December can be exhausting for lots of people, for many reasons. Whether it’s social plans, the busy season at work or the final push to the end of the year, the pressure of gift buying or budgeting, all of the above and more, December can be chaotic and amidst all this chaos it becomes easy to forget to be kind to ourselves.
Here are my four tips as gentle reminders to look out for yourself this festive season:
There’s a certain sense of needing to say yes to everything at this time of year. Work parties, different groups of friends wanting to do ‘Christmas’ drinks. Maybe you say ok to more things, because it’s Christmas. As nice as it is to feel you’re doing seeing people at this time of year, often it can be draining, especially with everything else going on.
If you’re exhausted, unwell or you just need some time to yourself, say no. Cancel plans if you need to. Don’t feel obliged to do things because of the time of year. People will understand, and if they don’t, are they really the kind of people you want to be out exhausting yourself with anyway?
I think there can be this guilt around buying ready meals, as if the pinnacle of being an adult is being able to cook dinner for yourself every night. If you’re too tired to cook (or food shop) for even the most basic of meals, eat conveniently rather than not at all, whether that’s picking a microwave or freezer meal up on the way home or picking up some fast food. Nourish yourself.
Perhaps this seems a bit rich coming from someone who has done a number of homemade festive foods and crafts, but I’d just like to let you know I’m not working much at the moment, so it’s not taking chunks out of my evenings and weekends. It’s ok to buy conveniently. Don’t be swayed by the food writers and chefs of the world who COOK FOR A LIVING telling you to make everything from scratch. Don’t stretch yourself thin finding extra hours in your day to do things in. There’s no guilt or shame in buying things ready made or pre-prepped.
Mute the dieters and the food police
Food shaming is rife at this time of year, and only amps up after Christmas Day. Personally, I don’t need to see the “omg I’ve eaten so much I’m sooooo fat” or the “diet starts tomorrow” crowd anywhere on my social feeds. Nor the “how to enjoy Christmas without the guilt” types. What fucking guilt? Fuck the fuck off!
If you can’t or don’t want to delete these people from your social media, please mute them for now. You don’t need to earn the enjoyment of your food. Drinking alcohol or eating pudding doesn’t make you bad. You have not been naughty. You do not need to absolve yourself of guilt.