It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! Christmas tree lights are twinkling in shop windows, the old faithful Christmas tunes are on repeat in the Supermarket, and the ‘in-box’ is getting jammed with gift ideas and sales. Then there’s the increase in ‘we must catch up before Christmas’ requests, client lunches, work parties, and that’s before you’ve managed to diarise the Kids school events, orchestra performances, recitals and end-of-year assemblies. All the while, your brain is in a constant search mode as to what to get everyone within budget but isn’t landfill – EEK!
Although there is so much to love about this special time of the year, it does come with a lot of social and financial pressures that take their toll on our wellbeing. So I’ve put together my top six wellbeing tips to help you navigate the lead-up to Christmas with grace and dignity (!!), ensuring you not only survive but thrive during this demanding time of year.
1. Manage Your Alcohol Intake: The Christmas season comes with a flurry of parties and gatherings, and it's not uncommon for alcohol to be a central part of the celebration. While I’m not suggesting you don’t enjoy a glass or two of your favourite festive drink, I do encourage you to moderate your alcohol intake. Too much can impact your sleep, energy levels, mood and overall well-being. Lack of sleep leads to poor decisions on every front (from food to snappy responses).
I tend to drink as fast as I talk (which is quick!) so try one glass of water after each alcoholic beverage. I’ve been weaning myself off alcohol for the past few years because I don’t like how it impacts my sleep and then my productivity and mood the next day. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy the odd evening out but I always remind myself of how I will feel the next day and weigh up those consequences. At this time of the year, with pressures being made in all areas of your life, moderate your alcohol intake and opt for a festive mocktail – and see how empowering it is and how much better you will feel! Your body will thank you for it!
2. The Power of Saying No: One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself during the festive season is the power to say no. It's okay to decline invitations or requests that add unnecessary stress to your plate. Be selective about the events and activities you commit to, focusing on those that truly bring you joy. Saying no is not a sign of weakness; it's a declaration of self-care. BEFORE agreeing to anything – check your diary, how many other commitments do you have on that week, keep some nights (ideally alternate nights) to recharge and catch up on admin. Prioritise your mental health and choose quality over quantity in your festive commitments.
3. Mindful Eating during Celebrations: I don’t mean to sound like a handbrake and I’m certainly not saying don’t eat any Pavlova! But with an abundance of delicious treats and festive feasts, it's easy to overindulge without even realising it. Practice mindful eating by savouring each bite, and paying attention to your body's hunger and fullness cues. Choose nourishing options when possible, and don't forget to treat yourself in moderation. This approach allows you to enjoy the culinary delights of the season without the guilt and helps maintain a healthy balance.
4. Set Realistic Expectations: It's easy to get swept up in the vision of a perfect holiday season, complete with flawlessly decorated homes and Pinterest-worthy meals. However, it's crucial to set realistic expectations for yourself. Understand that perfection is unattainable, and that's perfectly okay. Embrace the imperfections, focus on what truly matters, and let go of unnecessary stress. DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF! The holidays are about joy and connection, not perfection.
5. Prioritise Self-Care: Amidst the hustle and bustle, don't forget to take care of yourself. Make time for activities that bring you peace and relaxation, whether it's a bubble bath, a quiet moment with a good book, a short walk in nature, or getting a pedicure. Schedule these moments into your calendar as non-negotiable appointments with yourself. When you prioritise self-care, you'll be better equipped to handle the demands of the season with a calm and centred mindset.
6. Delegate and Collaborate: You don't have to do it all alone. Delegate tasks and collaborate with friends or family members to share the load. Whether it's meal preparation, carpooling the kids to activities, decorating, or gift wrapping, working together can turn chores into bonding experiences. Remember, asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Embrace the spirit of collaboration and let go of the notion that you have to be a holiday superhero.
As the festive season approaches, remember that your well-being is the greatest gift you can give yourself and those around you (you don’t want to be that wrung-out Mum yelling at her kids to straighten up the tinsel while you follow them round with the duster buster!). Prioritising self-care and well-being during the festive season will not only help you navigate the festivities with greater ease but will also allow you to savour the joy and connection that make this time of year truly special.