Top Tips for Self-Care in the Holiday Season

The festive season is the time for giving, but are you giving too much of yourself? It is only natural that we want everything to be perfect.  Whether it’s the exact right gift for your mother-in-law, a vegan dish for you brother’s new girlfriend, or just wanting everybody to be happy, it can be very stressful and exhausting when you give so much of yourself.

Just as on an aeroplane, where you must place your own oxygen mask on before you help others, during Christmas you must first give to yourself before you can give to others. It is important that you take care of yourself and your body over the holiday period, so here are our Top Self-Care Tips to help the holidays become less taxing and a far more joyous experience.

Tame the stress

The festive season is a peak time for stress, but it can be managed. Begin with being realistic about how much you can achieve, make and do. Set limits on time you have available and what you can do in that time. Know that it is ok to say no. Saying yes to everyone’s requests can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed and far from joyous.

Take the pressure off yourself, lower your expectations of what you expect of yourself.  We often place too much pressure on ourselves to make others Christmas happy. Satisfying everyone’s needs and wants is not always possible. Friends and associates will understand if you cannot be part of every festive activity, they feel the same pressure too.

It is important to know that it is okay to feel whatever you are feeling. Take time to remember why this time is important, as festive stress can make you feel cheated of the joy and the full experience of this magical time.

Don’t go over-indulging

When we think of Christmas and we think of all the yummy food or enjoying a few drinks with friends and family, but over-indulging can leave you feeling bloated, lethargic and downright yuk. Our holiday eating and drinking free-for-all and unconscious grazing all day on the ever-abundant supply of food and drink means that we can become unaware of how much we have really consumed, this is a recipe for excess.

Body image expert, Sue McDonald, suggests that we should also look at why we are overeating, is it a method of dealing with inner feelings or a way of managing the stresses that arise from Christmas celebrations. For some, food and alcohol is used to self-soothe, to numb our feelings and cope with the events and issues that arise at this time of year; however, in the end, excess will only add to your stress and the guilt you experience.

The key here is to not ditch our usual healthy habits, but instead be mindful of what and how much you consume. Giving yourself permission to eat whatever foods you wish, is also a clever tactic as it generally reduces your inclination to overeat.

Sunshine and Sunburn

Christmas in Australia means summer, fun in the sun, dehydration and sunburn. During the day we should be careful not to become dehydrated by ensuring you keep your water intake up, especially when consuming alcohol. When drinking you can become dangerously dehydrated without knowing it, a good tip is to try swapping out every second alcoholic drink with water.

If the beach is calling you, take care to avoid being sunburnt by wearing a hat and sunscreen, and seek shade during the hottest part of the day. After a day in the sun, look after your skin by using a good quality body lotion designed for sun-kissed skin. Sativa Skin Solution’s Nourish After Sun Body Lotion is perfect as it soothes your skin with cooling aloe vera and cucumber, and heals and hydrates with the power of Kigelia and hemp seed oil.

Put yourself in Timeout

Before it all gets too much, take some ‘you’ time. Just having a little alone time will help keep things in perspective, reduce stress levels and allow you to enjoy the celebrations more.

The old saying that “in order to care for others you must care for yourself first” is appropriate and it is good to make time to do something you enjoy. Take a nap or find a quiet space to enjoy a cuppa and a book. Book a pedicure, massage or facial to pamper yourself and release tension. If these are not possible simply taking a few deep controlled breathes can work wonders towards restoring your inner calm.  

Get your Solid 7

With all the excitement and stress of Christmas it is easy to fall out of your usual sleep routine, but a solid night’s sleep always helps put things into perspective. Try to make sure you get a minimum seven hours sleep at night and get to bed at your usual time. If you are having a little trouble nodding off, then you could try our MagHemp Sleep to take you off to the land of nod. Simply apply to your feet before bed and allow the magnesium to relax your muscles while the gentle blend of essential oils will soothe you and lull you gently off to sleep.

The festive period does not have to be an overwhelming and stressful time. By taming your stress, mindful consumption, taking care in the sun, having some time out and getting a good night’s sleep you can survive and enjoy this wonderfully festive time of the year. By following these tips, you may find that Christmas can be the joyful time you dream off.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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Thanks to:

Sue McDonald, RC., RNC.

The Fit Therapist