This time of year can bring mixed emotions and challenges. Not only are there plenty of things to do, buy and remember but we can also be feeling the pressure in other ways.
- We might remember loved ones that are no longer with us
- Have extra clutter, noise and people in our homes
- Struggle with finances
- Find ourselves in situations or with people that we would normally not have to deal with
So, if you’re struggling or find Christmas particularly emotional or tough, think about using some of the following tips to take care of yourself.
Much of life is easier if you’re not chasing your tail or winging it. Think about what is important to you and make a plan. This could be around gift-giving, making sure you’ve bought everything you might need, or just simplifying your traditions and schedule so you can do less but focus more on other things, such as friends and family. Think about the really important things and prioritise, including preparing for a good night’s sleep and food to nourish you.
Practice regular self-care and find time for yourself each day. It doesn’t need to take a long time or be expensive. Create some habits around consistent and practical self-care that you can start now and keep up through the holidays and beyond. Remind yourself that self-care isn’t selfish. Doing things for yourself (and not just everyone else) will help you enjoy the time more and be calmer and more present.
You could try 3-5 breathing for when something is not going to plan, huff and puff it away. Get your body into 'rest and digest' mode by breathing in for a count of three, then out for five. As you breathe in, allow your belly to expand like a balloon and as you exhale, let the balloon deflate.
Or Meditate, there are many benefits recorded about practicing meditation and mindfulness. Why not enrol on the ‘Be Mindful’ course, free for all staff.
Sometimes it helps to find a change of scene so you might like to get outside. Go for a walk, feel the fresh air and move your body. Nature has such a calming influence and it might make a good antidote to the hustle and bustle of a busy, festively chaotic home. If the weather isn’t favourable, get your trainers, ramp up those Christmas tunes and exercise. Working out helps your immune system and boosts endorphins, helping you sleep better and easing the pressure.
These could be boundaries around how much screen time you give yourself or how many invitations you’ll accept, but of all the boundaries you could set, there is one that may help beyond all others… saying no. Saying no to an invitation, opportunity or activity isn’t necessarily no forever. It could just mean no for now. The more you practice saying no, the more you’ll feel confident in saying it.
It’s more about what you’re saying yes to instead and how that’s more important for you right now.
Shake it off
This is all about owning your feelings. Although it may appear that it is other people who are driving you mad, you're the one who decides how you respond to the things around you. Make a commitment to yourself to 'let things go' and realise that there are some things you can't control. By reacting negatively you'll only end up spoiling your own Christmas.
A good quote to remind you:
“I am not the thought, I am the thinker of the thought”