More often the one thing that we overlook when we’re planning for the school holidays is ourselves. When do we get the chance to have some much needed R&R or just indulge in some ‘me’ time? It’s important that you don’t leave yourself off the list of priorities.
The Christmas holidays are especially difficult because not only is the school break long, but we have all the parties, dinners, and festivities associated with Christmas to attend. Presents to be bought and wrapped, extra grocery shopping and just about a million other things to do at the same time!
So how do you find the time for yourself? Here’s 5 ways you can put self-care to the top of your list:
- Put yourself at the top of the list (or at least ON the list!)
I know that when I am overdoing it, I’m not my best self. Try to ensure you get your sleep, eat properly and drink plenty of water, and relax (whatever your version of that is). You don’t have to say yes to every party or activity, it’s okay to say no sometimes.
- Set reasonable expectations
Sometimes we set ourselves up to fail by trying to compete with unrealistic expectations. Many people struggle with depression and high anxiety over the Christmas period because the expectation to have a ‘magical’ time exceeds the reality of everyday life. If you try to compete with the movies, you’re going to end up disappointed.
- Be present
Try to be in the moment. Take notice of what is going on around you; the sights, sounds and smells. Leave your phone out of reach so that you can enjoy being present and not get distracted.
- Take time to express gratitude
What are you grateful for? Recent neuroscience research shows that simply pondering this question increases dopamine and serotonin, even if you can’t actually think of an answer. The negative loop in our minds is sometimes hard to stop, but focusing on what you are grateful for can really pull you out if it.
- Recognise when you can’t do it all – and be okay with that
If you’ve taken on too much or you just need to have a break, then don’t be afraid to ask for help. We have some fantastic resources in our Support Directory to assist you with finding the help you need. It might just be that you are finding the housework is taking your time away from truly enjoying your time with your children, enlisting help is not failure.