GET PRESENT: 5 TIPS TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF THE FESTIVE PERIOD

By Sarah Leigh Bannerman
PHOTO: BROOKE CAGLE VIA UNSPLASH

It’s time to unanimously hold our hands up and plead guilty, we’re all a little responsible for getting caught up in the madness of day-to-day life. Whether it’s thinking ahead to that pressing work deadline or wishing for the weekend by the time Tuesday afternoon comes around, the harsh reality is that it’s all too easy to let life pass us by. Now, in the approach to Christmas – one of the most joyful, sociable (and sometimes hectic) times of the year – we reflect on how best to make the most out of every day

1. Make the week days count


Imagine you had that Friday feeling all week long and then work on making it happen. What is it that makes those sacred final two days feel so special? If it’s the association with spending time doing the things that you love then the answer seems simple, and with a few simple alterations, putting it into practice needn’t result in a complete life overhaul.


Plan ahead and wake up with a purpose. Exercise in any form is a strong starting point as it promises to deliver motivational benefits long after you’re done. For some, this might be an intense 45 minute cardio session but don’t eschew the benefits of a brisk walk to work if getting to the gym before sunrise isn’t something that’s ever going to be on your agenda. The key to perfecting this habit is to understand yourself and consider what has staying power. Ten minutes of meditation can prove to be just as effective at setting the mood for the day as a workout, and making time for those who inspire you will provide the mid-week lift that your mind and body craves. What we’re saying here is that by taking a little time for yourself each day, we’re sure we can make ‘That Wednesday Feeling’ a thing in no time.

2. Set and tick off three small goals a week


When we say goals we mean it in the most light-hearted sense of the word. There’s a real sense of satisfaction that comes with ticking something off your to-do list so be sure to add three small, achievable and (most importantly) enjoyable tasks that will place making time for yourself at the forefront of your mind. Perhaps this is grabbing a coffee with a friend that you haven’t caught up with in a while, making time for an extra yoga session or finishing the book that you only really pick up on the commute, but whatever your vice, make it as much of a priority as the less rewarding things on that list; read, ironing. With time, these seemingly small additions will result in a more rewarding week and in turn, help you to make the most out of every day.


3. Put the phone down

With so much going on in our lives, there’s no wonder the stresses of the day can feel overwhelming. Take a step back and try to live in the moment instead of constantly thinking ahead to what’s happening next. One of the quickest and most effective ways to disconnect is to turn off your phone. Think about how many times a day you pick up emails, messages and phone calls on the run. Do you check Instagram on the hour, every hour? Yes… we’re guilty too. Pooled together, these interruptions add up to a significant amount of time spent being consumed in this digital realm that we have created for ourselves. Promising to disconnect for one night a week might be a daunting prospect, especially in December, but we promise you’ll thank yourself for putting the phone down. Minimise screen-time, have a digital detox and relish one of the most undisturbed night’s sleep you’ve had since the launch of social media.

4. Take care of your body

Now, more so than at any other time of the year, it can be tempting to fall into the trap of fueling your body with quick and easy bursts of energy that will provide that instant kick or momentary hangover ‘cure’. The likes of sugar and caffeine might seem like a great idea at the time but they will leave you feeling flat an hour or so later. Stay on track by promising to try at least one new recipe for December and prep your snacks in advance. Feeding your body with something sustainable will eliminate that 4pm slump and keep you feeling energised enough for whatever ever evening plans you’ve got booked in.

5. Don't be afraid to say no; relaxation is important

As the end of the year approaches and the calendar of events gets ever heavier, there’s an increasing pressure to cram as much as is physically possible into our lives. Don’t be afraid to say no. Relaxation is important! Your body, skin and mind will be thankful for it when the batteries are fully re-charged in time for Christmas. Our advice? Order your priorities and decide who you want to see, what you want to do and when you want to take time out. If this means dedicating one night a week to staying in and having a long bath or getting your gift wrapping done well in advance, then more power to you for committing to it. In the words of Banksy; ‘If you’re tired, learn to rest not to quit.’

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