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.
In my last blog post, I explored the importance of prioritising your routine for optimal wellness during the silly season. Today, we’re looking at my third top tip:
Tip Number 3 – Ask for help and accept it when it is offered
Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed by Christmas or you’re feeling alone and isolated, there’s one solution we often resist – reaching out for help or accepting it when it’s offered. When we feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of the festive season – from all the shopping, childcare, travel, food prep, financial burdens, and end of year work pressures – many of us tend to go into war or siege-mode and press on regardless of the strain on our physical, mental, and financial health.
It doesn’t have to be this way, and I am here to offer you some tips so that you can make the most of the festive season without sacrificing yourself for its success. When it comes to gift giving, agree with your family and friends on a budget that accommodates for everyone’s circumstances. The burden of gift giving can be a source of financial, emotional, and physical stress between the running around, ensuring everyone is accounted for, the danger of gift escalation, and the toll this has on our wallets. We are much better off setting agreed upon boundaries for ourselves and others in the Christmas rush so that we don’t find ourselves emotionally and financially spent.
Similarly, if you’re hosting any celebrations over the festive season, ensure that you share tasks with your loved ones so that you don’t find yourself at the end of the night dead on your feet, not having eaten, with a mountain of dishes to climb. Ask everyone to bring a platter to enjoy, and your family and/or close friends to help you with any decorations or preparations for your place ahead of the event. If you have kids, this a great way for them to get into the Christmas spirit! You might find that their excitement for all things Christmas turns this chore into a memorable moment of laughter and family fun. Involving them in Christmas preparations also teaches them the reciprocity of Christmas and the joy of creating magical moments for everyone. Mutuality is a gift that keeps on giving, and modelling and enlisting your children in this early on will pay dividends.
At the end of the evening, don’t put on a brave face and power through the clean-up while everyone else winds down. Ask everyone to pitch in, many hands make light work, as they say! Invite everyone to clear their plate and place it in the dishwasher, or to sit it next to the sink. If there’s a lot to wash, divide and conquer and designate small washing shifts. If someone is super keen to tackle it all, don’t resist! They appreciate everything you have done to put on such a beautiful evening and want to help you!
- Agree upon a gift budget.
- Share tasks with loved ones.
- Enlist the enthusiasm of children, model mutuality.
- Accept assistance when it is offered.
Yours in wellness,
Elisabetta Faenza | LeafCann CEO