Yep, it’s December and that means Christmas is already here. Again?! How did it happen so fast? It’s the same question, I ask myself every single year.
For many people, Christmas is a frantic time of stress, busy-ness, and can actually be quite unpleasant. These past couple of years I’ve actually asked myself, what has happened to the magic and joy of Christmas – for me, personally – and why has it suddenly become a time of year just to try and get through?
I don’t know if this resonates with anyone else but I used to LOVE Christmas. I loved the anticipation, the decorations, putting the tree up and sprucing up the house Christmas style. I have spent the last 4 years studying non stop and that has meant that Christmas has been just another thing on the pile of things that I need to get done and deal with.
So what can we do a bit differently this year to not just survive the silly season, but to enjoy it? Or at the very least, not feel completely burned out by it?
If you’re already leading a high stress life, then this time of year can always make it feel just that little bit worse. It’s really hard to find time for ourselves when we’re super busy, but it is actually the most important thing you can do. Looking after you is the number one most important thing – even if it means scheduling “me time” into your calendar! It’s little things like reading a book at a café by yourself, or spending time in the garden, whatever it is you love to do, to recharge. Make sure you fit it in as often as you need to re-fuel your energy so that you’re not a burnt out mess by New Years.
Yes, move! Exercise and movement isn’t just going to be helpful for those few extra treats we all enjoy this time of year, but don’t forget how essential it is for your mental health. Bringing it back to the point about stress, we ALL know by now the health benefits of exercise when it comes to stress levels, and it ties in also with making time for you. Try and fit it in where you can – walk the dog, get to the gym if that’s your thing, get some friends together and play volleyball on the beach or go walking around neighbourhoods checking out the Christmas lights with your fam. Whatever it is, see if you can make it an “essential” not a nice to do, and see how it affects your mood over the Christmas period.
How important is healthy eating to you? The answer to that is none of my business (unless you’re my client and you need me to help you with something!) – however YOU should pay attention to where YOU are at. If you are trying super hard to eat well and have done so all year with a diet, health or other goal in mind, how are you going to feel if you let it slide over Christmas? If fine with it – great! If you feel like it would impact you negatively, then see how you can ensure that you make the choices you need to get to the other side still feeling pretty darn good about yourself. On the flip side, Christmas can be a time for good food and good company. If being super restrictive is going to make you miserable, see what choices you can make to still stay on track but still enjoy the festivities.
As hard as it might be – one important thing to remember is that you have choice. And I don’t mean about what to eat and what not to eat, but choosing what is right for YOU to keep your sanity during the Christmas period. If that means choosing not to attend certain functions or parties because it would stress you out too much, you are free to choose that! And you’re allowed to choose that without feeling guilty. Sometimes part of the big stress over Christmas is feeling like we have to please everyone, see everyone, do everything for everyone – but if you are already in a high stress state these are the things that can be tipping point for some of us. Look after yourself and don’t wait for January 1 to nurture yourself – start it now.
I wish everyone the happiest Christmas and festive season! xo