How are you feeling at this time of year? Are you thriving on the Christmas buzz or do you wish you could go to sleep and wake-up in January?
Whichever camp you’re in, there’s no denying that a healthy dose of emotional resilience is needed during Christmas, and in fact much of December.
There are so many pressures and expectations - financially, emotionally, physically, mentally - even the most emotionally and physically resilient of us can find this time of year challenging. For all sorts of reasons, Christmas can often trigger feelings of sadness, anxiety, loneliness and even depression.
So how can you support yourself at this time of year?
Here's 4 ways to inspire you to take care of yourself, and make this your own special brand of Christmas!
Let go of unrealistic expectations
Challenge your long-held dream of a “perfect” Christmas. Try accepting where you are, and what you have, as enough. Focusing on the positives in your life can help take the pressure off. There are always positives in your life - they are usually the simple but most important things, such as health, a home, a job, family or friends.
Maybe you can update your own personal meaning of this time of year. For example, if it's always been about partying, or spending lots of money on gifts, perhaps doing things differently this year will bring you more benefits. How about investing those resources in yourself ? Why not go away for a weekend to re-charge your batteries. This can open you to new people, learning and adventures.
What about New Years’ traditions and expectations? This can be a great time to go away on a yoga or meditation retreat to nurture your body, mind and spirit!
Make time for yourself and your needs
It's easy to get caught up in all sorts of things at this time of year, so it’s important to take some time for yourself. Go for your run/yoga class/walk/nap instead of giving those things up - we all know the list is endless at this time of year, so it’s up to you to look after yourself by continuing to do the things that help you feel good. These things will only improve your emotional & physical health at the end of day, and help prevent Christmas burn-out.
Look after your physical health
Christmas and over-indulgence just go hand-in-hand. Try and find balance by getting out for walks or any exercise as much as you can. Alcohol is full of sugar, so just be aware that this will all add to the extra calorie intake at this time of year. Try and drink 2 glasses of water in between each alcoholic drink. Remember too that alcohol can often increase low mood and anxiety. If you’re feeling vulnerable, you’ll feel better mentally staying away from the booze altogether.
Make an action plan in the lead-up to Christmas
Maybe your action plan for the lead-up to Christmas is to create a cosy and warm home retreat where you can restore your body and mind. Instead of spending your resources – financial, emotional & physical – on shopping and socialising, invest in your own emotional resilience. Ignite your inner sense of strength with quiet and space. Treat yourself to gifts of beautiful candles, nourishing food, and why not a little Netflix!
Your action plan may be about helping others. Giving our time to others in need provides so many benefits - to the giver first. Perhaps you can volunteer somewhere (of course health restrictions permitting). Maybe you find a creative way to help someone else who needs support right now. When we are kind to others, we produce lots of feel-good, and health-benefiting hormones.
Above all, be kind and compassionate with yourself. Acknowledge whatever you are feeling - and allow yourself to feel those feelings. This is where mindfulness can be really helpful.
Like all things, whatever feelings and experiences may arise you can remind yourself of one of my favourite mantras - this too shall pass.
May you find strength, peace and comfort during these coming weeks. Go on, you deserve it!
Article by Kerry White
Kerry is a Workplace Health & Wellbeing Facilitator, Speaker, Holistic Coach, Yoga Teacher & Shiatsu Therapist, and founder of Kerry Wellbeing. Her popular Workplace Health & Wellbeing sessions equip people with practical tools to help them deal with stress and common health & well-being issues such as backache, fatigue and anxiety.
Kerry worked with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva for many years. She has also held other international corporate roles in sales, medtech and training, and knows first-hand the effects of stress. Her popular Workplace Health & Well-Being sessions equip people with practical tools to help them deal with stress and common health & well-being issues such as bakache, fatigue and anxiety.
For more information on Kerry's workplace sessions, visit: https://www.kerrywellbeing.com/