It’s that time again, the month of December where everyone wants to catch up, when families and friends come together and celebrate the closing of the year. It can be an amazing month filled with laughs, good conversation, wonderful events and lots of good food.
I love many aspects of this time of year; the friends who genuinely want to see me and insist on catching up, the energy in the air and the warm summer nights filled with laughter and celebratory drinks, the children finishing school and bursting with the new life of summer and the anticipation of holidays and adventure. It’s a pivotal point in time where there is a feeling of change and regrowth which can be energizing and wonderful.
At the same time as this anticipation and joy grabs me it can suddenly turn and become overwhelmingly stressful and chaotic; I feel pulled in all directions. Family and friends now seem to demand too much of me, my finances feel like they are being stretched to the limit and the constant catch ups seem to always be filled with rich food and alcohol which can turn much loved events into an almost nauseating experience of over indulgence and a feeling of constant bloating.
So how do we cope with this? The solution can be simpler than you think. Below are three ways I have found have helped me to stay sane and stress free in December.
- Take time to be with yourself – take a walk every day, meditate, sit in the garden, enjoy your pets, walk in the ocean or practice quiet yoga or tai chi; basically any activity which is away from strong stimulation or demands. Even 5 minutes a day of self-care can make the world of difference to your mental health, it re-centres and calms you allowing your mind to be still and rejuvenate.
- Eat good simple food – you know you are going to go out a lot at this time of year and what we consume will undoubtedly be rich. So when at home or work take care to eat simple, healthy foods, drink plenty of water, pack light nutritious lunches or when out order food which fits into these categories (at least some of the time) to create some sense of balance in the body.
- Don’t overcommit – be kind to yourself, don’t worry so much about being able to fit everything in as most of the time you can’t and most importantly don’t be afraid to say no! Overcommitting can leave you breathless and exhausted and takes the joy out of the season. Pick what you want to do and be totally present in that moment, you will have a much better time and won’t feel so thinly spread.
So remember to take care, be kind to yourself and enjoy all that the start of summer and the festive season can offer.