Are you feeling worn out and looking forward to having a break? Each Christmas season sees many of us in a mad rush up to the big day and then landing in a big heap, too depleted to really enjoy the day to the full.
We have a few days or even a couple of weeks resting and having fun. Then the New Year begins and we are back up and doing it all over again aiming for the next finishing line.
While the excitement can be fun it can also be draining, especially when we repeat it year after year never really changing anything.
This can make life unnecessarily taxing, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
Recharging over Christmas and the year ahead
A true recharge is about more than just laying on the beach or binge watching our favourite shows on Netflix for a couple of days. We can fully energise when we find space to take stock of where we need to change both during the Christmas break and the year ahead. This way we don’t reach the point of exhaustion where we can’t get off the couch (big post-it note to self!).
During this year with the onset of the COVID pandemic numerous people made the choice to change what wasn’t working much earlier than this. Especially during lockdown period, it helped us get very clear on what is important in life and we made decisions that have allowed us to participate more fully in those things. Which has meant we feel a lot calmer in the Christmas lead up.
However many of us haven’t taken time to reflect or possibly have been busier than normal, plus this year has been very challenging. So last week I held a free end of year master class for my community to help them find lessons and insights from this year so they can have the kind of 2021 they deserve to have.
Unconscious habits that could be draining you
A beautiful woman taking part in the master class realised that one of her unconscious behaviour patterns had been leading her to feel washed out. Easy to overlook when you are on the go, but becomes very apparent when you sit quietly and reflect. With this insight she is now able to make the necessary changes.
I’ve noticed over the years both in my own experience and working professionally with clients; the things we do without thinking are very often what drain us. So I have come up with top ten tips, to throw light on what you may be doing that causes you to feel washed out, and what to do to stop energy leakages both through the Christmas period and the year ahead.
#1 – Don’t binge eat over Christmas
Easier said than done with all that yummy food and drink around. And for most of us, while it’s sitting in the fridge, it’s tempting. It often feels better to just eat and drink until it’s all gone and then start fresh afterwards.
The thing is binge eating makes you feel bloated, tired and you end up wishing you hadn’t done it. This is our body’s way of telling us it has to work extra hard and can’t cope. Overeating causes digestion issues, which means the nutrition our body needs to function well can’t be absorbed. Plus there’s not a lot of nutrition with all the sugar, fat and processed food anyway.
We are in fact living in the 21st century and all have freezers. Eat what’s comfortable during your Christmas celebrations and what’s left over stick in the freezer for a treat on another day or give it away. This applies to the holiday season and any other time throughout the year.
#2 – The same applies to binge watching
Binge anything is not good for our wellbeing and drains our energy. This also applies to binge watching Netflix for a few days over Christmas or any other time for that matter.
There’s nothing wrong with Netflix, it’s often a great way to switch off and especially funny movies can help us stay lighthearted. But binge watching can also lead to tiredness (another post-it note to self!).
We need variety in our days to care for ourselves adequately and sitting in front of a screen for days on end doesn’t contribute to that positively. Switch the box off and go out for a walk, whether you are in a hot or cold climate right now, it’s energizing!
#3 – Take social media off your phone
If you didn’t like the sound of that, then you need to do it even more. I went a whole year without Facebook on my phone and it’s the best thing I ever did. It has also broken what was a growing social media addiction. And guess what, I didn’t end up with the DTs or die!
Scrolling through newsfeed is another binge practice and it can become an addiction. It is also the best place to go to feel down about yourself, because it is the marketplace for buying into a comparison.
Whether you see yourself on the upside or the downside of comparison, it’s eventually draining. Do yourself a favour and get out of the newsfeed.
And notice I didn’t say get off social media completely, because it has been helpful in staying connected during the pandemic this year. But when it’s on your phone it’s as tempting as having that Christmas food in your fridge. Get it off your phone.
#4 – Leave your phone at home
Does this freak you out? If it does, then it will definitely energise you.
It blows me away how often I see people with a phone glued to their ear, when they’re exercising in the morning. They miss all the beauty in their environment and are disconnected from people passing by, where instead they could be connecting eye to eye and smiling which uplifts both the giver and the receiver.
This again can be another addiction and leads us to feel like our plug has been pulled out. Unless you have a loved one who is very sick and needs you or children depending on you there really isn’t a need to have your phone with you 24 hours a day.
