‘Tis the season to be merry but hands up if you are feeling anything but jolly?
Like many, you may be feeling exhausted and overwhelmed by your never ending to-do list. There are work deadlines to be met, presents to be bought and wrapped, catch ups with family and friends that you see once a year, sporting commitments, end of year school concerts to attend, bills to pay and lets not forget that the house needs to be cleaned to within an inch of it’s life before Santa arrives and you can relax!
A period of intense pressure which can see us hit Boxing Day EXHAUSTED and in much need of some time out.
Some of our commitments at this time of year are unavoidable, as are the bills which continue to roll in but there are a number of things which you can do which ensures you THRIVE this season rather than barely surviving.
- Set good intentions. Taking the time to set a good intention this silly season helps you to focus on yourself and how you want to live this silly season. For me my intention is to move daily, laugh loudly and be unafraid to say no.
- Say no! I know it feels like you need to organise that catch up with x who you haven’t seen since last Christmas but if your heart isn’t in it, don’t! Likewise if an invitation lands in your mailbox and it’s a no, then it’s a no, not a maybe. There’s no need to give a reason or make up an excuse, simply give a gracious no.
- Take time out for you by doing something which makes you happy. This need not cost money and can be as simple as making time each morning to drink your coffee outside in silence. For me I ensure I’m in bed early enough to read a chapter or two of my latest novel. I also hang the washing out in barefeet – I know it sounds strange but those five or so minutes outside by myself in bare feet gives me the opportunity to stop and breathe!
- Show kindness to yourself and others. Christmas can be an incredibly hard time for people, on so many different levels. We can only take responsibility for our actions so please be kind to yourself and in turn kind to others. A simple act of smiling to a stranger and saying good morning as you pass each other in the supermarket aisle could change the tone of their day for the better.
- Move your body. It is so easy to skip moving your body when you are burning the candle at both ends but the benefits of daily movement are too numerous to mention. If you are feeling overwhelmed with everything why not opt for a walk or a gentle yin yoga class or if you have energy to burn why not use a F45 class as an excuse to catch up with some girlfriends whilst getting a dose of good endorphins.
- Prioritise sleep. Sleep provides us with the opportunity to restore our energy – both physical and mental – so that we can do the things we want to do. I ended the last week of November with a series of late nights and early mornings and made it a priority to be in bed by 8pm for four solid nights in a row. It ensured I didn’t hit December exhausted. In fact, I still haven’t taken my phone off Do Not Disturb from 8pm!
- Eat real food. I am a big believer in eating real food. It is hard to avoid the extra treats at this time of year but when it comes to the food you nourish yourself with, the choice is yours. Certainly don’t say no to every treat that passes you by, but remember you do have a choice to say yes or no. Enjoy those treats and counteract treats with the aim to include 3+ cups of vegies with every meal.
It is the little things which we add into our day to day routine which have the most impact. Focus on 1-2 areas where you can get your biggest results from so that you are thriving, not just surviving.