Winding down to Christmas (the right way)
Invariably the month leading up to Christmas and New Year is a crazy one, packed full of extra events that can send us into a frenzy. For most of us it is about trying to squeeze even more into a busy and hectic life. This sends our nervous system into overdrive which puts the body on high alert and activates our fight & flight hormones which put’s the body into a state of stress. Our body cannot talk to us to tell us to slow down so instead it sends us messages which may come in the form of headaches, muscle tension, insomnia, or skin blemishes (to name to a few). This can be coupled by emotional & behavioural changes such as irritability, feelings of anxiety/ panic or losing your rag with your partner or kids.
Take time to consider what your reaction to stress is. It is important to take note of the warning signs and learn to modify your lifestyle accordingly. Wouldn’t we all feel more balanced and less reactive if we could wind down to Christmas, instead of winding up!
What if you just slowed down? Many of us feel like we are being less efficient and productive but slowing down can actually improve the quality of what we do and add more meaning to our life. It doesn't take much to add a few pauses into our day, we just have to be mindful of paying attention to our mind & body and implementing some simple changes.
Here are 10 easy tips you can focus on over the festive period and forwards:
Sit down to eat your food and snacks and chew, chew, chew!
Stop and drop your shoulders - when in doubt breathe out.
Sit and do nothing...absolutely nothing for at least 10 mins.
Don't be so harsh on yourself. Squash your inner critic
Have some solitary time in nature each day.
Remember you don't have to go to everything.
Stop rushing. Leave 10 minutes early. Drive slowly
Focus on who and what brings you joy.
Create moments of silence
The real gifts are your time, attention & presence - not what is wrapped in paper!
It is what we do everyday that has the biggest impact on your health. Look at your routines and choose 1 thing you could easily implement. It may be going to bed 20 mins earlier (without your phone!) or making sure you sit around the table together to share your meal.
Whatever it is recognise that even small changes have a long lasting effect on your mental and physical health. The little things really are the big things.
So let's wrap ourselves in kindness, breathe out, and wind down to Christmas!