Life is busy. It could be compared at times, to a game of Jenga…responsibilities stacked precariously on top of each other, because we forgot the art of selectively saying no. We live in constant fear that we should be doing something at all times; one wrong move and it feels like even the most rudimentary of organisation could tumble down around your ears.
While the trials of the last few years have undoubtedly had an additional effect on managing the demands of modern life; the holiday season always poses an additional myriad of emotional challenges to navigate.
Festive burnout is a real threat to starting your new year with a refreshed, positive mind-set.
It is very easy to feel flat at the end of the festivities. We are not here to tell you how to organise or prepare for the array of responsibilities you may have or the activities you choose to engage in.
What we can do, is help you remind you of yourself.
Feel like you’re freewheeling. Do you have a sense of high stress and anxiety alert, a slightly strained grasp on the multitude of responsibilities for completing work priorities, juggling school calendar events and ensuring every gift is bought, wrapped, food prepared, visits planned…
…take a few moments to B.R.E.A.T.H.E.
Set them. Prioritise what is important for you, the rituals, activities and traditions that you wish to focus on. It is easy to feel overwhelmingly obligated by other people’s priorities and visions for the festivities, feeling you must help them fulfil their ideals. Time with family and friends can feel like a pressure cooker of expectation.
Protect your own boundaries by deciding how you want to feel going into the new year and your plan to achieve that.
Take time to clarify whether the heightened stress of the season is a manifestation of a broader lifestyle consideration. The end of one year blending into the next is the perfect moment to set out your intentions. Do you need to address your work-life balance? Are you in need of a digital detox to give yourself a proper break? Do other people’s expectations, energies and work attitudes determine your own?
Determine your own definition of perfect, not from imagery on social media or TV. Be true to your own needs. If you need quiet and rest, time away from the social whirl; be deliberate and decisive in leaning into that.
One foot in front of the other. You don’t have to run a mile a day, start spinning, do yoga or pilates…though all will help with your wellbeing. Moving your body is one of the best ways to keep your system from feeling sluggish after all the indulgence of the season. Exercise is also a way of creating a surge of endorphins that will help with mood and energy.
Carve out time, schedule moments to yourself however short. Simple things to rebalance and re-centre yourself in the merry-go-round. These mindful moments spent doing something for yourself can help enormously with low mood and a sense of being overwhelmed.
Now is not the time to skip your rituals of self-care, personal nourishment helps elevate your mood and self-esteem. Try creating a retreat in your own home with our iconic Bath Oil. The aromachological benefits of this cult treatment brings restorative tranquillity, a centred self and a balanced mind-set.
It can be hard to let go, when you have a vision of your festive season. Yes, you can micromanage – but try not to. If you are feeling like you’re spinning out, ask for help. Don’t assume people can read your mind, set out the support you are looking for and reach out for support.
It’s been a long year, to be fair it’s been a long few years. We have lived through extraordinary shifts and challenges in the world at large.
We are so lucky that we have freedom. However hard modern life is with financial pressures and instability, we are fortunate to have choices and we should endeavour to revel in time with our loved ones.
Mental well-being is a not something that can be turned on and off, just because the calendar suggests we should be upbeat and lively. Go gently with yourself, take time and try to structure some of these survival strategies into your holiday season and you may avoid the burnout that can come so readily at this time of year, when we forget ourselves in thinking of everyone else.