5 Wellness Tips to Keep This Christmas Jolly

Christmas is touted as "the most wonderful time of year", & for a lot of people, myself included, it really is. At Christmas, it's almost like magic really does exist. Everything is covered in glitz & glamour, people seem friendlier & don't even get me started on the food! Throughout the Holiday Season, Christmas chocolates become a staple of my diet.

Still...it wasn't always like this. For a girl struggling with depression, the Holidays made me feel little more than divided from life - a hollow person in the midst of hustle & bustle. Christmas would roll around & I would feel even more isolated than I had throughout the rest of the year. While at the time I felt like I was alone in my isolation & the strange separateness I felt from everyday life, I've since discovered I was anything but alone. Plenty of people experience depression throughout the Holiday Season.

While I was not alone in my feelings of isolation, this year, I don't want to be alone in my feelings of joy & reverie. These five tips will help you join me in the spirit of the season!

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas: Here's How

Allow Yourself to Do Less

The Holiday Season is a time of renewal. Taking time off work allows you to slow down & spend more time on the things that mean the most in life - your family, friends & yourself. If you run yourself ragged throughout the season, however, you'll find yourself waiting with anticipation for the end of the Holidays.

Instead of trying to do too much, or trying to create the prefect Christmas, let yourself relax.

Christmas truly is about you & the people in your life. Don't let it become about baking, or shopping, or anything else we tend to get caught up in around the Christmas season. If you're spending time with family, let yourself be present in your togetherness (practicing mindfulness with help). If you're spending Christmas with yourself, put in some valuable couch time. Watch Christmas movies, eat some popcorn & let yourself enjoy your time with yourself.

Set a Budget

Money & finances tend to be one of the biggest stressors around the Holiday Season. For some of us, we struggle to afford the perfect gift, or we break our banks pulling together a Christmas dinner that we just can't afford.

The thing is, when we let ourself become wrapped up in the material aspect of Christmas, we're missing the real point of the Holiday Season & we're setting ourselves up for disappointment. Of course we want to bestow lavish gifts upon the important people in our lives. Of course we want to wow our loved-ones with stunning decor & the most delectable dishes at Christmas dinner, but living outside of our means is going to take a toll on our emotional health & we're going to feel he sting of lavish holiday spending come January.

Instead of living too indulgently through the Christmas season, tighten those purse strings! Set a budget for yourself & be sure to stick to it. Set a limit on how much you spend on gifts for your friends & family. If you're concerned that the amount you spend on the gifts you give isn't enough, talk to your loved ones & ask them to limit the amount they spend on you as well.

Indulge

Christmas is a time for tightened purse strings, but it isn't a time to worry about your diet (unless your diet is related to health concerns). It's also not the time to worry about what other people will think of you if you cut loose at the company Christmas party (respectably of course).

Christmas is a time of celebration.

It's Christmas time! Enjoy a tasty chocolate. Going Christmas carolling if you enjoy it. Dance with your friends when you feel like dancing. At Christmas, more than any other time of year, indulge in your joy. If it's not hurting anyone else, what's the harm?

Lose Yourself in the Music

At some point in time, it became uncouth to enjoy Christmas music. Music is, however, such an enjoyable part of the Christmas season.

When I was a little girl, "The Little Drummer Boy" was one of my favourite things about Christmas time. "Away in a Manger" was another favourite of mine. Starting some time in November, I would play my parents Christmas CDs ad nauseam. I loved it. 

Then, I grew into a surly teenager & didn't really care for Christmas music or carols. Now, as an adult, most of the people I talk about it love Christmas carols & I'm willing to bet that you do to. There's something about Christmas that turns us all back into children. Delight your inner-child & let yourself fall in love with Christmas carols again.

Take Pleasure in Tradition

Christmas is a holiday that is steeped in tradition. Take pleasure in it!

There are some elements of the Christmas season that I have been doing since I was a little girl & I am sure these Christmas traditions pre-date my existence. For example, my family always celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve. As a little girl, I loved it! 

We'd have Christmas dinner late in the afternoon. We'd sit around with full bellies & tonnes of anticipation. We'd put milk & homemade shortbread cookies out for Santa. We'd head to bed & try our darnedest to get to sleep. After what seemed like an eternity, midnight would roll around & my parents would come get us to open our presents. This is a tradition I've continued into my life as an adult & I still love it.

If your family had little Christmas traditions that you loved as a child, practice them in your life today. If your family didn't have any traditions, create some. Drive around your neighbourhood once the sun goes down to see all the Christmas lights. Get your photo taken with Santa. Bake cookies with your friends. Create traditions that make you feel good & fill you with the warmth of the season.

After all, warmth & love is what Christmas time is all about.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR - BRITTEN THOMPSON

Who is Britten? She's a reticent little beast born in the wilds of Northern Alberta to a foul-mouthed, French-Canadian father & an angry, stiff-upper-lipped mother. Britten is, almost always, wild-haired & poorly dressed. She recently left the beautiful & untamed chill of Canada for the blistering & somewhat oppressive heat of Australia. Her list of pastimes is short & includes reading, writing, petting cats, overeating & alphabetizing things. She's a fan of Windex on Facebook because who doesn't want a streak free shine? She dreams of one day writing a super-awesome novel that affords her & her partner a comfortable lifestyle, a large property, a few horses & the means with which to foster children in need...or just becoming a red panda.

When Britten isn't writing, reading, or organizing things in her home, she can be found cuddling with her boyfriend, arguing about why Rajon Rondo is the best point guard in the history of ever, browsing Gumtree for a future cat or kitten, or contemplating days gone by, the passage of time & how ridiculous it is that humans have yet to evolve enough to grow a third set of teeth.