For many of us, this coming Christmas & New Year period is the only time of the year where we have a week or two without work, school and the usual weekly commitments.
While it can be a very busy time of the year as we try to cram in as much as possible with whatever energy we can still scrape from the bottom of the tank (ya feel?) - there are ways to support ourselves to make sure we come out of the holiday season more fresh than frazzled.
Keep reading for five practical, fool-proof ways to get through this time of the year feeling relaxed, refreshed and ready to show 2021 what you’ve got.
1. PRACTISE SAYING NO (THANKS)
We’re about to let you in on a little secret: you don’t actually have to say yes to every social invitation you get.
JOMO is the new FOMO honey, and sometimes the joy of missing out is oh so sweet. This holiday period, it’s time to stop over-committing, and start putting yourself first without guilt.
Obviously, there are times when you’ve got to be there for your friends and family, but there are also times where you can give it a miss and recharge your energy instead—it’s all about picking and choosing accordingly.
Don’t feel guilty if someone invites you to do something and you turn them down in order to stay home and bake or read or do the laundry. That time is golden, and it’s yours.
2. DETOX FROM YOUR DEVICES
When was the last time you switched your smartphone off? And no—a dead battery doesn’t count! Most of us probably can’t remember.
Our devices are really quite demanding creatures with notifications pinging left, right and centre. While staying up to date with our friends, family and favourite brands (*cough* Eve *cough*) is great - being constantly connected and reachable is one of the most energy-zapping phenomena of our modern world.
Consider trying a few short ‘digital detoxes’ over the holiday period and swap your smartphone for a good book. You might be surprised how much time and energy you free up for other areas of your life.
3. KEEP TO A SLEEP ROUTINE (AS MUCH AS YOU CAN)
Holidays are often a time where our daily routines and habits can go somewhat out the window, but they don’t have to.
It can be tempting to stay up later and later during this wonderful alarm-free period, but as much as you can, try to keep to your regular bedtime and wake time.
Going to sleep and waking up at a similar time each day is one of the best things you can do to support your body’s natural circadian rhythm and foster quality, restorative sleep.
Aim for at least 8 hours if you can to rest and recover, and the more of those hours that fall before midnight the better. Trust us, your mother really was right - nothing good ever happens after midnight.
4. GIVE YOUR BODY A BREAK TOO
For maximum chill this holiday season, allow a few days to a week to focus on rest and recovery for your body, as well as your mind.
If your go-to exercise routine involves HIIT, running or heavy weight training, having a break from these more intense workouts can do a world of good in relieving built up stress and tension in the body.
Focus on restorative forms of movement for a time, such as walks in nature, yoga and some gentle stretching. Level up your recovery with some dips in the ocean (the colder the better) an epsom salt bath or even treat yourself to a massage.
5. CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF
We often get so caught up in the day to day grind that we forget to slow down and zoom out a little and reflect on how far we have come and where we are heading.
The end of one year and the start of another is the perfect time to create some space to reflect and get really honest with yourself about the year that’s been and the one that’s to come.
Grab a pen, and a journal and write out your thoughts with the following prompts to get you started. You might even be surprised at how therapeutic journaling can be.
- In 2020, I learnt that I am…
- This year I made myself proud when..
- 2020 taught me…
- If I had to sum up this year in three words, they would be…
- What do I want to leave behind this year?
- In 2021, I am going to prioritise…
- Three things I want to achieve this year are…
- What actionable steps can I take to help me achieve these goals?