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Olwen Anderson's Blog

How to cope better with the lead up to Christmas

Saturday, August 31, 2013
The end of the year is hurtling towards us, filled with celebrations, graduations, family and community commitments, exams, sports finals, you name it.  The pressure to ‘get it all done’ before 31 December seems to build steadily from now. By mid December many of us are about ready to pop with the pressure of it all – and it isn’t until early January that you can almost feel everyone heaving a sigh of relief; finally, the pressure is off.  If you want to cope better this year with these demands, here are some key techniques to boosting your resilience:

Firstly, taking time out for you is essential because helping other people uses up emotional energy that you need to replenish in order to give again (Parents and workers in care-giving professions seem to find this the most challenging).  Some people find that engaging in regular meditation provides the opportunity to step away from the expectations of life and focus on their own spiritual growth. Curiously, although the discipline of regular meditation might not seem to achieve much in the moment, in the long term you’ll notice you become calmer, and events which would usually ignite strong negative emotions within you don’t have the same effect. 

Also, keeping up your fitness training routine is important, because it ‘burns off’ excess stress hormones. For some reason, fitness training is the first thing that tends to disappear in people’s lives when they get busier, perhaps because it’s too easy to let it go ‘just for today’. You’ll find that by making time for exercise you’ll have more energy, and your sleep is likely to improve.

On the subject of sleep, a regular sleep routine will also help boost your resilience. Who doesn’t feel ready to take on the world again after a great night’s sleep? But there’s an object in your home that could interfere with your best intentions to get to bed on time: The TV. At the end of a busy day it’s relaxing to spend some time enjoying a show, but many people can get stuck on the couch and climb into bed much later than they intended. Insufficient sleep erodes your coping skills.

Finally, feed yourself thoughtfully. Like other health-boosting practices, putting care into what you eat, is an easy discipline to lose. ‘Just this once’ for a less than nutritious meal because you’re ‘too tired’ can become increasingly frequent, until you can’t remember the last time you weren’t eating junk. Many modern devices can help here, like a slow cooker, as can freezing leftovers for an ‘instant’ healthy meal.

So, here’s your plan to get you through the busy time of the year in better shape: Take time out regularly, keep up your daily practices of meditation and exercise, maintain a healthy sleep routine, and feed yourself mindfully. Then you can enjoy all the big events of the latter half of the year more.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy 'Six powerful routines of naturally healthy people' 


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