‘Tis the season to get stressed out! The holidays and heightened stress and bodily fatigue are all interconnected, and combined can leave us feeling utterly drained by the time Christmas Day rolls around.
Festive Fatigue is no joke, and unfortunately, the most wonderful time of the year can also be one of the most exhausting.
According to a study by Harvard Medical School, 62% of respondents described their stress level as “very or somewhat” elevated during the holidays, while the National Alliance of Mental Illness reports that 64% of those already struggling with their mental health say that the holidays make their conditions worse.
To help the more than 23 million Brits who say they will be totally exhausted by December 25th, experts at Cannaray CBD have compiled their top tips for battling Festive Fatigue before it takes control of the holiday season.
The overriding message? Find moments of peace where possible. After the last few years, we all deserve a mental break.
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Schedule self care
Self-care can be as simple as taking your vitamins, or scheduling in downtime, or prioritising sleep hygiene. Sleep is one of the few factors that you can aim to control during a stressful season, even if other areas of your life feel unmanageable at the moment.
“Sleep hygiene is such an important part of good self care practice,” says Zara Kenyon, Wellness Editor at Cannaray CBD. “Maintaining a consistent sleep routine is one of the biggest defences to fatigue, alongside generally not burning the candle at both ends.”
“For the best night’s sleep, ensure you don’t consume caffeine past lunch time, limit the amount of alcohol consumed close to bedtime, and give your eyes at least an hour of tech-free rest before you attempt to close them.”
Claudia Winkleman, Cannaray Ambassador, adds: “I’ll have a hot , bath and take one of the Bright Days CBD Capsules. After that, I get into bed… That’s my routine and it works for me." Claudia says she also loves the Night Time CBD Oil Drops as well, because “number one, it has sexy packaging. And it’s just next to my bed, so it’s super easy”.
Ask others for help
There’s always one person who shoulders much of the Christmas planning and stress and who takes on the role of head present buyer, go-to wrapper, food shopper, cook and peacekeeper. Quickly, these tasks become tradition, and you find yourself working solo every year. This year? Ask for help from your friends and family. You may even find they enjoy getting more involved.
Zara says: “The festive season can oftentimes increase our desire to people-please, especially when it comes to our friends and family, but constantly making others happy before yourself can be exhausting.
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“Review the boundaries you have within your relationships, and reinforce those that need it. These boundaries could be around things like communication, budgets, and the amount of time you need alone during this time. You want to surround yourself with people who fill you up rather than drain your battery, and let them share some of your load. A problem shared is a problem halved, after all.”
Keep the laptop closed
If you work from home or split the weekdays between your place and the office, there’s no denying that relaxing after WFH can be a challenge. Having your dining table double up as a desk can make it tricky to set clear boundaries, but Christmas is the time to hit ‘reset’ on your after-work habits.
“Tuck the laptop out of sight, turn off email notifications on your phone, and remind yourself how good it feels to be present in the moment. Even if it’s just for Christmas and Boxing Day, the break may prevent you from suffering burnout – a feeling of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion that’s often caused by work" says Zara
Maintain healthy routines
We’re creatures of habit, and many of us thrive on having a good routine in place. That’s why, when Christmas leads to late nights and long lie-ins, we can start to feel a little deflated. Often, we think of routine as being in a rut or too set in our ways. However, it’s these daily patterns that help to improve sleep and reduce feelings of anxiety.
“That doesn’t mean you have to bid your loved ones goodnight at 10pm on Christmas Day, but if you have certain habits that calm you – like an early start, a class at the gym or an evening run – try to make them part of the holidays.” says Zara
Set manageable goals
It’s good to have goals; when you tick them off, you feel an unrivalled sense of achievement. However, when you set too many, you can end up with feelings of guilt if they prove unmanageable. We’re all prone to optimism bias, where we become unrealistic about what’s feasible to achieve in a given time frame – and Christmas is a time to be mindful of overstretching yourself.
Instead, Zara suggests “Rather than writing yourself a long checklist of tasks to ‘make the most of the time off’, trim it down to the essentials. Any extra achievements will feel like a bonus, not a burden.”
“Simply focusing on self-care and self-compassion is the key to beating Festive Fatigue.”
Put social time first
Many Brits are still feeling more disconnected from friends and family since the pandemic began, despite life having gone “back to normal” for the most part this year. So, above all else, try to prioritise mood-boosting social time with the people you love this Christmas – whether that means seeing them in person or staying connected via social media or regular phone calls with those that mean the most.
“Sometimes, what matters the most is spending time with those that give us energy, and isn’t that really what Christmas is about?” finishes Zara.