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Tips for festive wellbeing

By Sinem Bilen-Onabanjo
04 December 2021   |   4:00 am
Remember last Christmas? Or would you rather not ever think about it again? For many of us, battling national lockdowns and curfews, Christmas 2020 was an odd time of the year.

Remember last Christmas? Or would you rather not ever think about it again? For many of us, battling national lockdowns and curfews, Christmas 2020 was an odd time of the year. For many, it was a much quieter festive season, with fewer parties, if any, and limited social interaction. If Omicron doesn’t rain on our parade, we may get back to how things have always been this year.

Then again, what parts of a ‘normal’ Christmas do you really want to go back to? With the frenetic food prepping, festive gift shopping sprees, general chaos of the season, going to visit family, it can be a hectic time of the year. Not surprisingly, I know many people who were somehow relieved when Christmas was cancelled last year.

This Christmas, in the rush to go back to the way things were, think of what parts you’d like to take forward and above all keep on top of your mental health and wellbeing with these tips.
Don’t leave shopping till the last two days

No matter how hectic December is, try to get your shopping done before the 48-hour countdown to the big day. This goes for food shopping too, especially if you are hosting family and friends.

Don’t sacrifice sleep
Christmas holidays… That dreamy time of the year when you can enjoy a few days off without worrying about what’s going on in the world, binge-watching TV series till the early hours of the morning. Please don’t. Christmas is also the time, following the festivities of the main event, we tend to get restless and cranky, and binge-watching all night and losing sleep won’t help your mood.

Get some exercise
Again, Christmas is possibly the only time of the year you can eat to your heart’s content and loaf around without feeling guilty. Yet, to keep in tip top shape and keep your spirits up, try to get a workout or two in. You don’t need to be doing a 5K run on Christmas eve or do your squats right after Christmas dinner, but getting some exercise will mean burning off the extra calories and getting the endorphins flowing.

Don’t over-indulge in drinks
I can’t think of a better time to enjoy a tipple or two, but don’t overdo it. Remember the hangover after a heavy night out? Or that parched feeling when you wake up after a night of drinking? You want to enjoy your festive season, not spend it hungover, nursing the mother of all migraines, so take it easy with the drinks.

Time to give back
Whether you are doing a collection for those in need or volunteering for an organisation with your time, doing good will have you feeling good.

Give yourself a break
Those few blissful days between Christmas and New Year’s is that one time of the year most of us get to fully enjoy without any of the hustle and bustle of daily life. If you can, for those precious few days, try to take time out to take a break, not to worry about work or about your 2022 to-do list.

Disconnect so you can connect
This goes without saying but this is the time to truly connect with your loved ones, so drop your phone and truly connect through conversations, games and food.

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