After what feels like months of buildup, December and the festive season are finally here! For most of us it's actually quite a stressful time, alongside all the fun, and self care is more important than ever at this time of year. I thought I'd put together a list of some self care top tips to help you survive the festive season.
1. The thing I ALWAYS say at the end of a treatment – drink plenty of water! I know it's easy to forget but it really is important, especially as we often drink more alcohol than usual at Christmas (I certainly do!).
2. Related tip – moisturise! Cold air, central heating, and moving between the two can really cause the skin to dry out so make sure you're moisturising regularly. Don't forget your hands either!
3. Expectation management. We often idealise Christmas in our heads, and put pressure on ourselves to have the best time ever, and then get upset or frustrated when reality doesn't match our expectations. It's ok if things go “wrong”, or if people or situations don't match up to your expectations.
4. It's ok to say no to that event or party or trip to the pub, if what you'd rather be doing is cuddling up on the sofa with a blanket and a film. Conserve your energy and don't feel like you have to please everyone.
5. If you're on Twitter check out #joinin – it was set up by Sarah Millican in 2010 to help people who may be alone at Christmas and those who struggle at this time of year, and it's great fun for everyone.
6. Take some time out for yourself, whether it's 5 minutes in the loo at the Christmas party, or spending an evening alone wrapping gifts. Take some deep breaths – in through the nose, out through the mouth, and loud enough for you to hear inside your head.
7. Get outside! A walk in the fresh air is always one of my top self care tips; it gives you some space for yourself and gets you gently moving.
8. There's often loads of advice (mainly aimed at women) around food, managing what you eat at Christmas, and avoiding “bad” foods. This is a topic that often gets me fired up – food doesn't have moral value and enjoying a mince pie (or 3!) doesn't make you a “bad” person. Food is a central part of many celebrations; just let loose for a bit and enjoy it.
9. One of my favourite things in the world – lists! Lists help me focus my mind and keep track of where I'm at.
10. Book yourself a massage, reflexology or facial appointment! I'm going for a pre-Christmas massage later this week, to allow me to better serve my clients. It's a good way to relax and take some time for yourself at a busy time of the year, when you're giving a lot to others (and not just gifts!)
I hope these tips have given you some ideas on how to look after yourself over the festive period. These are things I find useful, but you may have some other methods, which I would love you to share if you feel like it.