As we head into 2023, can you believe how quick 2022 has gone and how much you have achieved? You should be proud of yourself, give yourself a pat on the back as you approach your well-earned Christmas break.
In today’s busy society, with the constant bombardment of social media, advertising, the constant quest for the next big thing, it’s easy to sometimes feel a little lost, like life is running at 100 miles an hour and it’s often difficult to take time to appreciate what you have around you.
We’ve put together our top tips for winding down over Christmas and hopefully you can make them a feature of your New Year too.
Sounds obvious when you read it, but one of THE best ways to recover from the hustle and bustle of everyday life is to reconnect with your breathing. Close your eyes, take a long slow cool deep breath – hold it for a moment – before releasing the warm air from your lungs.
Repeat again. Become aware of how the air is cold as it hits your nose, and warm as it leaves. Feel the oxygen course into your lungs and through your veins. Connect with your breathing and take 5 slow, deep breaths at any point to alleviate stress and ground you in the here and now.
Remember three things you are grateful for at the end of every day. It could be simple things like, it didn’t rain on the dog walk or, someone saying thank you to you for something you’ve done, or your children bringing a picture home from school (or if you’re like us, your adult child sending you a text!). Write them down if it helps, and if you do this it can be a lovely review of the year when you look back. Practising gratitude at the end of every day as you practise your breathing will help soothe your busy mind.
When did you last take a day off? And we’re not talking about work but a day off to just be. Christmas is the perfect time for giving yourself permission to have a duvet day, to binge a box set, to pack a picnic on a crisps winters day and take off with the dog and your bestie. However and wherever you consider yourself to be at rest, make sure you make one of your New Years Resolutions to have more you-time, and make sure you congratulate yourself for it too!
Granny had a saying which was ‘Control the controllables’. You often cannot impact the outcome of a situation and remember that thoughts are just thoughts, not necessarily facts and all you can control is how you think about them. Remember of everyone’s opinion, the most important one is your own.
The dictionary defines Mindfulness as “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something” and it is the art of practising an open acceptance. Becoming aware of how many times you judge yourself during a day can train you to release that judgement and think how wonderful life could be if you could achieve that! Try to notice judgemental thoughts and the reaction they cause in you, stop and take five slow deep breaths, and release the judgement.
Our lives are constantly full, and often with instant gratification. Today’s youth will never know the pain of waiting a day or a week for a cliff-hanger ending of a drama series now we have the option to binge-watch TV shows, or constantly feel the need to check social media (mobile phone by the bed anyone?!). Try to build time in your day to simply be, to just sit, to think about nothing other than the feeling of the floor under your feet, the bed under your body, as you simply breathe.
You are always listening to you, so make sure you think about how you speak to yourself. If you constantly berate yourself for things you could’ve done, think how that impacts the child inside. So, think about how you speak to yourself in your head, under your breath and think about how you speak to others. Treat yourself with the respect you deserve!