Self Care through the Festive Season

The festive season can be lovely, exciting, heartwarming and fun, but can also be a busy and stressful time for many people. So much to do, and not enough time to do it all, the pressure for things to be perfect, and to feel festive and happy.
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Self care is vital any time of the year, but through the festive season it is just as important, if not more. Many of us feel the effects of the darker days, the busyness of the season and the extra pressures we face at this time of year.
Here are some some unique self-care ideas to help you relax and enjoy the season. Take some time to look after you, and make sure that the festive season doesn't leave you feeling overwhelmed and burnt out.
Slow Down
The festive season is one that can be busier than usual. The build up to the big day, the never ending to-do list, the parties and social occasions, all the extra festive activities that we feel we 'have' to take part in.
Create some downtime for yourself. You are allowed to relax and step off the treadmill. Have a nap. Watch a movie. Miss a party if you are too overwhelmed.  Do whatever you need to do to keep stress to a minimum.
Get outdoors
The days are short, and for many of us we spend most of the daylight hours stuck inside at work. The lack of sunlight and fresh air can leave you feeling low and lethargic. 
Make an effort to get outdoors everyday. Walk to work if you can or take a walk in your lunch hour. Sit near a window if you're indoors all day to soak in some extra light. Take longer walks on your days off to boost that Vitamin D!
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Say no to more
Most of us feel the pressure to do more this time of year. Spend more, eat more, go out more, drink more, do more.
Remember it is OK to say no. Set yourself a budget for gifts and food and stick to it. Don't feel the pressure to buy more and more. 
Say no to social engagements you don't really want to go to.
Only say yes to things that make you feel good.
Move your body
Exercise and mental health go hand in hand. It's much harder when it is cold and dark outside to find the motivation to get off the sofa and move our bodies. 
Challenge yourself to twenty minutes a day - doing whatever makes you feel good. That could be a walk outdoors, a gym session, a swim, a yoga class, or even a workout video at home.
Give yourself some TLC
When we're overwhelmed and stressed, take some time out for a little pampering. An aromatherapy massage will leave you feeling more relaxed and nourish dry skin. A soak in a hot bath can soothe tight muscles. A face and hair mask can revive you.
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Get your journal out
When life is hectic, more often than not our minds are working overtime. If you feel like your mind is full of stress and worries, maybe your sleep is being disturbed because of all the thoughts whirling around, then journaling can help.
Taking time to write down all that is on your mind. Write anything down that pops into your mind - perhaps it might be thinking about what’s worrying you or what you’re looking forward to in the coming year.