Ok ok I love this time of year and the build up to Christmas, it’s magical! However, this doesn’t mean that December does not come with its own challenges. It is the end of the year, we are deep in winter the time of hibernations and endings. It is dark and cold and there are colds and flu’s making their way around every office, school and home. On top of that it is also a time for parties, connecting with loved ones, celebration, gluttony, too many hangovers and not enough daylight. So in order to enjoy this period and not end it completely depleted, here are our top 5 Christmas self-care tips.
Take some time for yourself.
It is the period of giving and this can often mean giving too much of ourselves: Our time, our energy, our money etc. Give yourself a day a week where you completely switch off from the outside world. Turn off your phone and have a date with yourself, take a long bath, go for a massage or watch your favourite movie all cosied up in a big blanket. Think of what you are grateful for in this past year and give some quality time to yourself as well as to everyone else.
Reflect on this year and acknowledge all the good things you did.
It is so easy for us to beat ourselves up and start thinking about what we have to do better next year. Stop. Take time to appreciate yourself and your loved ones for the many wonderful moments you have had throughout the year, even if they are small.
Get outside in daylight and move your body.
Wrap up warm and get in the fresh air, go for a walk with friends, take a bike ride through the park, go for a country walk with the dog. In this overindulgent season give your body a break and be kind to it.
This is huge. Give yourself permission to say no and don’t spread yourself too thin. You don’t have to go to every event and get ill making other people happy. Pick the events that are really special for you and make it a total joy to be there with loved ones rather than another place to be.
Stop pressuring yourself.
Christmas shouldn’t be about just giving everything you have to other people, you should feel replenished in this holiday as well. Be kind and gentle to yourself. Christmas isn’t about making the best meals, having the fanciest tree or buying the best presents. You don’t have to compete with friends and family to have the ‘best’ day. Be authentic, create a day of meaning for you and your loved ones, even if that’s beans on toast!
A final offering is to do something good for the environment.
Only 1% of materials we buy remain in use six months after sale*. Don’t buy another piece of plastic just to be thrown in the bin (or ocean!!) in January. Make gifts like jam or candles, write a poem or spend some time quality time with someone. Use recyclable wrapping paper. Buy one special gift instead of ten things ‘fun’ ones. This is the season of kindness and sharing not overindulgence and waste.
Most of all enjoy this holiday period, be with loved ones, love yourself, rest and make your Christmas the kind of time you want not what society expects.
* Annie Leonard discovered during research for her film ‘The Story of Stuff’ that of the materials flowing through the consumer economy this was the result.