It’s often really difficult to feel good at Christmas when there’s so much going on and life gets busy. There’s demands and pressure all around and expectations to meet, from others and often from ourselves too. Remember in the UK it’s winter, its dark, it’s cold, the days are shorter and really we should be curling up, staying in, keeping warm and almost hibernating. Instead, we’re more busy than ever and out and about, eating drinking and socialising. All of this is the complete opposite to our brains and bodies expectations! So how do we make sure we can continue to feel good at Christmas?
Here’s my 12 ways to feel good at Christmas
You can try a few of them or just adopt one of tips these each day in the run up to Christmas.
1. Love Yourself
Look in the mirror and tell yourself “I love You”. OK I know it might sound a bit cheesy, but seriously, give it a go. Notice how it feels, where you feel it. Notice positive and negative feelings. Tell those feelings, it’s OK, this will get easier. You don’t have to change them, just notice them. Say I love you again and see if anything changes. If you really struggle with this, start with one aspect of you and increase it! If you don’t feel good about yourself, it’s difficult (not impossible) to feel good at Christmas.
2. Write a List
Go on write a list! It’s good enough for Santa isn’t it. Take a little time to write the list and then prioritise that list. Can you sort it into days you will do certain things? Then if you can, put the biggest task at the top of your list for each day and Do that first. Get the big thing out of the way and the others seem easier, quicker or less difficult.
That’s it. Just Stop. Have you got your Santa Stop Here Sign up or seen one nearby? Take that advice. You are probably being everyone else’s Santa. So STOP. Really. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes. Whether that’s sitting with a cuppa with the kids (instead of running round the kitchen) or putting down your phone and making eye contact with your partner, friend or anyone. Stop for 5 minutes here and there throughout the day. You’ll be amazed how much better you feel!
Smile at people today. When you smile your body relaxes. You make someone feel good. You get positive feelings and responses. They might smile back , so they’ll feel better and you’ll get a positive response and that lovely feeling when someone smiles at you! Remember to smile at yourself too it is Christmas after all – the season of good-will.
5. Be Kind
Be kind to yourself. If you make a mistake, are late, forget something or feel stressed or tired, be kind. It’s OK. It’s a busy time of year, as I’ve already mentioned it’s not natural for us to be out and about, being busy like this. We should be wrapped up warm and cosy. Remember that and say some kind words to yourself. Use lots of positive language and praise for yourself and for others too. Positivity increases the feel good chemicals.
6. Give Time
Give someone else the gift of a little bit of your time. Oh I know, you’re busy right? When you give the gift of time it’s something you can’t get back – sure – that person can’t get that from anywhere, it’s not in the shops, or on delivery, it’s a personal experience that can never be repeated. We are social human beings, remember that, and give someone just 20 minutes of your time. It’s bigger than any gift that you can buy and wrap, so help someone else feel good at Christmas.
7. Keep Calm
What’s that saying – keep your head when all around are losing theirs! Well, staying calm with help you with that, it helps you to think clearly, be less tired (and so get more done). So, figure out what helps you to stay calm. Is it a breathing technique, a relaxation audio, a bubble bath, watching mindless TV? Figure it out and ensure you get a little bit of in into today (or everyday). There’s no rules and no right and wrong – go with whatever helps you.
8. Keep Routines
What are your daily, weekly or even Christmassy rituals or routines? Make sure you keep them. Keep the meals regular where you can, eat properly. If you usually like to read for a bit before you go to sleep, ensure you don’t keep going so long that you’ve no energy left to read later. You’ll sleep better. If you usually read your child a bedtime story, do it. It’s more than a routine, it’s a necessary time for connection, calming, health – whatever. We all need some ‘normality’ and routine, not just children so don’t sacrifice these things
9. Have an Escape Plan
It’s all very well Santa disappearing up the chimney, but where do you go?? Even if you only get to go to the loo for a few minutes and take some deep breaths, or silently scream. What is your plan? Can you nip next door to a neighbour on the pretext of borrowing something? It’s worth thinking about and making a plan. Doesn’t have to be huge, just make the plan.
10. Ask for Help
Today, ask anyone / someone / a loved one for help with something. I don’t care how big or small it is. Maybe to put the bins out, wrap some presents, collect some shopping, take the kids out for a bit. It doesn’t have to be Christmassy related but it can be if you like. When you ask for help, you’re taking some pressure off you. Also, other people feel valued (usually) and are happy to assist, they just need that bit of direction.
Laugh at yourself or with others. Laughing is incredibly good at releasing tension and is very therapeutic. It lifts your spirits. If you burn the sprouts or flattened the gingerbread house find it in yourself to laugh about it. Those can be just as good memories, if not better, than the ones where everything is perfect.
12. Take the Holiday
Remember it is the holidays. So schedule in some holiday time for you too. It’s not called the Christmas work-yourself-in-a-frazzle / be-at-everyone’s-beck-and-call Season. It’s called the Christmas Holiday Season. That means you too. Schedule in whatever is good for you, even if it’s a blank day on the calendar, or a film afternoon (so you can sleep through it, like I do!!) or a walk, trip to the beach whatever. But make it what works for you and gives you a little holiday.
I’d really love to know which of these worked for you. Which ones are you determined to fit into your 12 days of Christmas? Let me know in the comments below or email me.
Here’s hoping you feel good this Christmas!