We all know that the festive season, with a host of public holidays, religious and secular celebrations, can be daunting, exhausting, and cause us to start the New Year feeling like we need a break from the holidays! For many of us, it can be a sad or lonely time, with the absence of loved ones standing out in stark-contrast to the constant stream of media images and shows about Christmas and family get-togethers. On top of that, we now have the added complexities and insecurities of the COVID-19 pandemic and its shifting landscape.
Over my long career as a hypnotherapist, I’ve seen many people struggle with the weight of expectations, exhaustion, and grief, and have helped them get through the festive season, and all that it brings, with greater resilience and wellbeing with five simple tips.
My Top 5 Self-Care Tips for Surviving the Festive Season
- Maintain friendships and connection.
- Prioritise your routine – especially, sleep, exercise, and meals.
- Ask for help and accept it when it is offered.
- Pamper yourself – think of yourself as your own best friend.
- Plan something special to look forward to, whether that be an outing with loved ones or doing something new just for you.
Each week in the lead up to Christmas, I will explore each of these natural solutions in depth so that you can approach the holidays with confidence, calm, and peace of mind knowing that you are equipped to survive and thrive this festive season.
Let’s now turn to my first tip:
Tip Number 1 – Maintain Friendships and Connection
When we feel overwhelmed many of us withdraw ourselves from others, cutting ourselves off from the very support systems that can keep us on an even keel. Over the next 6 weeks, many of us will be immersed in time with family. With more demands on us from parents, siblings, partners, and children, we can feel ourselves disappear in all the busyness.
This feeling can lead us to lose our sense of self, or even feel that we have regressed to an earlier, less mature version of ourselves. We might also feel as if our family is undermining the gains that we have made in our own personal development – that they don’t see who we are now, but instead see a past version of ourselves. This can be jarring for everyone.
One way to counterbalance this disconcerting experience is to schedule time with your best friend, confidant, support group, or therapist. The wonderful thing is that today, with social media, we can keep our connections close, no matter where we are in the world. When we lost sight of who we are, reassurance from those who know us best is only a videocall away. You can be proactive about this, too, to protect against being overwhelmed from your current setting. Make plans to call your mates in advance, suggest continuing your support group online over the break, and don’t cancel that appointment with your therapist in the run up to the silly season. On the flip side, sharing happy snaps and funny moments with your friends in a quick message is also a great way to stay grounded and maintain a sense of continuity with who you are and those you love while you’re away or caught up in the Christmas madness.
Supporting each other through this time is key. If you’re going okay, but know of a friend struggling in the festive season, reach out to them. Put time in the calendar to touch base with them one-on-one, whether that be a quick message, call, or coffee date. Give them an excuse to get away from the family hubbub and blow off some steam with you. Release, recharge, reset. The greatest gift we have to give is our time and company.
- When you feel lost in the chaos, connect with those who know you best.
- Schedule a videocall, or send a quick message, to reground and recharge.
- A coffee date is all you need to get away from the family hubbub.
- Check in with others. The greatest gift is our time and company.
Yours in wellness,
Elisabetta Faenza | LeafCann CEO