8 ways to look after yourself during the silly season
The time is nigh. There’s little wonder why the Christmas period has been coined the silly season. Families go into meltdown with the pending arrival of loved ones from abroad, shops burst at the seams with people hunting for the latest in gift options, it’s Christmas party central and social calendars are overflowing with last ditch efforts to see friends before the new year ticks over.
With all the external stimulation of Christmas, let alone the internal lamentation of yet another year gone by, it’s important that you continue to look after yourself so that you have something left to give next year. Not sure where to start? Not to worry, here are some tips to help you heading into and during the festive season so that you can continue to live your best life in 2019.
Tip #1: Limit your alcohol intake
This has to be the easiest (and hardest) thing you can do to look after yourself at Christmas. Remember, less alcohol means less hangovers and less hangovers means more early mornings and the capacity to really make the most of your days. This is particularly relevant for those that only have a few days off from work. Add ice to your wine, a water chaser or mixer or purchase by the glass rather than the bottle. If you’re catching up with a friend, promise each other that you’ll limit your intake… count on one another other for moral support.
Tip #2: Schedule in your exercise
As tempting as it is to binge watch your new favourite show on Netflix over the break, it’s vital that you maintain your daily exercise regime. We’re tired towards the end of the year which for some is reason enough to stop moving. To avoid this from happening, schedule your exercise in your calendar as you would a work meeting. If the scheduling thing doesn’t work for you, then integrate movement into your social activities as best you can. Shoot hoops with the little (or big) people in your life, walk and then picnic on the beach with your partner, take a road trip and stroll through a town you’ve never been to. There are so many ways to keep moving during the holidays, and your body will thank you for it.
Tip #3: Schedule in some self-care time
The end of the year is the perfect time to reflect on the year that was. For many, this involves regretting that enough time wasn’t made for looking after our self. Schedule in a massage, get to the physio and get that niggling injury you’ve been living with for a while looked at, go for a walk or bike ride and ponder the meaning of life for a while, brunch solo with a good book or run a bath with some soothing essential oils. Resist the urge to feel guilty for giving yourself time to do what YOU want to do.
Tip #4: Save your calories for the big day
Far be it for me to tell you to watch what you eat over Christmas. But, you might consider saving up some of your calorie spend during December which means you can let loose a little on the big day and those that follow. Eat a staple meal before you go to your work Christmas cocktail function, re-gift any chocolates you receive and drink plenty of water. Your gut is the hub of your emotions so try and be nice to it by choosing your food wisely.
Tip #5: [Re]-Connect with family
Catching up with those who love you unconditionally is the perfect way to get you out of your head and back into really being. Sharing stories and old memories with the people you love and who support you the most is a great to ground yourself. And by grounding, we are getting out of the busyness of our mind and back into our body. So, if by the end of the year you’re feeling like you’re at a loose end with zero direction then some grounding could be just what you need. Other ways to ground include connecting physically with nature: walk barefoot on grass or sand or take a road trip into the country.
Tip #6: Choose experience over stuff
Rather than buying yourself just more things you’ll probably throw out or replace within a few months, spend your money on a memory-making experience as a present to yourself this Christmas. Trust me, in 10 years you wouldn’t saying “Gee, I am glad I bought that pink iridescent lipstick that time…” it will be the memory of a weekend in the country, a hot air balloon ride in the Yarra Valley or an interstate flight to visit your bestie that you will remember the most. If you’re buying a gift for someone special in your life, why not give them the gift of health or wellness with a voucher from a day spa or wellness clinic.
Tip #7: Practise gratitude
Rather than lament what you don’t have this Christmas be thankful for what you do have. There is no such thing as a perfect Christmas and its often these expectations that can hamper the best of intentions. Rather than hang your hopes on one day, celebrate every day as though its Christmas. Live in the moment and be grateful for the gift of life.
Tip #8: Set the tone for the year on New Year’s Day
The way you spend New Year’s Day has the potential to set your theme for the entire year. So instead of spending the day hungover and in a state of lethargy, consider starting the day fresh with a hearty brunch, catch a yoga class and connect with nature. Nourishing yourself inside and out on the first day of the new year will help to set the scene for what lies ahead.