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Christmas might be the most wonderful time of the year for many, but it can also be hard in a lot of ways. It’s certainly a time when many of us neglect our physical and mental health, and that can take its toll when we come into the cold, quiet months that follow. So set yourself up for the best possible holiday season, and the most joyful start to the new year, by following these tips for festive wellbeing.

Relax the pressure

It’s easy to glance through Instagram and Pinterest and feel woefully inadequate that you don’t have a designer tree or perfect handmade table decorations. We can feel under a huge amount of pressure at Christmas to produce perfect gifts, gourmet food and a magical time for the whole family. But that just isn’t realistic. Especially this year, when times have been tough and many of us will be facing tighter finances than usual.

Go easy on yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others (who knows what those perfectly posed social media photos are hiding, anyway), and don’t expect too much from yourself. Focus on what’s really important to you this festive season – whether that’s spending quality time with your family or getting some much-needed relaxation – and prioritise that over shopping and cooking. Set clear boundaries, and give yourself permission to say “no”. Remember that nothing needs to happen, everything is optional. You can’t do it all, no one can, so choose what matters to you and ignore any voices that say it’s not enough, including your own!

Plan in advance

Once you’ve established the things that truly matter to you, plan ahead so you can make sure they happen. Make lists so you know what needs to be done by when, so that you can feel more in control of the process.

Go through your list of tasks and delegate some – find family or friends to pitch in and help you out so you’re not trying to do everything alone. Getting other people involved makes the whole build-up more sociable and enjoyable, as well as a lot less stressful!

Spend money wisely

Whether you’ve had a hard financial year and you’re not able to spend as much as you normally would at Christmas, or you’re just generally keen to spoil people, make sure you spend within your means. You don’t want to start the new year burdened with debt or worrying about how you’ll make ends meet.

Remember, it’s not the price tag of a gift that shows you care, it’s the thought behind it. Simple handmade gifts, charity shop items or just a card with loving words and maybe a few pictures of cherished memories can be far more meaningful than a store-bought gift. Kids might say they want hundreds of expensive toys, but we all know that, come Christmas Day, they’ll spend more time playing with the boxes they came in. And adults understand that you’re not made of money, they’re just touched that you’re thinking of them. If material things mean more to them than your love, you have to ask yourself if they’re worth spending any money on anyway.

Everything in moderation

Of course, this is the season to over-indulge. The wine is flowing and the sweet treats are everywhere. And there’s no reason you shouldn’t partake and enjoy yourself – just be sensible.

Balance out the festive favourites with plenty of fruit and vegetables, take breaks between heavy, indulgent meals, and make sure you stay hydrated. Try to start every day with a drink of water, and get into the habit of alternating alcoholic drinks with water when you’re getting merry.

Get outside

The weather outside is frightful – certainly frightfully cold, anyway – and it gets dark early, so when there’s so much going on indoors it can be tempting to shut yourself away for the holiday period. But staying inside is no good for your physical or mental health.

Find time to get outside, even just for short breaks, to get a vital sunshine boost (it’s there, even if it’s hidden behind the clouds) and some fresh air. A walk around the block or a quick jog will help support your circulation and your digestive system at a time they’re very much in-demand!

Keeping some kind of exercise going during this period is difficult but important. Luckily, as it is the season after all, jumping and dancing are great ways to stimulate your lymphatic system, which helps eliminate all those toxins that your body is processing now more than ever! You can also boost your lymphatic system with dry skin brushing, massage or 10-20 minutes in an Epsom salt bath.

Relax

It’s an incredibly busy time of year, with so much going on, but make sure you take even just a few minutes each day to relax and unwind. Meditation, yoga or even just quietly sitting outside (wrapped up warmly) for a few peaceful moments will do you the world of good. Time by yourself in amongst all the hectic social gatherings can also be very important for our wellbeing.

Make sure you get plenty of sleep, and do what you can to improve the quality of your sleep. Try to avoid going to bed too late (at least most nights), and try not to drink alcohol too close to bedtime. Have a cup of chamomile tea to help you unwind, and detox your system, and consider a nice warm bath before bed to relax your body and mind (a fragrant bath bomb will help). A good night’s sleep will have you rested and full of energy to enjoy the next day’s festivities!

If you’re struggling with your wellbeing this festive season, give us a call on 01273 698687 to find out how we can help.