Every year at Christmas, three things usually increase; our weight, our stress levels and the prevalence of depression. This of course means our physical, mental and emotional health are all being impacted by the pressure to please, consume, over-eat, be enough, do enough and give enough!
We are bombarded from as early as late October with Christmas adverts promoting plush gifts, expensive food tables, and a kind of shark-feeding frenzy of consumerism and pressure to join in the many wild office or personal parties out there, whilst inside perhaps all we want to do is curl up and nourish ourselves in other ways.
This pressure creates a tension that I'm sure many relate to and affects our sense of peace, wellbeing and balance, so let's look at some ways we can avert this 'crisis' before it hits us.
The Danes have a lifestyle concept called 'Hygge', a 'concept which can't easily be translated to one single word but encompasses a feeling of cosy contentment and well-being through enjoying the simple things in life. If you've ever enjoyed reading a book indoors on a rainy Sunday or a cup of hot cocoa on a snow day you've experienced hygge'. If you love to curl up in home made dens, nestle with blankets and hot water bottles, and simply gaze into the fire, this is Hygge, but actually, this more widely put is just great self care.
Hygge is a prevailing sense of stillness and peace in the present moment, and an appreciation of a deep and nourishing sense of cosiness. Sounds great right? For most of us however, we get caught up in consume, consume, consume and we lose our centre in the crazy whirlwind that is this time of year; a far cry from the rest and hibernation nature shows us is more appropriate in these dark days and long, cold nights.
If you are prepared and if you are mindful, you can avoid the common pitfalls and really 'have yourself a merry little Christmas', so here are my top tips for a wonderful Christmas season.
Lastly, befriend Winter! The video below is from one of my new absolute favourite people. Listen with awe as Jonna Jinton explains how she is learning to make peace with the darkness and the cold.
Reach out if you're struggling; I will be offering my one to one sessions throughout some of the Christmas and New Year Period, and if you are really struggling, please refer to the helplines on the Integration Protocols page of my website.
Have a lovely run up to Christmas everyone, with love and health! Steph x o x
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