Say goodbye to stress and nourish your mind, body and soul with these simple lifestyle tweaks and tips.
It might be fondly referred to as the most “wonderful time of the year”, but it’s not uncommon to feel a little frazzled throughout the festive season. In between all of the overdue catch-ups and the last-minute rush of present shopping, many of us forget to slow down and switch off.
Thankfully, though, prioritising our wellbeing doesn’t require a major life overhaul or a page-long list of New Year’s resolutions. By simply implementing a few simple mindset tweaks and healthy habits, we can cruise through the holidays feeling calm, collected and well.
Explore the great outdoors
Nothing nourishes the mind (and body) more than time spent in the great outdoors. A 2019 study published in Nature found that people who spend at least 120 minutes in natural environments—whether that’s a sprawling inner-city park or the depths of the bush—report better health and wellbeing outcomes than those who spend less than this amount of time outside. The takeaway? Getting a good dose of greenery is key when it comes to staying healthy and happy throughout the festive season. This Christmas, lap up all of the mind-boosting benefits of your local landscapes by hitting the beach, hiking a new trail or simply eating alfresco in the park.
Stretch and de-stress
Hoping to enjoy the festive period in all its fullness? Actively disconnecting from the worries of work is essential when it comes to cultivating a calm mind and enjoying the present moment. But how do you reach that coveted state of holiday bliss when there’s a flurry of activity happening around you? While simply deciding “not to be stressed” is unrealistic for many of us, practising mindfulness equips us to deal with stress more effectively. Why not use the holiday period as an opportunity to download a mindfulness meditation app, kickstart a regular yoga practice or put aside some time every day for a stress-melting facial massage? You don’t need to overhaul your morning routine or complete an entire series of sun salutations before 7am. Simply start with what’s manageable (even if that means taking five minutes before you drink your morning beauty tea) and aim for consistency over the long term.
Be kind to your mind
There’s no denying that 2021 has had its fair share of challenges. Weddings have been cancelled, jobs have been lost, holidays have been postponed and precious time with friends and family has been at an all-time low. As the party season approaches, it’s important to remain open, curious and compassionate towards yourself and others. Are you pumped up with positivity, ready to get back out there and fill your calendar with Christmas catch-ups? The world’s your oyster! Or, perhaps the events of the past year have left you feeling a little flat? Whatever the case, it’s important to approach your feelings with compassionate curiosity and remember that everyone experiences different emotions when the festive season rolls around.
Say goodbye to guilt
There’s no place for food guilt during the holidays—or at any time of the year, for that matter! Whether it’s a piece of your grandma’s famous fruitcake or a platter of fresh seafood from your local fish shop, sharing food with friends and loved ones is one of the highlights of the festive season.
As summer approaches and the dreaded diet talk starts to creep back into the mainstream media, remind yourself that the food on your plate is a form of social glue, not just a fuel source for your muscles. Every meal is an opportunity to nourish your body and your mind, which means that, sometimes, a piece of Mum’s homemade carrot cake is just as healthy as a carrot! Giving yourself permission to eat without restriction is the first step in developing a more healthy relationship with food. When nothing is off-limits, you’re less likely to approach food with an “all or nothing” attitude which naturally lends itself to a more balanced approach. Just as you would at any other time of the year, continue to eat nourishing meals that are full to the brim with satisfying sources of protein and fibre-rich plants to promote improved gut health. And when you do indulge, make it a mindful choice, enjoy every bit and then move on.
Try something new
Got a little extra time up your sleeve? It might be the moment to indulge your creativity, pick up a new hobby or kick start a new habit! Why not try your hand at sourdough baking or learn to play the guitar? As work slows down and the days grow longer, it’s the perfect time to try something new and enjoy the thrill of being a beginner. Always wanted to try your hand at pottery? Check out your local studio and get creative with clay! Keen to maximise your self-care? Make the most of your me-time and dabble in a little DIY skincare. You could even whip up a homemade body scrub to gift to your friends.