Hey everyone, welcome to December!! Can you believe we are in December already? I can’t! I love this time of year and I get ridiculously excited at the thought of getting the Christmas tree up and having the house beautifully decorated with lots of sparkly things.
I have also had a reminder this week about the importance of taking good care of yourself as we get in to December and the winter months beyond. I have had a very poorly husband who has been struck down with the flu, fortunately he is now starting to feel better!
We spend hours walking around shops, looking for the perfect gifts for our loved ones.
We eat too much and drink too much even in the run up to Christmas. The supermarkets are full of Christmas goodies, chocolate advent calendars get opened, tubs of sweets get brought in to the office and the cupboards get stocked up with excessive food that we simply don’t need. And let’s be honest, it isn’t the healthiest selection of food! Rob always says to me “how many people do you think you are feeding??” and generally it’s just the two of us but I simply can’t resist all the gorgeous treats at this time of year.
We burn the candle at both ends because we want to go to parties and concerts and nights out. We catch up with family and friends and it can be a struggle to fit it all in.
If you work in an office and have air conditioning, then you probably know all too well how easy it is to spread a cold around the entire office.
I have painted a bit of bleak picture and I really don’t mean to because I absolutely love December; I simply want to reflect how easy it is to forget about taking good care of yourself at this time of year.
Here are some tips to ensure that you take the run up to the festive season in your stride and remain calm, fit and healthy.
Get plenty of rest – It is so easy to not give yourself enough rest around Christmas because there are always so many exciting things to do. Do yourself a favour and try not to schedule too many activities on consecutive nights. Give yourself a break to allow yourself to recover and unwind. I’m not trying to be a party pooper (far from it), I just want you to think of the festivities as a marathon rather than a sprint
Use Essential Oils – I have become a massive fan of using essential oils to manage any niggling health issues and to manage my mood. Oils are great because you can either use them in a diffuser or you can use them on your skin (as long as they are diluted). They are also great in the bath! Essential oils can be a great way to calm yourself when you are feeling stressed (Lavender oil is great for that) or you need an instant lift (I would recommend Lemon or Peppermint Oil). They are a healthy way to manage rising stress levels.
Try to balance your diet as much as possible – It is so easy to get in to poor eating habits in December with the amount of sweets that are lying around. I know I find it hard to resist a Quality Street (or two).
Learn to say ‘no’ – this one can be tricky and often leads to Christmas burn out. It is so easy to get your calendar filled with activities, events, parties and family visits because we want to see everyone/ do everything and we don’t want to disappoint. Plan in the things that are an absolute priority first such as visiting and spending time with family. Once that is scheduled in, then you know how much time you have left for other activities. When you look at the list of other things you want to do, if it isn’t an absolute YES, then say no. Do it graciously and enjoy the gift of time that you have just bought for yourself.
Ask for help – I think we all believe we must become superhuman in December because we want to give the people we love the best Christmas EVER! There has never been so much pressure. You have to find new and novel ways to do Elf on the Shelf, fill Christmas Eve boxes, buy bigger and better gifts, deliver the perfect Christmas dinner and the list goes on. I am exhausted just thinking about it.
The truth is your family just wants to spend time with you at Christmas. They don’t want an exhausted wreck who is crying in to the bread sauce. Ask for help and I am sure people will gladly give it. Get the kids involved in some of the tasks and treat it as a game, ask your partner to provide some support and if you are cooking for a lot of people, perhaps they can contribute to the prep or better still do the washing up.
As the excitement builds and the days are ticked off the advent calendar, I ask you to reflect on you and how you are feeling. If you are starting to feel overwhelmed, wake up and smell the ‘Gingerbread Latte’ and recognise that your health and wellbeing are more important than anything. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and remember that Christmas is one day and that perfection isn’t all it is cracked up to be. 80% will do just fine!
Until next time