We see it every year. Everyone rushing around like headless chickens. Trying to make that special family time perfect. Self medicating with alcohol and rich food on the way to help get you through. Work deadlines. Dealing with the in-laws.Then when we finally do stop we wonder why we come down with most horrific man and lady flu. Spread it onto a friends and family and sit around in misery wishing it all to be over. But wait! It doesn’t have to be like this. Thank the lord and the bitter experience of Swindon Sports Therapy who’ve been dealing with Christmas burnout injuries for 14 years.
We’ve come up with our 12 Tips Of Christmas specifically designed to help you stay calm and relaxed over the festive period. Rather than waking up on 2nd January in no way rested and half a stone heavier!
1. Don’t Aim For Perfection
I blame the marketers! We are bombarded by these images of perfection in all forms of marketing. It should be a time for perfect family bliss, surrounded by perfect family members in your perfect, perfectly decorated, home. Life isn’t perfect. If you strive for perfection you’re always going to be disappointed. Take some pressure off yourself and aim just that little bit lower.
2. Start Early
I’m not talking drinking. I’m talking preparation. I’m writing this on December 6th. I should have had this all written and polished by the end of November. But to be honest this is improvement for me on past years. Apply this principle to Christmas. Instead of getting wasted at all those Christmas dos hold back a bit. Give yourself some energy to get the things done that you need to. Then maybe you won’t be shopping on Christmas Eve in a blind panic with no idea what to buy anyone.
3. Don’t Send Christmas Cards
There I said it. It’s becoming increasingly fashionable not to bother. It is a bit of a faff isn’t it. And it does increase the pressure on your time. Nobody really enjoys writing them. Plus the cost of posting them has gone up markedly. That and the environmental savings that could be made. Why not make a charitable contribution instead. I’m not saying ignore those friends and loved ones you don’t see that often. Pick up the phone instead. Or if you weren’t born in the 70s like me send them a nice message on social media and have a nice little catch up.
4. Have It Out With Your Relatives!
I’m really pulling the punches now! Bear with me on this one. What I’m trying to say is if your families or friends do something annoying tell them. How would this help? Well if you hold onto something that has been annoying rather than dealing with it it eats you up inside. Let’s take an inane example. If Aunty Maud’s table manners have been irritating you for 20 years you may blow your top after a few drinks and unleash verbal fury on her. If you address the issue whilst sober and in an appropriate manner you can save an embarrassing meltdown and unpleasantness. I’m not exactly sure how you would broach the subject with Aunty Maud, but I’m hoping you get my drift.
5. How Much Booze Do You Really Need?
Are you drinking to be sociable or drinking to forget?! Most of us enjoy a drink. Most of us enjoy a few drinks. But if you find yourself at the bar ordering a drink just for yourself do you really need it? Are you drinking just because deep down you feel lonely? Or unhappy? Maybe you’re drinking to forget work. If you do recognise this in yourself firstly don’t order that extra drink. Secondly make it your New Year’s Resolution to do something about it. The more you reach for the booze the more depressed you become. The more you take action and the more accountable you are for your own life the more empowered and energised you feel.
6. Be Appropriately Active
Initially this one was going to be make sure you have plenty of exercise. But actually a lot of people we see do too much. If you do loads of exercise normally maybe Christmas is the time to give yourself permission to take some time off and recover. If you’re not especially active maybe the time off is a good time to get out and do a bit more exercise.
Keep Calm And Carry On Breathing. We use relaxation breathing at the clinic for all kinds of injuries. We discuss it in depth in our article Does Relaxation Breathing Really Ease You Pain Improve Your Mood? The answer is of course yes. Use the breathing and the extra time off to achieve enlightenment… or at least to be a bit more chilled ready to go back to work.
8. Do Take Time Off Work
So many people just plow on through Christmas and New Year working as much as possible and taking the minimum time off. Granted some people don’t have the option. But do take that time out where you can. Life is hectic. We all need to take some time to rest and recover. If you’re one of those people who likes to work through Christmas to avoid the in-laws in the first instance re-read point 4 and I wish you luck. Or carry on avoiding them but make sure you take some time to yourself in January.
9. Put The Mobile Phone Away
Christmas happened before mobile phones! Just over 2000 years I would say. Take the time to be away from them or at least reduce your usage. Be present in the room and enjoy the company you’re keeping. People are more interesting when you listen to what they say rather than be distracted by the technology. Play games. Have conversations. Before we all forget how to!
10 . Enjoy A Snooze On The Sofa
It’s rare in this day and age that we actually take time out to rest and repair. Christmas is the only time of the year where this seems socially acceptable. Use your time off to give your body time to rest and recover from a busy year. Don’t fight it, go with it. Ideally this slumber won’t be initiated by alcohol consumption. But if it is, hey it’s Christmas. I did say it was important not to strive for perfection!
11. Indulge Appropriately!
At this time of year there is less daylight. It’s colder. We need more food to keep our energy levels up. We need to put on a bit of fat reserves for the winter. Why deny this basic need. It would of course be preferable to fill up on healthy treats but let’s be realistic. Just aim for balanced and don’t eat so much you feel sick.
If you feel yourself getting wound up by the festivities just stop. Take a breath. Get some perspective. Work will still be there in the New Year. All of the issues you faced this year will most likely still be there in the New Year. Give yourself some time off mentally from thinking about these things. Rest up. Recover. Sort all those issues in the New Year. Refreshed and ready to go.
There you have it folks. Our 12 Tips Of Christmas. I wanted them to be realistic, fun, thought provoking and useful. Let me know if I managed any of that in the comments below. If you enjoyed reading please share using the buttons below. If you’d like to receive our newsletter then signup using the box to the right (you may need to scroll back up a bit to see it) or follow us on social media using the buttons top right of the screen.
If you’re in need of some treatment before Christmas give us a call (or contact us using the form on the Book Now page – button top right) as soon as possible as we all take time off to recover over Christmas. You wouldn’t want a burnt out Sports Therapist to treat you in 2019 now would you.
This post first appeared on our Brighton site.