Do you arrive at Christmas Day frazzled from burning the candle at both ends for too many days in a row? Christmas drinks and then up with the birds and your kids, exhausted from organising gifts, festive food, relatives… Are you like this: “Hi Christmas, here I am – a mere shadow of my former self”? What if you could take care of yourself this December, by doing easy little things that are guaranteed to make you feel better, clearer, and healthier? Worth a try? This year, shall we roll out the Self-Care Big Guns? After all, as mums we need to take care of ourselves so we can take care of everybody else.
Here are 12 easy ways to take care of yourself this December:
- Drink your water! The NHS Eatwell guide says we should rink 6-8 glasses of water each day. I definitely feel more alert when I’ve had my daily quota and my skin looks better too.
- Start your day with a healthy smoothie. I am more inclined to make healthy choices if I get my day off to a good start. The best way to make a smoothie is liquids first, then frozen ingredients, then fresh, finally extras. Make sure you add a protein source to your smoothie as this will keep you from feeling hungry. And go easy on the fruit. This is a good combo – two cups of almond milk, handful of kale leaves (remove the thick stems), frozen banana, few frozen berries, dessertspoon of almond butter. Yum.
- Do a bit of meal prep once a week and pop some meals in the freezer. Something like soup, veggie curry or bolognese sauce is easy to make and freeze in advance.
- Take 10 minutes to meditate and just slow right down. You can meditate anywhere – just sit or lie down and tune into your breath for a little while. Putting your fingers onto your wrist to feel your pulse can help. When I’m really busy I can feel quite overwhelmed. Meditating helps me slow down and relaaaaax.
- Take a relaxing bath. A psychologist at the University of Wolverhampton, studied 80 nice and clean people who took a bath every day for a fortnight, and concluded: “I found that bathing improved general psychological wellness radically. There was a significant drop in feelings of pessimism about the future and increases in hedonic tone, the internal feeling of pleasurability”. I love a nice bath!
- Spend some time outside every day. When it’s cold we can sometimes spend nearly all of our time indoors. Going for a walk outside makes me feel better.
- Go easy on the booze! I decided to call time on hangovers two years ago and haven’t looked back. That’s a bit extreme, admittedly, so if you are on the sauce, eat beforehand, chug water as you go along and don’t drink too quickly!
- It’s hard to be spontaneous when you have little ones. But when my boys were younger I used to bundle them up and take them out to look at the Christmas lights. It was lovely to see how cheery and excited they would get.
- Try shopping online. It’s the only way I can get my Christmas shopping done these days. That way I can fit it round other things I need to do and it’s much less tiring.
- Have an early night – I have a terrible habit of watching TV late because I’m too tired to go to bed! I’m watching out for that old chestnut and dispatching myself up straight the wooden hill to Bedfordshire as soon I start thinking it.
- Christmas is a good time to look back on the year and to think about what’s happened and what you are grateful for. That always helps put things in perspective.
- Put the energy out there that you’d like to feel yourself. Spread good cheer and watch it come right back.
I have created a little online Virtual Self-Care Calendar this year. 24 suggestions to take care of yourself! Click here to see it.
Catherine started her career as a lawyer in the City of London. For several years she really enjoyed it but after a while she felt she was losing myself in the relentless busyness of it. Aiming for a better work life balance she moved into the public sector where she’s held a number of executive positions. She runs mentoring programs for busy working mums that inspire them to feel empowered, confident and positive. She’s married with twin boys. She’s a keen speaker, Huffington Post blogger and photographer and loves riding her horse.