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Self-Care over Christmas and New Year...

... and especially so if you're working over the christmas period.

I read a lovely post this week from the True Colours Childrens Trust ( @truecoloursnz) about self care over Christmas and New Year.

Usually articles like this focus on how to plan, budget, spend time with family and friends, make 'easy' christmas feasts and treats (honestly, are they ever easy?), and generally to just enjoy yourself. This type of advice ususally leaves me feeling even more overwhelmed.

Here's the True Colours post. It's simple and invites you to remember to slow down, be present, listen to your body, think about what's most important to you, and to be a bit gentle on yourself.

The fact is that many people, including our amazing Onyx team, don't have much of a holiday at this time of the year. So, here's a big thank you to all the wonderful people in healthcare, emergency and protective services, retail, hospo teams, people looking after land and animals... and more (apologies if I've missed you out, I don't mean to).

In fact, for many of these wonderful folk christmas is a tough time. They have to deal with work, tiredness, dealing with other tired and stressed co-workers and partying (sometimes rude) customers, as well as all the stresses, and joys, that Christmas time brings.

How about a sprinkle of self-compassion?

We're all human, we all make mistakes, even though we think we shouldn't. Life has pain and struggle, for everyone. It's our common human bond. Fighting, avoiding, ignoring, or rationalising the pain is not a long term helpful strategy. Accepting it, and being a bit kind to self, on the other hand, is proven to help.

There's a lovely and scientifically based concept called self-compassion, which basically means learning to go easier on ourselves; training our brains to do so. We're our own worst critics, but by practicing self-compassion, going easier on yourself, we can make a significant difference to our long-term wellbeing.

This is not about being soft, wimpy, or selfish. In the long run, it helps if you look after you as well as looking out for others too.

And as a note, especially if you're naturally a 'giver', this is something you need to be aware of. Here's a fantastic video on the subject - Kristen Neff, talking at Google.

How about grabbing a mindful moment?

And if the self-compassion feels too hard or weird, here's another wonderful tool I'd love to share. You've possibily heard of mindfulness. It's in vogue, but it's also very powerful. I practice everyday, even when (or perhaps particularly when) I'm the most stressed, tired and time-poor. There's always a minute (or 10) to grab. I very much invite you to watch these couple of 2 min clips for some inspiration.

And how about treating you?

And of course, this is an ONYX blog, so how about taking an opportunity to stretch those legs and pop out for a meal, let us take the hard work out of making great food, or stop in for a drink, a dessert, coffee or cake, or even a beautiful takeout (in compostable packaging of course). Do take care and we look forward to seeing you soon.

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