Look after yourself this Xmas: Taking care of no1 is not selfish (it’s survival)

Despite what the movies tell us, Christmas isn’t always the most magical time of year.

Some of us don’t get the guy or girl, some of us don’t have food on the table, and some of us don’t have time off from our jobs.

While we can’t hocus pocus away the stresses of December, or any time of the year, we can give you a little self-esteem boost to turn the mayhem into mellowness.

Taking inspo from the dream team at Amaze, a charity for families with disabled children, we’ve whipped up the best ingredients for a ‘Me Time’ recipe below.

[Credit: Kinga Cichewi

1 Sleep

Sleep. Is. King. No foolin’. Not only does sleep allow us to have a timeout from the 24/7 chaos of daily life, but it’s also seriously good for us.

A good schnoz is vital for wellbeing as it is the only time during which the brain cleans itself. This means, when we sleep well, our cognition improves. Without sleep, we can’t form the pathways in our brain that let us learn, concentrate and, crucially, tackle our problems.

So, while sleep is not a magic wand to eradicate problems, it is a powerful tool to balance our moods and neurotransmitters (such as dopamine) that help us face life’s challenges with more precision and confidence so that when things go wrong we don’t blame ourselves.

If you stuggle to catch zzzzs, tossing and turning a lot, try to limit phone use before bed and/or experiment with meditations that will get you in the right frame of mind.

[Credit: S B Vonlanthen]

2 Keep it simple

When party season is upon us, there’s a temptation to throw ourselves into the spirit of it, whether splurging cash, seeing folk we haven’t seen for ages, or indulging at the boozer.

Yet all these pressures and expectations can leave us in need a holiday after the holiday!

There’s no right or wrong way of doing things, just do what works for you. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to go with the flow as you never know what’s around the corner.

If the simple approach keeps the anxiety at bay, we’re right there with you waving that flag.  

[Credit: Thomas Bormans]

3 Preparation

Over at InspoDaily, we are big fans of planning! #adulthood

So, get into the shindig of makin’ a list and checkin’ it twice, because when you make time to prepare in advance you can virtually wipe out stress in the run-up to Christmas.

Whether it’s wrapping presents ahead of time while listening to festive songs or peeling the veggies for your Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve – every little helps!

[Credit: Andy T]

4 Just say no

‘Oh, go on then…’

‘Sure, if it’ll help…’

‘Yep, I’ll be right there…’

Just some of the things we say when actually we mean NO.

If there’s one thing you remember this year, let it be that ‘no’ is a complete sentence.

You do not have to justify your decision to anyone, and if that means pulling back on Christmas plans or invitations, because it all feels overwhelming, that is fine.

One of the fundamental principles of self-care is putting your wellbeing above what others expect of you, and sometimes that means uttering a little word that rhymes with ‘go’.

[Credit: Al Elmes]

5 Let your hair down

Just as some people might want to pull back from the party scene, others might want to deep dive so far in that they’re falling like Alice down the rabbit hole.

And if it means noshing chocolate, getting giddy on mulled wine, or whatever it is that floats your boat, just enjoy it – you deserve it.

See you on the dance floor!

For the full article, click here: Look After Yourself.

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