If today’s your last day of work before breaking for the holidays, hoorah, you made it! And for those us who are working next week, I’m sure today still feels like the end of a mammoth year and that next week is going to be far more relaxing and a nice way to ease into the holidays…
I said I was going to give you some rules for the holiday season in this blog post because many people I know and work with, have a hard time slowing down, resting and letting go of busyness! Plus, this time of year can also be stressful with so many things to coordinate.
So, if any of the above sounds familiar, this is for you!
Take a proper break
This year has been challenging for everyone and we use up a lot of energy when we’re busy, stressed, anxious, worried etc … let alone when our life is turned upside down as it has been for many people. So, you want to take this time to properly rest – that might look like going to bed early, lying in in the mornings, lazy days on the sofa watching movies, reading a book, having cuddles, taking a nap or leisurely walks out in nature. As well as resting your body and mind, what you’re also doing here is calming your nervous system.
When we’ve been operating at a high level for long periods of time, we can easily become tired and wired. It’s then hard to slow down even though that’s exactly what we need to do! A great way to get off this cortisol and adrenaline fuled cycle is to consciously slow everything down – your movements, thoughts, talking and how much you plan to do each day.
The festive season is a time to enjoy life’s luxuries – great food, wine, lazy days, movies and sleep. I’m a firm believer that indulging, within reason, is good for our wellbeing. It sends a message to our psyche that we are worth it – it’s an act of self-worth and self-love.
Time for you
Even if you’re doing all of the above; resting, spoiling yourself and slowing down – you might still find it hard to carve out some personal time over the holidays. However, an essential aspect to wellbeing is having regular time alone to connect with yourself. Whether that’s an exercise routine, meditation, going for a walk or time spent reading … create some space in your day, everyday, just for you.
When we’re used to getting lots done, it can be hard to stop the mind from strategising and planning. It might also feel hard to completely switch off – for some people this may feel like they’re going to lose control.
If you catch yourself compulsively going off into the future with your thoughts, you can bring it back to the present moment by consciously saying to yourself: “I’m not going to concern myself with that now, I’m going to turn my attention to …” and then focus on something in the present moment. Your brain may want to go into ‘doing’ mode, but you can actually consciously bring it back to ‘being’ mode.
And if you identify with the feeling of losing control, I highly recommend writing out a list and plan for when you start back at work so that you can park work in your mind with the knowing that you’ve got it all under control.
As much as this past year has been a real challenge for everyone on some level, there are so many lessons it has taught us. For one I think it’s reminded us to value the simple things in life and it’s shown us what’s truly important.
Secondly, it’s slowed things down and provided an opportunity to reflect on what was working and what wasn’t.
And thirdly, I believe it has amplified any problems that were already there – which is ultimately a good thing, because then the need for change is more obvious and more likely to happen!
Wishing you a happy festive season and I’ll be back in your inbox on New Year’s Day with some ideas around how to do your New Year’s resolutions a little differently for 2021!