Suffering from Christmas overwhelm? You’re not alone. While it can often be the best of times, it can also make for some of the most stressful ones too. Leaving many of us feeling down, lonely, overworked and exhausted. It can take its toll on our mental and our physical health too. We can feel especially low during the festive season because we assume everybody else is having the perfect airbrushed Christmas – getting along, able to afford everything they want to buy and better able to juggle the demands that this time of year .In reality though, no one can have the perfect Christmas, so cutting ourselves some slack and giving ourselves some compassion is very important. Maintaining our wellbeing is about putting yourself first and there are many ways to do this. We’ve put together a few mindful tips to help you stay relaxed over the festive season and into the new year.
Take Time for Yourself – Carve out time for you to take yourself away from Christmas. Remember it’s only one day, it doesn’t have to be perfect. In between all the rushing make sure you have a day to hang out at home in your pyjamas to chill and recharge the batteries. Take some time to do something you really want to do, no matter how small. It’s is so important to take a little time for yourself to relax, even if that’s just ten minutes.
Don’t ditch a healthy diet completely – Christmas can be a time for indulgence, a poor diet will often leave you feeling sluggish and low. Practise mindful eating, by slowing down and appreciate what we’re eating. After all, there’s no need to rush at this time of year and it will make all the difference.
Go to a carol concert – Belting out God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen with the Christmas carollers could help ease the stress . Research found that singing decreases the stress hormones. Singing gets more oxygen into the blood and increases levels of our feel-good hormones. Overall, music boosts wellbeing, so listening or singing changes our mood as the brain responds to the sounds and rhythms.
Get out and about have some time outdoors; even if it’s cold outside – a brisk walk in the crisp outdoors can make a real difference to mood. Staying cooped up inside for long periods of time is not conducive to positive mental wellbeing. We often find ourselves going a bit stir-crazy at this time and being cooped up with the same people can get to us or we can end up in a mindless slump watching repeats movies. So even a stroll around a park is enough to clear your mind and blow away the cobwebs. Or start the day with a morning stretch or yoga, It’s especially helpful over Christmas, when we’ve probably spent more time sitting around indoors.
Switch off the social media and do a detox. Have a bit of a break from technology. When we look at media it’s hard not to compare yourself and your Christmas with the representations of Christmas moments on social media or on adverts. Remember that everyone is only sharing the good bits. If your alone or feeling lonely see if you can go out and do something productive rather than spend the day by yourself. Perhaps you are alone this year because you turned down invitations. Call those people back and say “yes. Don’t isolate yourself find a way to connect with others if you can. You might not think this but volunteering during the holidays is a way to connect with others and it boost your self-esteem.
Don’t strive for impossible perfection- “It’s often the gap between our expectations and reality that causes us a lot of stress and disappointment. If you’re pushing for perfection, please remember that perfection is only ever someone’s opinion; and it’s subject to change.
Finally, wellbeing and mindfulness isn’t just for retreats, spas, and other calm environments. Quite the opposite is true, in fact and we can learn ways to calm the mind and the power of mindfulness can be fully experienced even in the midst of chaos. We just need to use these tips to take some time to place ourselves in a soothing environment, even for a few moments. It doesn’t have to be complicated even sitting in a favourite room in the morning while enjoying a cup of tea or looking out of the window cultivates presence and allows the restorative mind-body connection to weave through our system and cells and promote our wellbeing.
Everyday Mindfulness Scotland has a wellbeing centre at Sovereign House in Irvine, a little sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. A place, dedicated to your physical, emotional growth, a space that will harmonise and restore your wellbeing . Our current culture is fast paced and there is not much down time and it can be difficult to promote positive energy when it feels like the world is against us and our thoughts are racing. Sometimes we just need some down time to recharge and replenish ourselves. We are now on instagram and post daily quotes and practices to help inspire and motivate, follow us. If you are not on instagram here is a link to our Facebook Page