It’s very easy at Christmas and through December to think and do for others, whilst completely forgetting we exist. Our mental health and physical health can decline and by January we are feeling fraught, do we relax, no, we are usually embarking on some high pressure and stressful goal. This year I implore you to stop and think about yourself and your wellbeing when you are well looked after it makes it easier to tend to others and give our full self.
This post will be filled with lots of ideas to give a little back to yourself this year, after all, you deserve it! You superstar!
Pamper Catch Ups
Whether its a whole day, an evening or morning or simply 30 mins, taking out some time in your busy schedule to simply sit with a face mask on and listening to some calming music or painting your nails with a glass of wine once the children have gone to bed.
This isn’t something that should be done once a month but rather once a week with some other forms of self-care mixed in, or hell just pamper yourself a few times a week, you will be surprised how much you feel like you again.
Watch That Movie
Do you find that you never quite have the time to watch that movie you have always wanted to watch or one you have seen and thought ohhhhh I will watch that, but you never quite have the time to watch it? Well now is your chance, one evening tell your spouse you want the telly tonight, grab yourself a little bag of popcorn and treat yourself to one or two special truffles and watch that movie.
The reason I am suggesting a little bag of popcorn and a couple of truffles is you want to feel revived after your movie, I think overloading ourselves with lots of crisps and popcorn could have the opposite effect of making us feel sluggish or worse still guilty.
Schedule In You Time
This is more of a tip than a suggestion for relaxation. If your a hectic person with a hectic life then scheduling in some time may be better. Personally, I don’t have children, my husband and I love renovating and house projects so we always have something like that on, and I do a majority of the cooking and cleaning but cleaning up after two people is different than a house of five people. Therefore, I don’t feel this is necessary for me, but for some this is vital.
If you live your life via schedules and plans, or even if you would like to add some you time each day or few days to your diary then do so, if you write down plans with yourself in your diary you know not to book anything over that time frame, you won’t forget to make time for yourself, and its there, no excuses to let your plans be forgotten.
You can also read a previous post of mine talking about finding time HERE, it has some great tips on how to carve a little time out of your day.
The great thing about meditation is how you feel afterwards, so calmed and relaxed, what even more magical about this practice is you can feel like this after just ten mins! I rarely meditate for more than ten mins. I always feel completely relaxed and happy afterwards. Now I cannot attest to the other wonderfulness meditation is meant to do like improve focus and memory etc. For me none of that other stuff really matters, I just love how I feel afterwards.
There are lots of great apps out there and free YouTube videos with the sole purpose of getting you to relax, so why not give it go, you can even start out with a three-minute session and slowly as the weeks pass up this time frame by a minute each time. Who doesn’t have three minutes a day right?
Yoga is wonderfully relaxing when I chat to others about yoga I often find I am greeted with comments like “Oh yoga is too slow-paced for me if I am going to work out I want to feel it” I can completely understand that thought process, but perhaps viewing yoga as a workout is where we are going wrong.
Yoga isn’t to be compared with running or weight training, yoga is its very own thing. In terms of helping with workouts it keeps the muscles flexible, it lengthens and strengthens, it can help to prevent injury, and some classes depending on the style of yoga can be intense and very sweaty indeed.
For me yoga isn’t a workout, I rarely complete yoga classes for strength or flexibility, I tend to veer towards the restorative classes, the classes which allow my body and mind to relax, a slow flow, lazily moving around the mat. These sessions work wonders for relaxing, I feel so restored afterwards. This type of yoga is also great pre-meditation, it really allows the mind to enter into a relaxed state, opening it up to meditation, combine the two and you have a powerhouse of stress reduction.
This may seem like an odd suggestion but I think it’s one really worth considering. During December and winter, we are more likely to give in to those extra treats, larger meals and more indulgent desserts. I get it, its winter, it’s cold, it’s dark, its Christmas. However, adding extra calories can do a few things; the sugar can induce depression, so if you are prone to SAD in the first place adding extra sugar into your diet can only exacerbate this feeling. Overindulging can make us feel guilty and sluggish putting a strain on us mentally and physically.
We also have to try and shift those extra pounds in January making January miserable, stressful and crazy. NOBODY NEEDS 2 MONTHS OF STRESS! Nobody is saying you can’t have some treats but remember to stick within a specific calorie intake, try and make healthier swaps during the day if you know you have a tasty dessert to look forward to. Add more veggies, fruits and proteins with your meals to keep you fuller for longer. Why not set a treat calorie intake. For example, if you are trying to stick to 1500 calories, why not use 150-200 calories for treats, this allows for that cheeky dessert, a glass of wine or treat meals. Just remember just because its Christmas doesn’t mean you have to go overboard, you can have an amazing time whilst sticking to your calorie intake.
Well I really hope you loved some of these suggestions, I would love to know how you stay calm and relaxed during December, what is your you time? Let me know in the comments below.
Have a great day!!!