How About A Holiday Rest Instead Of A Holiday Reset?
Christmas is knocking on the door and with that last-minute presents, food, plans, and stress are weighing in too. On top of all these, you also read about holiday resets. Somehow in this period you should have a fresh start or prepare for one in time for New Year’s Eve.
I am all about starting better habits and re-designing your life, but the holiday resets I usually see in the wellness media are all about food detox before the holidays, setting goals again, becoming your best self in those 12 Christmas days, and so on. Re-wiring yourself for the life you want will take more than a few Christmas days. If Christmas as an event is the only thing that makes you think about pursuing a new habit, don’t.
Instead, consider actually resting this Christmas. I know, resting during the Christmas season can be a challenge, as there are often so many things to do and so much to think about. Plus lots of friends to see, maybe parties, which means your sleep schedule will be all over the place.
Make it a priority this year to have rest periods no matter what. Instead of obsessing about becoming a better you, try to become a more rested you, and then your journey to improvement will become constant. I am sure there are exceptions, and there are people who took a new habit during/before Christmas and it lasted forever, but I don’t know anyone like that just yet.
Before going into some tips about how to organize your rest periods this Christmas, I need to say that I am not suggesting stopping working for what you want to achieve. You can still schedule that in, but if you are not rested it will be difficult for you to keep going.
Here are a few ways that can help you actually rest during the holidays:
Take a few moments to pause and breathe. Yes, we are starting small. So, when you're feeling overwhelmed or distracted, take a few deep breaths and try to focus on the present moment. This can help to calm your mind and bring you back to the present. Even if you are around people, trying to be present can make you more relaxed. If the social gathering is too much for you, go outside for a few minutes and breathe. Don’t forget it is always ok to end the night early if that’s what you need.
Schedule sleep. If you have plans to party or have late dinners think about when can you still get 7 to 8 hours of sleep. It might mean you will sleep in the morning or that you actually have to break your sleep into 2 sessions because you have a brunch to attend after a really late night. It’s not ideal, but it will help you get back on track quickly if you are not lacking sleep. Choose to sleep during the day over watching a Christmas movie that you’ve seen already so many times.
Turn off distractions. It can be difficult to feel rested and calm when you're constantly checking your phone or being pulled in different directions. Try to limit your use of technology and other distractions as much as possible, and focus on the people and experiences around you. Think about trying a day or two without any social media. Anyone who wants to reach you can call or message you in the ‘old’ ways.
Take time for self-care. This looks different for all of us, but make sure to have a couple of hours only for yourself. From applying a soothing face mask and taking bath, to reading a novel with a cup of tea, journaling, staying in a sauna, going for a massage, or even for a run. Do what it takes to feel pampered or energized, you know better than anyone.
Mindful eating. You can enjoy all the Christmas goodies without going overboard. It’s easy to say that you are going to limit sugar before seeing all the puddings, biscuits, and cakes on the table. Rather than imposing any limits, check constantly with your body. If you are curious about how something tastes, take a small piece. If you want more, check if it is because it tastes good or because you feel a bit hungry. Don’t forget about water, try to have some after a few sips of alcohol. Your body will thank you and will be able to rest better.
I am not a Christmas fan, but it is the period when I get to see most of my closest friends and family, and that is worth celebrating. I was overwhelmed and stressed by this holiday every year until I made it clear what I want during this time. I want to rest so that I can pursue my dream life all year, I want to be present and enjoy the company of others, I don’t need to keep up with everything my friends are doing, and I can celebrate without doing too much damage to my body and mind.
I hope you will consider resting this Christmas as well, and that you will take care of yourself before taking care of others. It’s not selfish, it is efficient.