What seems like a time of joy, family, feasts and parties can be the complete opposite behind closed doors, and that disconnect between expectations for the holiday season and the reality can be a source of increasing stress and anxiety for many.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. With these simple shifts in thinking, and a few tweaks to the way you live your life day to day in the lead up to Christmas, it is possible to better manage some of these emotions.
We asked the CoAct team what they do to set boundaries and take care of themselves physically and mentally during the holidays, here are their top tips:
Be mindful with social media
From “stay off it completely for the month of December” to “audit who your newsfeed and mute or remove any accounts that don’t spark joy” the advice here is clear: do your best to manage your relationship with social media if you really want to get the best out of this season offline.
Get smart with your Christmas shopping
You could either agree not to buy presents for extended family, and/or set limits on how much you spend on the family you do buy for. Plus two pro tips for next year: if you can shop the sales straight after Christmas you’re 12 month ahead and saving big money – or you could try to buy a small gift each month to take the edge off of the end-of-year spending.
Embrace reverse cheat days
A cheat day is traditionally a day when you allow yourself to eat and drink an unlimited amount. But since the holidays can sometimes line up like multiple consecutive cheat days why not flip the trend and build in days where you eat, drink and socialise less. Give your head, heart and gut a breather with quiet days where you take the pressure off and focus on your well-being so you’re at your best for the gatherings you want to attend.
Happy holidays from everyone at CoAct
However you decide to tackle the next few weeks, we hope you spend them taking care of yourself and appreciating the little things, because they really aren’t that little. In the words of one of our team members who recently enjoyed Christmas a few week weeks early with barbecue chickens and homemade coleslaw because that’s what worked for their family “If Christmas needs to look different this year because of ability, mental health or finances etc. that’s fine, it happens every year and the important thing is to make the most of the time you have with the people who matter to you.”