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How to take care of yourself ready for the New Year

28 Dec

These self-care tips will really help you. They will also help you get 2022 off to a good start with some new habits.

Heart drawn in a steamed up window

This time of year can be stressful at the best of times but when you are going through a divorce or separation it is even harder. Here are some of my top tips on how you can take care of yourself to help you through the Christmas period. These healthy habits you can take into the New Year. 

1. Sleep. 7- 8 hours of sleep is optimal for the best mental performance. It improves your memory and your capacity for strategic thinking. So why not make the most of the holidays and have a lie in. Afterall, sleep deprivation can make you really emotional and vulnerable to letting your fears get the better of you. . It also happens to boost your immune system which given the current climate is a really good thing. 


2. Exercise. Chemically it also floods our bodies with much needed feel-good hormones that motivate us. That's why exercising first-thing is a great way to start the day. So why wait until the New Year to start exercising? Make the most of those feel good hormones now to help get you through this holiday season and feel better about yourself.


3. Gratitude. Count your blessings, you have been through a lot and it probably isn’t over, but no matter how hard it feels right now there is always something to be grateful for. And there is always someone out there who would change places with you but you wouldn’t want to change places with them.  Practicing gratitude has such a phenomenal impact  on your mental state, it is worth doing everyday, if you do it first thing in the morning will set you up for the day.


4. Take a breath. Christmas can be stressful at the best of times, let alone when you are going through a major transition. When we are stressed and anxious it can feel like we are struggling to breathe, it is the reason many of us experience panic attacks.  This is your mind in survival mode, its response is to pump your blood to your arms and legs ready for fight or flight.  If you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed over this period, step away and breathe. A technique that really helps me is to  inhale for 8 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds, repeat 4 times. 


5. Switch off. We are all wedded to technology (especially social media) and this can be damaging at the best of times but looking at other peoples ‘perfect Christmas on social media can be really detrimental to our mental wellbeing when we are feeling far from perfect. The trouble is you are always comparing your worst to their best, the kindest thing you can do is switch off from it. 


6. Guard your mind. Our minds are incredibly susceptible to suggestion, it is why hypnotherapy is so effective. Make certain that what you are exposing yourself to is serving you and not feeding your insecurities. This goes for tv, as well as in person. This can be tricky to manage over Christmas when we tend to see extended family,  but try to limit your time with people who trigger you and instead surround yourself with those who support you and lift you up. 


7. Be kind to yourself. Any transition requires adjustment, divorce can be more difficult than most.  These adjustments are honest, raw, ugly, hopeful, frustrating, and beautiful. Add the pressure of Christmas can feel overwhelming. On the other side of this is clarity, strength and resilience but be patient, allow yourself to be human, you will get there in your own time and Christmas is not a time to judge how you are doing , it is a time to be kind yourself. 


8. Mindfulness practice. Whatever your preferred flavour - meditation, affirmations, yoga... Make time to step away from the relatives and chaos to centre yourself. This has a phenomenal impact on your wellbeing. It allows you to focus, calm your mind and set intentions for the day. Creating a self-care routine will really serve you now and in the future. 


9. Go for a walk.   Being in nature releases the feel-good hormones oxytocin and dopamine. This chemical release has a relaxing effect on our emotional state, making you feel calm and helping you to think clearly. This is a great trick for when you are feeling triggered or overwhelmed during the Christmas period or any other time. 


10. Treat yourself. Our minds love to be rewarded, it is what keeps us going, and motivates us more than anything including fear. Treat yourself this holiday – big or small. Better still write a list and keep ticking them off into the New Year! 


If you want to discuss your own self-care and how to get the most out of this time, please contact me to arrange a consultation.

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