The world isn’t going to end and your business isn’t going to collapse while you’re exercising for 40 minutes or socializing with the important people in your life. When we disconnect from the tech world just for a short time, we reconnect with ourselves, and that’s energizing. Put your phone away or leave it at home both at Christmas time and the year ahead.
#5 – Don’t take part in Christmas gossip
Gossip mixed with alcohol can be a recipe for disaster, especially with families. We can say things we don’t mean or without thinking and the internal beating up we give ourselves afterwards leaves us feeling like crap, that’s an energy drain.
Talking about people behind their back is never a good thing and can be an issue at any time of the year. More often than not our perception of a situation or what we think we have heard is incorrect anyway. And we have no idea what that person is going through or has tolerated. They don’t deserve it.
Give them and yourself a break and excuse yourself if the scandalous tattle starts or change the subject, you will feel much better for doing so.
#6 – Give your inner judge a well-earned break
It’s important to recognize here that our inner judge, or inner critic as it’s more often called is just doing a job, which is to protect us. The main aim of this internal part of us, which might surprise you, is to make sure we don’t get disappointed or hurt.
The thing is, it also causes us to feel pretty exhausted because repeatedly giving ourselves a good ticking off is a pretty big weight to carry. But if we try to just flick it off, it will persist even more because it has a job to do.
Treat your inner judge like you would someone else, I have even given mine a name and character. Thank them for doing their job; let them know you are okay and that you are giving them time off. You can do this as many times as you like throughout the year.
#7 – Stop agreeing through obligation
Obligation is an energy drain for both parties, tiring for the giver and hurtful for the receiver. Yes, you guessed it, the receiver can actually feel your sense of obligation and that’s not a good thing.
Accept that you can’t please everyone during the Christmas season and throughout the year. It’s impossible to do everything and even though it may feel easier to say “yes” initially, in the long run it can affect everyone’s enjoyment.
Make a decision to stop doing things through obligation; there are 365 days in a year and plenty of time to see everyone eventually.
#8 – Learn how to decline requests with kindness
There has been a new concept travelling around the personal development arena preaching at us to refuse requests without feeling a need to explain. While I agree with this to a certain extent I also feel it’s a bit of hogwash too.
Granted we don’t owe anyone an explanation, with this I agree. However the greater part of our global population have difficulty saying “no”. For us (myself included) declining requests without an explanation is a huge leap from wanting other people to know we care by saying “yes”.
To refuse without an explanation would require a huge amount of energy for these people and this can be draining. It can also be quite hurtful on the other side. However you don’t need to give them a huge detailed story either.
Let’s focus on the smaller steps. Give yourself the gift of learning to decline with kindness, (more insights to come on this in another article) so it feels good for you and good for the other person.
#9 – Explore what’s fun for you and do it
After releasing yourself from obligation and quitting other energy draining habits, there is now plenty of time to do what feels fun. However, for many of us we have lost sight of what that is.
When we spend time doing what we consider to be fun activities, it gives us a new surge of energy. Fun is different for everyone and just because your partner or friend really enjoys something doesn’t mean it’s your thing too. It’s okay to partake in their version of fun, but it’s also important to find your own.
Start to explore what kind of activities energise you and make you feel happy. It doesn’t matter if you decide to do them or not, or whether they seem like silly ideas, just start writing your list. Then give them a go one by one.
#10 – Develop a ritual that works
Christmas is a brilliant time to have a break from our usual routines. It’s also the perfect time to reflect over whether our usual self-care rituals work for us or not.
It is essential that our personal care rituals energise us and sometimes we need to change them so they continue to do so. What’s the saying, “a change is as good as a rest”.
Take some time over the holiday period to take stock on the wellbeing rituals you do to support yourself and whether they still give you energy. If not change or adjust them. And if you’ve never had one before, now is the time to develop one. I tend to call this self preservation and it is vital in maintaining our energy levels.
My final thoughts for this Christmas
Change that we don’t want can leave us feeling worn out and that has certainly been the case for numerous people during this pandemic year. However conscious change can be massively uplifting, especially when it involves practices that that increase our energy levels.
Make a decision to stop doing what drains your energy now and throughout the year. And in the lead up to Christmas next year you have the potential to enjoy a very different experience.
Merry Christmas and I wish for you a brighter 2021 filled with safety, good health and joy xx
An experienced, accredited coach can help you see what habits are causing you to feel drained and assist you to change them much faster. For more insights on this, you can book your complimentary clarity call HERE