Christmas. The time for carols, tinsel, mince pies and let’s face it, sometimes, stress and anxiety. Christmas can be crazy busy and not much fun. Reframe the frenzy into the perfect time of year to practice self care. So, how to make sure you don’t lose your sparkle amidst the chaos? Here are 5 self care tips for a calm Christmas.

Christmas isn’t always magical. We create all sorts of wildly unrealistic expectations of how perfect it’s going to be, only to have those hopes dashed. The reality is, that even Christmas can be stressful. Anything but jolly. And honestly? A bit of a sh*t pickle at times. The best gift that you can give yourself is self care. Here’s how.

Self Care Tip 1: Don’t say ‘Yes’ to others and ‘No’ to yourself.

Be kind to yourself by setting boundaries. We’ve all got our own mental and emotional limits. When you say yes to every party, invitation or request for help, it’s all too easy to burn out. You can’t do everything, see everyone, be fabulous on tap – and hang on a minute, who said that you had to be? Taking time for yourself isn’t selfish. It’s strategic. Do it and do it without feeling guilty.

You can’t be there for anyone else if you don’t check in with yourself and your own energy levels first. Self care makes sense when the pressure’s on. You wouldn’t expect an athlete to perform on empty before a big race and you’re no different. Think balance. You need enough emotional bandwidth to get through the season.

Slow down and create a slice of regular quiet time over the festive season. Listen to your body, maybe you need it daily or weekly. Pay attention, tune in to your internal barometer. Find out what you need and do it, whether that means time spent doing something that relaxes you, reading a book, listening to music or a gloriously long, hot soak.

Self Care Tip 2: Meditate.

Sometimes, connecting with our inner stillness is just what we need to recharge. Light a candle and set an intention that feels right for you. Your intention could be to be kind to yourself,  reduce your stress, renew your energy levels or simply to create a time for stillness.

Focus on your breathing. Gently notice your breath as you inhale and exhale. There’s no goal. No expectation. Nothing to achieve and nowhere to go. This is your time. If you prefer, listen to a guided meditation to reduce that holiday pressure. We have some great short, free guided practices over on SoundCloud.

Self Care Tip 3: Ditch unrealistic expectations.

Perfection doesn’t exist. Let it go on it’s merry way. Glossy images of idyllic Christmas scenes in the media aren’t real. Neither are the curated posts on social media. We don’t share family arguments, drunken relatives or burnt offerings for each other to see. But that’s the reality. Life is messy and so is Christmas, sometimes. If you’re experiencing relationship difficulties, warring families or financial worries, it’s ok not to be ok. Give yourself space. Feel what you feel and take it easy. There’s nothing more miserable than forced fun.

Self Care Tip 4: Take your foot off the social media gas.

We 100% recommend ditching your devices on the day. If you’re feeling depleted, social media is the last place to focus your attention. Christmas can be a source of stress, anxiety and depression for many of us – social media will only magnify those feelings. This is linked to your happiness and your sanity. If you can’t manage to go cold turkey then limit your time on social media each day. You’ll feel better for it. Instead? We suggest you…..

Self Care Tip 5: Get outside.

Nurture yourself by going for a walk in green space. Walking out in the open will help you to combat stress, re-energise and blow the cobwebs off at the same time. Time in nature is good for us and the perfect opportunity to press reset if you’re experiencing stress. It will also pump your body full of feel good endorphins to help you navigate the rest of the festivities.

Want to know more about self care? Take a look at our free resources or get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

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