It’s billed as one of the most exciting times of the year, but Christmas can be a real slog if you leave everything to the last minute. Sometimes all the socialising and spending is enough to send you scurrying into your duvet for the duration – let’s be honest, it’s a pretty exhausting endeavour. Don’t shelve self-care this winter. In fact, now is the time to ramp up your ‘me’ time and make sure you don’t get burned out like an advent candle – it’s OK to say no when you’ve got too much on your plate.
Don’t take on too much
Look, you might want to churn out fresh batches of eggnog and pigs-in-blankets on the regular but it’s important to be realistic about what you can achieve. Avoid the rage-inducing Christmas crowds by shopping online and let the smug wash over you in the knowledge that you’ve got your present list all wrapped up.
Book in time with your pals that don’t require you to put on your game face. A night in with a glass of vino and a vid in your jammies will do you the world of good – and fortify you for the rammy that is the run up to Christmas.
Get. Some. Sleep.
Nobody likes a Grinch with a headache at Christmas so make sure you don’t swap slumber for stress. Regular exercise, limiting alcohol and keeping to a sleep routine can help you stay rested. If you don’t already, why not try implementing a before-bed routine – ban your phone from the bedside table, have a bath or read a book to unwind.
Ban the booze
Don’t panic – you don’t have to stay sober, but the spirits of Christmas and New Year are a heady mix and it can be all too tempting to sink into the sauvignon blanc. It wouldn’t hurt to keep an eye on your alcohol consumption, there’s nothing quite like the booze blues to stymie your festive cheer. Try not to drink every night, and if you feel you must, intersperse every tipple with some water and slow it right down.
Keep it moving
After all the effort expended in the run up to the big day and beyond, exercise might be the last thing on your to-do list but there’s nothing like a brisk walk and a blast of fresh air to rejuvenate even the weariest Christmas helper.
If the rain and snow are making it hard to venture outdoors, grab your gym bag and try a new fitness class, or just set the treadmill to an incline and march away your strife – you’ll boost your happy chemicals and your immune system, Win, win really.
Stay in touch
It’s the perfect time of year to dust off your address book and reach out to friends and family who’ve slipped under your radar in previous months. Drop them a line, give them a buzz or connect online – however you reach out, it will make them feel great.
Don’t forget to have some good clean fun. Tap into your inner child and take in a panto, grab a group and get on the ice, or just marvel at your local Christmas light show. Don’t let the drudgery of preparations and planning take you over – there’s always time to laugh until your sides hurt.
Take some time out and press pause on the cacophony that is Christmas. Meditate, walk, practice yoga or listen to your favourite podcast. Whatever helps you dial down the heightened emotions that accompany the hustle and bustle, do it with abandon.
Rohese Devereux Taylor is a journalist, writer and former trans-Pacific sailor. Her favourite colour is neon yellow and she is an expert parallel parker. She lives solo with her scruffy little sidekick, a Jack Russell terrier with short legs and a bit of an attitude.