We’re in the midst of the busiest season of the year! Thanksgiving, the run-up to Christmas, New Year’s Eve… an abundance of food, drink, shopping, and socialising… with our senses on the verge of overload. Self-care is something we often sacrifice at this time of year, but it’s more important than ever if we want to avoid end-of-year burnout, says Katie Rosseinsky at Stylist.
“Many of us will put pressure on ourselves at Christmas – whether that means sourcing the perfect presents, attending every event we can, dashing up and down the country to visit relatives or playing host,” she says. “But by taking stock of your year so far in the coming weeks, and reflecting on what you might want to adjust, you’ll be laying the groundwork for a more relaxed holiday season.”
So, why wait until January to focus on yourself? Now is a great time to sit back, assess what’s to come and plan a mini pre-festive recharge. Be more intentional about how you rest, and then implement small changes to continue throughout winter into the new year. The result? New habits will become embedded behaviours and help prevent exhaustion mode. If you’re ready to give it a go, here’s our guide on how to feel more relaxed and less stressed this Christmas:
Sleep underpins everything when it comes to functioning properly. Switching off and banking an early night helps keep our mind and body in check.
Ensure your sleep environment is fit for a restful night ahead – comfortable bed and mattress, as well as soft pillows, bedding and throws to keep you cosy on the chillier nights. For more top tips on a peaceful slumber, read our dedicated blog post here.
Move your body
Exercise is great for our bodies, but our minds too! It triggers the release of endorphins that enhance emotional well-being. Even if you don’t have time for a full workout, getting outside for a brisk walk can make all the difference – especially with more people working from home and missing out on their daily commute.
Get up early and walk around the block as if you were walking to work – it will kickstart your day as well as those happy hormones.
Not only does sunlight help produce serotonin and regulate your mood, being in nature also helps clear your head and bring you into the present moment. Whether you’re meeting a friend or walking the dog, wrap up in your cosy clothes and head outside to de-stress and relax.
It’s tempting to stock up on indulgent food – living off mince pies and canapés for the month of December. However, ensuring you have a healthy amount of fruit and veg is key to keeping well and topped up with the right vitamins to beat lurking winter bugs. There might be an air fryer frenzy right now, but trust us, the slow cooker is your friend this time of year.
You can’t go wrong with soups and stews – easy to prep, leave them cooking throughout the day, and serve up once you’re ready to eat. Leftovers are just as good the next day – or store away in the freezer for the weeks ahead.
Ditch the alcohol
While this is the season to get merry, an excess of alcohol can disrupt sleep and leave us feeling less than fresh.
Boost your mind, mood and general health by limiting alcohol and trying some of the amazing new alcohol-free options on the market. Make your own mulled drink using non-alcoholic red wine, mulling spices and orange peel; alternatively, treat yourself to a luxurious hot chocolate or warming herbal tea in your favourite mug.
Take time for yourself
Whether it’s sitting in front of your favourite box set, listening to a podcast or running yourself a hot bath, having some me-time can help you relax and be present with yourself. And while you’re at it, why not try a social media detox? It’s worth it.
Remember, don’t feel pressured to do anything because of what you’ve seen online – make sure your Christmas is done your way. Above all, be kind to yourself at this time of year – take it easy and be willing to cancel plans if it all gets too much.
Slightly behind with your seasonal shopping this year? No stress – there’s still time to get some great pressies for your loved ones. Check out our very special (and useful) gift guide, brimming with ideas for all tastes and budgets – shop now