This year we have all had to embrace a little more self-care than previously. We’ve have had a lot of time to contemplate and evaluate what is really important.

For many of us, this Christmas will be a time to spend some quality time with those who we have been separated from this year, due to the lockdown measures, and although it will be a time of joy and love and hope for a better 2021, there is also the weight of expectation to end this year on a high.

This is where self-care over the festive season comes into play.

Surrounded by family and with lots of catching up to do, films to watch, games to play and food to eat, it can easily get overwhelming. Here are our top tips for looking after yourself, whilst also enjoying everything Christmas has to offer:

Embrace finding joy in the small things, don’t be afraid to treat yourself.

Whether it is a cheeky Christmas coffee, or the feeling of putting on fluffy socks and getting comfy on the sofa, take note of the small things that bring you joy this time of year. There may be some big problems in the world right now, so give yourself a break from worrying and embrace whatever joy you can find.

Find quiet time during the day and perhaps try meditation or journaling.

It can be hard with children running around, family expectations or elderly relatives to look after, but finding some quiet time for yourself during the day can be a huge relief. Why not spend an extra 10 minutes in bed in the morning, or go to bed 10 minutes earlier in the evening? Perhaps you can stretch out your time in the shower or take your morning coffee outside for a bit of self-contemplation. Look for the minutes you can grab for yourself throughout the day and it will do wonders with tackling the festive overwhelm.

Log off from your technology, be present and relax.

We are all guilty of succumbing to the never-ending to-do list, but do you know what? It will still be there after Christmas. Turn off email alerts, put that phone to silent, shut the laptop down and just let your brain recharge. There is plenty of festive goodness to keep your mind occupied, like is 3 mince pies with a cup of tea really too many? Spoiler – no, never.

Surround yourself with the people who bring you happiness.

This can be tricky with family obligations over the holiday season, but as far as you are able to try to focus on having the right people in your life. This year will be different, as we are limited in how we can celebrate due to COVID19. However, it is important to note that it is ok to say no to an invitation, it’s ok to prioritise whatever you feel is important. Christmas shouldn’t feel like an obligation, find your joy.

Plan your time to avoid over-committing and keep your environment tidy.

A lot of the stress that surrounds the festive season is uncertainty. This is easily avoided if you just plan your time wisely. Don’t over-commit by organising some sort of celebration every day, plan in time for yourself so that you can fully enjoy whatever social occasions you decide to attend. Similarly, keep your environment tidy. Tidy life, tidy mind is so true. This will help to keep your mental health and wellbeing in tip-top condition. Plus, in non-COVID times, if you have any surprise guests or ‘just popped rounders’, then you don’t need to fret!

Dress comfy and do what you need to do to feel your best.

Slippers not heels is a mantra to get behind. We aren’t going out much this festive season, so let’s make it a season for ultimate comfort. You can still feel glam and festive, even a little sparkly if that is your thing, but don’t do it at the expense of comfort. It’s not worth it for the Zoom or the ‘gram. You will enjoy any occasion more if you aren’t super uncomfortable through it, forget expectations – you do you.

Pamper yourself, tis the season for indulgence.

Since you have logged off and are finding the joy, you will have more time to do things that you perhaps neglect in everyday life. Take 10 minutes after your shower to moisturise, use that expensive face cream you bought, style your impressive beard leftover from Movember/Lockdown, paint your nails, iron your clothes, break out your favourite mug, take a bubble bath – whatever means indulgence for you this festive season, do it and enjoy.

Self-care can mean any number of different things and you have to find what is right for you. So, take a few moments now and make a plan for finding some time for it over the next few weeks. This year has been really tough, but we are nearly through it.

Take it day by day, find the joy and let’s embrace a better 2021 for us all.

Merry Christmas you lovely lot and the happiest of new years for you all.

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