happy. It’s the simple ways, we can connect as families and friends and create the best memories, by giving our full attention and presence, catching and savouring all of those special Christmas moments. So how can we live this December with intention – making meaningful memories and minimizing stress? Protect your Family Time – This time of year is filled with obligations and to do lists. Schedule things that matter most to your family. Carve out some quality family time, set a date where you can all be together to simply relax or hang out without high expectations. Give to others – Perhaps help out in your local community and talk to your children about it. Could you pick out a toy together to take to your local homeless shelter? Or volunteer a few hours to help someone else. Yes, this may add more to your to do list but helping others together enables your family to gain some renewed perspective and sense of gratitude. This can be a meaningful tradition for your children and help shape their future values. Involve your children– sometimes we can get caught up with the idea of having a perfect Christmas Tree or Christmas Dinner and it can take the enjoyment of out things. Encourage your children to get involved with the decorations, cards, wrapping and cooking, they may be some of the moments your kids enjoy most. Switch off and show up! Have periods when no electronics are allowed – have a conversation instead! On Christmas morning, don’t worry about getting your Christmas pictures on Facebook or Instagram, instead really enjoy the moment. The most perfect Christmas gift that we can give is the gift of time. Remembering the importance of ‘presence over presents’ and making that two-millimetre shift in your awareness, putting quality time with your loved ones at the heart of everything may just make it your best (and least stressful!) Christmas yet. Christmas party – without the hangover! If you are anything like me and love a good party but can’t cope with the hangovers – there is a new party concept in town which may be right up your street! Rainbow City’s Rise and Shine Christmas Special offers a healthier alternative to celebrate the festive season, serving super healthy food and drinks with a bar/club vibe, group meditations and dancing, you can have a great time and come out feeling energised and happy instead of feeling ropey and drunk! Rise & Shine Christmas Special is on Saturday 17 Dec between 10am – 2pm at District House, Water Street. Tickets are £15 at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/rise-and-shine-liverpool-tickets-27684846120 Mistletoe and Movies Nothing quite gets you in the Christmas spirit like settling down on a cold winter’s night in front of a Christmas movie. Last night my daughter and I snuggled up to watch our first Christmas movie together, Home Alone 2, even though we have both watched it loads of times it seems to get funnier every time we see it. Watching a family movie together is one of the easiest ways to practice the idea of ‘presence over presents’. Which ones will you be snuggling up with in front of the fire this year? Top Five Christmas Movies:
  1. Elf
  2. The Muppets Christmas Carol
  3. The Polar Express
  4. Miracle on 34th Street
  5. The Grinch