"STRONGER TOGETHER" is a weekly column where Tanya explores key issues. This week Tanya discusses wellness through the Christmas period.
By IMPACT Community Services Managing Director Tanya O'Shea
Christmas is a hectic time for many of us. During December we scramble to attend a seemingly never-ending list of social gatherings, battle the crowds to shop for presents, wrap, decorate homes and offices, run around visiting family, bake, try to make our Christmas pay cheque go that bit further, race around to kids’ sporting break ups… phew! No wonder so many of start each New Year feeling emotionally, physically, and financially drained.
This year, I’m challenging you to break the cycle and to be mindful about your own wellness this festive season. Rather than putting self-care on the back burner and going into 2023 feeling frazzled, I am sharing my top three tips guaranteed to leave you feeling energised and refreshed after the holiday period.
Check in with yourself: Throughout the year, but at this time of year especially we spend time worrying about others, their needs, what we can do to help them. You are important, too!
Take a moment now to ask yourself:
Reduce the alcohol: This time of year, almost gives people permission to overindulge whether it be food, alcohol or your favourite Netflix series! The festive season provides a great opportunity to reflect on our drinking culture and the way that we drink. Research suggests that even when people intend to drink responsibly, it can be difficult to stick to the plan due to social and environmental pressures and let’s face it, getting drunk is also an acceptable societal norm. Personally, I made the choice to reduce my alcohol intake in July. I didn’t tell myself I wouldn’t drink, I just told myself that I had a choice every time I consumed alcohol, knowing that making the choice to drink undid all the positive things that I had introduced into my life to improve my health. Avoiding alcohol completely is not for everyone, however we all have a choice about when and how much we wish to consume.
Declutter your calendar: There is no shortage of social events in the lead up to Christmas, yet there are so many other opportunities throughout the year to schedule social events with family and friends. Be selective, learn to say no, and ‘ring-fence’ your time to protect it for the things that matter most. Perhaps schedule in some dates throughout the year to ensure that you are maintaining great relationships and networks.
Consistency is key when it comes to the choices that we make about our wellbeing. Putting good strategies in place now to support those choices will create a solid wellbeing foundation from which to thrive in 2023!