In this episode, we will look at how to Self-Care at Christmas to eliminate unnecessary stress and be mindful of our well-being.
Self-Care is giving the world the best of you instead of what is left of you. Katie Reed.
Hello, and welcome to another episode. How are you? I hope you’ve been keeping well! As we start to wrap up another year, it got me thinking about what this time of year represents, and to each of us, it will look different.
Psychology Today tells us that “a survey from the American Psychological Association found that individuals experienced many mixed emotions during the holidays, with respondents indicating increased feelings of happiness, love, and high spirits, but also increased feelings of fatigue, stress, irritability, and sadness. This experience is compounded for anyone who might be experiencing mental health. A survey conducted in 2014 reported that 64 per cent of respondents with mental health found the holidays made their conditions and symptoms worse.
Christmas and the holidays can be a busy time of year. From working long hours to get things finished before the break if there is one, and the financial cost and pressure of buying Christmas presents and getting it all done in time with many work or social events with no downtime.
It can also be a difficult time of year when you’ve lost someone you care about. I will dedicate a blog post to this topic, and if you are not already subscribed to the mailing list, you can do so by clicking here.
In this episode, we will look at how to Self-Care at Christmas to eliminate unnecessary stress and be mindful of our well-being. We will cover these seven topics: expectations, ways to plan ahead, sticking to a budget, acknowledging feelings, reaching out to others, boundaries and maintaining healthy habits.
Adjust your expectations.
Life is constantly changing, and so may our traditions and rituals due to various circumstances. If you are experiencing this and are not spending this time of year as you once used to, how might you create new ways to celebrate?
Set aside specific days for cooking, shopping, connecting with others and other activities. You may even consider shopping online for any of your items. Create a shopping list, and if you are hosting an event, come up with a menu to minimise forgotten gifts or ingredients. You may also like to line up some help for any food preparations etc.
Stick to a budget.
Financial stress on any given day can take its toll, especially during this time of year. Before doing your gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend and then stick to your budget. You might like to think outside the box regarding gifts, like making homemade gifts, doing a gift exchange (secret Santa) or donating to one’s favourite charity or cause, just to name a few.
Acknowledge your feelings.
If this time of year is tough, it’s OK to take time to express your feelings. There may be various reasons you may feel this way, like someone close to you has recently passed away, or you can’t be with loved ones for other reasons. It’s normal to feel sadness and grief.
If you are isolated or feel lonely, seek out community, religious or other social events. You might check out websites for information about online support groups, social media sites or virtual events. You might consider volunteering your time or doing something to help others. This can be a way to lift your spirits and extend your friendships. If you are feeling stressed, it also may help to talk to a friend, family member, doctor or a mental health professional.
Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. You may also decide to set time boundaries around events and allow margin during this season to fit in time to take a breather.
Maintain healthy habits.
Make some time for yourself by prioritising pleasant events. Even if it is spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, it may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Find something that brings you joy and reduces stress. Some options may include reading a book, going for a walk, or listening to your favourite music. Ways to maintain healthy habits are:
- Avoid excessive alcohol etc.
- Plan healthy meals
- Get enough sleep
- Stay Hydrated
- Get moving by including physical activities in your schedule.
Which of the seven topics resonated with you or that you are already doing? No matter where you find yourself, this time of year, set a plan that considers not only your nearest and dearests but yourself also. So, until next time you take good care of yourself.
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