It's officially a month until Christmas - for some of us that is exciting and for others it makes us feel like a huge weight has been thrown over our bodies.
Feeling more like the Ebenezor Scrooge than Buddy the Elf?
How is it possible for us to not only survive the lead up to the end of the year but to actually thrive?!?
Here are a few practical things we can do from a day to day point of view:
Watch the caffeine – I get it, I love coffee, but too much of a good thing isn’t always a good thing! Caffeine can get you so wired and put you on an energetic and emotional rollercoaster. If coffee is your thing then enjoy a cup of good quality coffee (actually taste it rather than breathe it in) or make yourself a nice cup of black tea in a teapot even – the little ritual around it will give you some time to regroup.
Drink some water – you get so busy running around trying to fit things in you end up with a terrible headache … turns out you can’t remember the last time you drank water … sound familiar? In the heat and with a few Christmas celebration beverages we can become really dehydrated, making sure we drink around 2 litres of water a day is a good way to try and stay on the hydrated side of things!
Eat your greens – they are a great natural source of B vitamins and magnesium – great for helping our energy levels and to also help manage stress. For more on magnesium check out my earlier post here.
Let some things go - do you really need to do all the small bits and pieces that are giving you chest pains or cold sweats just thinking about it? Let's be honest, gorgeous wrapping and curling ribbon is lovely but it's not worth having a panic attack over!
Do your best to eat mindfully – we are often tempted with many treats this time of the year – and if you want to indulge in some of these enjoy it! In my opinion life is about balance and nothing beats some of the homemade Christmas treats that my mum makes (and yes, they have sugar and butter in them to say the least) – but they are bloody good! Knowing that I will be enjoying some of these I am mindful about my food choices at other times. Also watch out for those sneaky snacks that are associated with drinks – nuts, chips, dips … the list goes on …. And while they are lovely to enjoy we often eat way too much of them because we are not paying attention to what we are doing
Try and move a little – finding some time to go for a walk, taking the stairs or fitting in a yoga class has more than physical health benefits – being outside or getting the blood pumping has proven positive effects on our emotional state as well
Find some “space” – we often feel so crowded with engagements and commitments this time of the year there is barely time to breathe … finding yourself some space or time will do your mental state wonders. Is there something you can decline going to? Can you do some local shopping online? Can you hop off social media for a couple of days and find you actually have a lot more time than you thought?
Write lists – we can be overwhelmed with everything we need to achieve – write yourself good old fashioned to do lists (yes, with a pen and paper) and prioritise what needs to be done. Seeing everything written out can be a little scary but can also help you really plan out your time and energy. And nothing beats the feeling of physically crossing things off of a list (or is that just me??)
Write a little gratitude list or diary - we can get caught up in our own world and our own troubles and lose sight of what is special about this time of the year – writing down things we have been thankful for during the day, even just writing down one thing, can help give us perspective
Meditate – even if it’s just for 5 minutes a day having that time to just “be” and connect with your body and mind will do you wonders!
There are lots we can do from a naturopathic perspective to help support energy and mood – from herbal medicine (soooo many beautiful herbs), flower essences (even just Rescue Remedy), nutritional supplements and specific diet and lifestyle support.
Just remember you’re not alone, cut yourself some slack and breathe a little more.