The race towards the end of the year brings increased work and social commitments for most of us. As if time is not pressured enough already, there’s the added arbitrary deadlines, end of year school functions, summer festivals and parties.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by end of year demands – here are a few tips to help embrace and enjoy the season.
10 Ways to power through the festive season
- Rethink the date. Does the job really have to be completed by Christmas? Could you move December catch-ups with friends to January, when life tends to drop back to a more civilised pace?
- Attitude adjustment. Change what you can and embrace what you can’t! Tweaking our mental attitude can directly impact our energy levels. Don’t waste energy on dreading something you can’t change – it’ll only detract from enjoying the events you’re looking forward to.
- Make socialising easier. If you’re an introvert and find partying challenging, take a tip from Zenhabits.
- Time management. Plan some time out before it’s too late. We all have different thresholds for the maximum time we enjoy socialising and the minimum we need to sleep. Manage commitments before they cross that line by blocking time in your diary. Whether it’s one full day on the weekend or a night or two during the week, take control of your time and limit your availability accordingly.
- Create sacred space. Make the most of your time out. Cook a simple veggie-packed meal, have an early night, switch off the phone and computer and curl up with a book or magazine. It may be just walking rather than running, taking a lunch break away from work (rather than eating at your desk) or focussing on your breath to be mindful for at least 10 minutes a day.
- When your evenings are busy try to make lunch your main meal. Choose the healthiest combination of fresh vegetables and protein to power you through a long day.
- Stock up on instant but nutritious meals. The supermarket fridge has healthy options such as soups, falafels and salad. Don’t forget to grab some fresh fruit and nuts for snacks on the go.
- Pop some vitamins. Even if you’re not a fan, remember nutrition is about the balance between energy in and out. The combination of being busy, erratic eating or festive binges can often result in a lack of the basic nutrients your body needs. A good quality multivitamin and an extra 500-1,000 mg of Vitamin C is a good way to start the day. Don’t forget to hold off the caffeine for an hour or two before and after. There’s no point washing out the much-needed extra goodness.
- Avoid the unnecessary stress of last minute Christmas shopping. Do you have a favourite local business or ethical online store? Hit them in November with a targeted buy-up. (Did you know you can buy gift vouchers for health and happiness coaching online?)
- Practice gratitude. At the end of a busy day there’s still time for a moment of reflection. Keep a notebook by the bed and jot down three things that you’ve been grateful for that day. This helps keep to keep the season in perspective.
The wisest piece of travel advice that anyone gave me was “if it’s not fun, don’t do it”. While it would be wonderful to apply that motto to every aspect of life, some not so fun responsibilities are unavoidable. So this season my mantra is to engage everything I do with an open heart. I’ll let you know how it goes!