Half price sales in the shops, terrible Christmas jumpers on display everywhere you go and the same ten Christmas songs played every day on loop on the radio: Christmas is most definitely upon us. So many people love Christmas and thrive on the chaos, while others just want to crawl under a life size plastic snowman and hide there until it’s all over. Whichever camp you’re in, there’s no denying that a healthy dose of emotional resilience is needed during Christmas and in fact much of December. So, whether you’re a fun-filled festive scamp or a common grinch, we’ve got just the tips you need to get you through December and into the new year!
Christmas Gets Serious
Aside from the ‘Common Grinch’ or ‘Scrooge Nativitatis’ that many of us have had the pleasure of meeting over the festive period, there are some of us who find Christmas to be a genuinely stressful or even distressing time of year. There are so many pressures and expectations, which can be financial, emotional, physical and mental; for all sorts of reasons, Christmas can often trigger feelings of sadness, anxiety, loneliness and even depression, so much so that even your usual sprightly, Christmas Elf can find Joyeux Noel a challenge.
So, how can you support yourself at this time of year?
Three Ways to Create Your Perfect Christmas!
1. Let Go of Unrealistic Expectations
Challenge your long-held dream of a “perfect” Christmas. Try accepting where you are, and what you have as enough. Will it really ruin everyone’s Christmas if you don’t manage to create that stunning, five-tiered dessert adorned with chocolate sculptures or if you can’t afford to buy little Jimmy the latest Xbox game?
Think about your own personal meaning of the festive season. Perhaps it’s always been about buying extravagant gifts for people or partying hard; changing the way you think about it can bring massive physical, mental and emotional benefits. So many people struggle in the New Year with an emotional, physical and financial comedown from December’s over-indulgence. Maybe you can plan a weekend away at a yoga retreat to recharge your batteries and refocus the mind all ready for the new year!
Focus on the good. Maybe you can’t afford to buy lots of gifts or haven’t got the means to host Christmas this year, but thinking about the good things in life can help take the pressure off. Things such as health, a home, family or friends are great positives to meditate on.
2. Make Time for Yourself and Your Needs
It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos at this time of year, so it’s important to take some time for yourself. Go for a run or walk; take a yoga class or even indulge in an afternoon nap to give yourself time out and a chance to re-energise. These things will improve your emotional and physical health and help prevent Christmas burn-out.
3. Look After Your Physical Health
Christmas and over-indulgence just go hand-in-hand! Instead of falling into the post Christmas dinner slump, why not get out for a walk or exercise to balance things out. Remember too that alcohol can often increase low mood and anxiety so if you’re already feeling vulnerable it’s probably best to stay away from the booze altogether.
For those of you who aren’t emotionally affected by alcohol but who may be trying to keep their calorie intake down, just remember that alcohol is full of sugar, which will add to your calorie intake. Try and drink two glasses of water in between each alcoholic drink, which helps keep your liver healthy.
If even after all this, Christmas is just too much, why not create a warm and cosy home retreat where you can restore your body and mind. Instead of spending your own financial, emotional and physical resources on shopping and socialising, invest in your own emotional resilience. Treat yourself to gifts of beautiful candles, nourishing food and Netflix!
May you find strength, peace and comfort during these coming weeks. Go on, you deserve it!
Article by Kerry White
Kerry is a Workplace Health and Wellbeing Facilitator, Speaker, Yoga Teacher and Shiatsu Therapist and the founder of Kerry Wellbeing. Her popular Workplace Health and Wellbeing sessions equip people with practical tools to help them deal with stress and common health and well-being issues such as backache, fatigue and anxiety.
Kerry worked with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva for many years. She has also held other international corporate roles in sales, medtech and training, and knows first-hand the effects of stress.
For more information on Kerry’s workplace sessions, visit: https://www.kerrywellbeing.com/