Here we are at the end of an immensely challenging year, but rather than slowing down, the pressure increases and everything starts to speed up as we hurtle towards Christmas. The expectation to stay ebullient is subtly shadowed by the persistent knawing of anxiety at the pit of your stomach.
But does it have to be this way? What exactly are we benchmarking and at what cost does this perfection come? Most ambition is driven by the mind and ego, urging us to excel like a hungry ghost, never satiated unless tempered by the heart. Here are some easily implemented fixes to quell your anxiety and regain a sense of what is achievable. Recognise that your energy supply is finite, so factor in some simple resets throughout your day, all of which will take a few minutes.
5 Tips for coping with Christmas Burn-out
- This is not the year to be wildly extravagant; keep things meaningful and buy gifts that have a more profound impact, such as aromatherapy oils or minis to create a ritual, a positive journal, or a book with some soulful quotes or guidance. I am always amazed by how easily a small, thoughtful gift can trump extravagant bling.
- Focus on your breath to regulate your nervous system. Firstly, breathe in through your nose, then exhale through your mouth with a big sigh, do this 3-4 times. Then shift your breath by breathing in and out through the nose. As you breathe and count to four, hold your breath for four when exhaling; we do this slowly, trying to extend the breath over a count of eight. Rest for four before you repeat again. Use this as a ritual before you sleep and if you wake up at night to calm yourself.
- Enhance your breathwork by adding some aromatherapy. For example, a scented spritz like the Restore Aura spray; a drop of a favourite essential oil, or perhaps something like the Crystal Clear smelling salts or Energy drops; or before sleep use some Sleep Drops - each has its own nuanced blend for clarity, optimism or calmness.
- Calming down adrenalised energy. Just try lying down for 5 minutes, place your right hand over your solar plexus (between the diaphragm and the navel). Your left hand is placed under your back, facing downwards at the exact location you will feel the surging energy between your hands; wait till this subsides and everything regulates. Take a long stretch with arms and feet stretching in opposite directions. If you've been on the phone or computer before sleep, doing this exercise clears overthinking.
- A quick way to release stress is to just 'Shake it out'. Put on some music or plug in your ear pods, and play your favourite feel-good dance track; mine is "Take Me Home (feat Notelle)". Then just shake out all the tension from your arms, shoulders and legs with a gentle bouncing action; this is such an instant way to release stress and re-energise yourself.