At this time of the year, it’s so easy to get caught up in all the to-do’s, must buy’s, shopping lists and so on. I was thinking of some things I could do to support myself through the Christmas and New Year’s period and I thought I’d share them with you here.

These are really notes to myself, helpful tips I want to keep front of mind, that you might find useful.

1. Self Care is just as important even when we’re on a ‘break’

Just because we’re on a ‘break’ from work and usual commitments, doesn’t necessarily mean we need to break from looking after ourselves. What with the extra food, alcohol, family and emotions, it can be even more important to prioritise self care at this time of year.

2. No is always an option

With all the expectation and obligation that comes along with this time of the year, I sometimes fall into the trap of believing I have no choice. This is definitely not true, we may disappoint someone, but no is always an option when we don’t want to do something. One of the favourite things I heard someone say this year is that, “When we’re saying no to someone else, we’re saying yes to ourselves”

3. Time together is more important than stuff

Children (and adults too) get very excited by presents, yet in the years to come we don’t remember the gifts we gave or received. We remember the backyard cricket, the day at the beach, the trips to the pool and the late nights of school holidays. The memories are made through the time together just hanging out, not the stuff we get.

4. Most people mean well

Extended family asking about your love life, your work, your studies, your life…. we can start to think that ‘we’re not enough’, not achieving enough, doing enough, that our achievements aren’t valid. I believe that more often than not, most people in their questions are well meaning. It’s just that we project our own feelings onto the questions and answers. If we can see it for what it is, I like to remember that really they’re just trying to find a connection.

5. It’s supposed to be fun

It’s easy to forget that Christmas is actually about joy, love and fun. 

So they’re some five things I’m going to take through with me over the next week or so. Little reminders to come back to when it feels like rushing, emotions and stress is at an all time high.

What reminders would you offer to yourself at this time of year?