I'm going to start by admitting I quite like this weird time between Christmas and New Year. I plan most of the rest of my life, so it's refreshing for me to have a limited amount of chaos and lack of structure during this time.
That said, I can definitely empathise with some of the strangeness. What day is it? Am I indulging or getting ready for New Year strictness? And when did I last wash my hair?
But looking at my email inbox, I see that there are people that are really struggling with this time and it's not really a surprise given the state the world is in and how isolated some people have been and will continue to be going forward.
Here are my top 3 wellbeing tips for this strange time of year.
1. Even if you embrace chaos and lack of structure, it's not a bad idea to have a little bit of structure. For us, it's the iPad is out of bounds for certain hours (although the tv and the Wii are good to go), everyone eats at loose meal times (even if breakfast did consist this morning of cereal, cookies and chocolate) and we get outside at least once a day. Clearly this is much easier to achieve here in the Southern hemisphere (dodging the thunderstorms), but I stick to this even when we're in the Northern climes. A bit of fresh air, even just a walk around the block, does wonders for your health - it helps your circadian rhythms by adjusting your melatonin levels, boosts your circulation and helps to clear your head.
2. Stop thinking about what you 'should' be doing. I find from now until about mid-January, it's easier than ever to get caught up in thinking that there are certain things that you should or have to be doing. And it's the worst kind of 'everybody is one size' bullshit that I really hate. If you need to then repeat out loud 'I don't need this bullshit' every time you see something telling you that your biggest worry should be your weight and/or size. Your worth is not measured in any numbers and most certainly not those. (Now, those who have followed me for a while will know that I love to work out and I'm a firm believer in exercise being good for your body and soul, but that's NOTHING to do with weight and size. The diet industry takes SO much money from people at this time of year convincing them that paying money for an eating plan is the way to happiness. I really advocate going for a nice, long, relaxing and joyful walk every time you get the urge to fill the diet industry's pockets at this time of year. By the time you get home, in a rosy glow of satisfaction that you've been active, you may find that urge has passed you by!)
3. Spend some time thinking about how lovely and wonderful you are. Even if this hasn't been the best year, the best Christmas, even if you've shouted at your kids more, been more impatient with your work colleagues or found yourself moaning to your cat, you're still a person with unique qualities and gifts. It's been so easy this year to spend time looking outwards. Now is a great time to turn inwards a bit more, with kindness and compassion. Rejoice in all the things that make you unique and in how you change the universe by your very existence.
If you'd like to join me for a free, online goal-setting workshop, I'm holding two.
All you need to do is click to register and you'll be sent the link. The meetings hosted on clickmeeting so you don't need to download anything beforehand. I hope to see you there!