It’s no surprise that the busy period in the run-up to the festive season can be a source of stress for many of us – juggling last minute work deadlines, finishing off the gift-buying, sorting out family logistics, shopping for food etc. Not to mention the highs and lows of expectation versus reality when it comes to the celebrations themselves.

A quick way to reduce this stress? Factor in some quick, daily, guilt-free down-time. We all deserve some time for self-nurture, however brief, allowing us momentarily to press the pause button on the busy-ness of life.

This looks different for everyone, so here are 4 quick survival strategies. Pick your favourite and commit to it – or do all 4! Set a reminder on your phone, or stick a post-it note on the bathroom mirror or fridge to remind yourself. Enjoy!

  • Sit down once a day and have a hot drink – and do only that!
    Put that phone away (preferably in another room) and truly chill. Make it a little ritual of self-care. Put the guilt to one side for a few precious minutes and give yourself permission to just sit. Bring your awareness to any of your senses while you sip your drink.

  • Stand or walk outside in natural surroundings for a few minutes, once a day. The research tells us that the benefits to brain and body of spending bursts of time in nature, particularly around trees, are huge. What can you see? What can you hear? Breathe it in.
  • Find 3 things at the end of each day to be grateful for, even if it’s only seemingly insignificant things like you’ve got a warm bed to sleep in. Research shows that focusing on gratitude increases our overall sense of well-being. Some people find it helpful to write these down in a gratitude journal.
  • Listen to a quick meditation on an App (eg the free Present Mind Mindfulness app). If once a day seems too great a commitment, commit to 3 times a week. Set the intention, writing it down can help. Never once has anyone said ‘I really regretted doing that meditation today’. Treat it as a gift to you 😊

Caroline x

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