Festive Season Wellbeing Survival Guide without the Overwhelm!
Updated: Dec 11, 2020
How can you enjoy the festive season and protect your health and wellbeing to avoid overwhelm?
Its that time of year again when a lot of us are getting ready for the festive season and all that goes with it, including increased pressure, stress and anxiety too! This year it is likely to be very different for most of us as a result of the strange times we are living in. Maybe you can't socialise with family and friends as much as you would like or do the things you would normally do at this time of year but everything changes over time and next year will hopefully be better. Try to keep things in perspective and accept that you can't control everything. All you can do is make the best of the situation you are in right now. Below are a few festive season tips to help you get through this year's celebrations whilst protecting your well-being and keeping stress and anxiety to a minimum.
Plan in advance to stress less
This is not so easy with all the uncertainty around at the moment but having a general plan gives you something positive to focus on and acts as guide which allows you to prepare things in advance to help keep the stress levels down. Just try to keep it flexible as we all know plans can change and get disrupted so be prepared and have a back up plan or two!
Get some exercise outdoors in nature
At this time of year with colder and shorter days it is not always conducive to spending time outdoors. Who wants to do that when you can be warm and cosy inside? The thing is you need exercise and time outdoors for your overall health and well-being. Try to squeeze in a quick brisk walk in a park or woodland to connect with nature, breathe fresh air, release the feel good hormones, lift your mood, reduce stress and anxiety and give your metabolism a boost before the onslaught of more festive eating!
Permission to relax in your PJ's too ...
Really, it's ok just to allow yourself time out in your Pj's to relax and unwind. Have a soak in the bath, watch your favourite movie, read a book. Time out for yourself is as important for your well-being as exercise and diet! When you give yourself permission to relax you feel better able to function after. If you are someone who is always stressed and on the run with something to do and somewhere to be over the festive season, or any time, then you need to rest and re-set to avoid burn out.
Try to stick to a regular sleep routine
It is easy over the festive period for your sleep pattern to be disrupted with changes to your usual routine but try to stick to a regular pattern if you can and aim for at least 7 hours a night. Lack of sleep negatively impacts your health and well-being and can make anxiety worse
Tap into your inner calm....
If it is all getting too much over the festive period then try yoga, meditate and breathe to find calm and reduce your cortisol levels (stress hormone). From experience, this is possibly the best thing you can do. Just 20 minutes of gentle yoga focusing on your breathing and movement followed by10 minutes meditation helps to connect you back to yourself and really restores calm (even a few minutes is better than nothing if you are short on time). Alternatively try 15 minutes of qi-gong to de-stress. There are plenty of guided classes on YouTube for free. If this is really not your thing then a walk in nature will work wonders too.
Don't over indulge the alcohol!
As tempting as it may be at this time of year, go easy on the alcohol and try to have a few days off. You don't need me to tell you of the dangers of too much, the hangover will do that and then there is the weight gain! Alcohol can also make anxiety issues worse in the long term. Remember to drink plenty of water too to rehydrate.
Stick to a healthy diet
I am not saying miss out on the festive treats but try to keep it in moderation and stick to healthy food choices where possible with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables to help protect your immune system, improve mood and overall well-being. This can also increase energy levels and reduce the sluggish feeling that a lot of us have over the festive period. Keep healthy snacks handy too such as nuts and dried fruit so you don't automatically reach for the chocolate!
Embrace your inner child!
Don't just sit in front of the tv all day, have fun, laugh and play! If you are with family there are plenty of games you can play and it will help stimulate your mind too. Even playing with a pet has benefits and can even help to reduce stress and anxiety.
Avoid being too isolated
Not everyone is blessed with close family and friends and even if you are you may have been cut off from them over the festive period. Try to keep connection with people where ever possible via phone, Skype, zoom or whatever means is available, to protect your mental and emotional wellbeing. If you are completely alone then look for support groups in your area or on line if you can. Plan to do something special for yourself in advance over the festive period such as having your favourite food, watching a favourite movie or just treating yourself to something nice, it doesn't have to be expensive!
Let go of the need to be perfect
You can't do everything, you can't control everything and you can't please everyone – fact! You can only do the best you can do so don't put too much pressure on yourself. This festive season is for you to enjoy as much as anyone else. Relax and go with flow....
Wishing you all the best for a happy stress free festive season!
Holistic Health and Wellness Coach
If you are struggling with stress then click on the link HERE to download your free tips on Easy Ways to Manage Stress to Protect your Health and Wellbeing.
Don't forget to get a copy of the free 16 page Ultimate Sleep Guide HERE
Produced for general informational purposes only and not intended to replace medical advice