4 Planning Hacks to Protect Your Wellbeing This Silly Season
December 01, 2021
While the festive season brings with it many delightful events and opportunities to fill up our social cup, it becomes dangerously easy to neglect our self-care rituals.
Rest and recovery are essential all year round, but they become all the more important when life gets busy.
It can feel impossible to prioritise self-care when there's SO. MUCH. TO. DO.
We get it, and we've got you covered!
Use the planning hacks below to help you protect your wellbeing as you move through the festive period.
Proactively schedule a few big acts of self-care
I’m talking about the type of activities that either need to be pre-booked or require a longer time commitment, like a 60 minute yoga class or a 45 minute gym session.
Proactively schedule these activities before the week begins. I like to do this on a Sunday.
It’s so much easier to commit to these acts of self-care when they are already scheduled in. It’s a lot harder to “find” the time in a packed schedule.
Half the battle is just deciding to block out time for yourself. When you’ve figured out the time, activity and location in advance, all you need to do is show up. It takes A LOT of the resistance out of practising self-care.
Set recurring reminders
Leverage the use of technology and set recurring reminders on your phone for self-care habits or rituals you tend to forget.
If going for a walk at lunchtime is the daily habit you’re trying to build, set a recurring reminder at 12pm or whatever time you tend to eat lunch.
It’s the closest thing to having a personal assistant and can help ensure you actually follow through with the intentions you’ve set.
Don’t rely on your memory. It’s just not reliable.
Create a “No” list
Decide what you will say “no” to each week.
These may change over time, depending on the season, but regularly reflecting on what these might be can help you honour your boundaries and intentions. It also helps you avoid repeating unhealthy patterns that don’t serve.
Review your week and ask yourself:
What do I wish I said “no” to last week?
Who or what is likely to distract me from my priorities this week?
Let these responses inform your “no” list.
Your “no” list might look like this:
Staying out past 9pm on a weeknight
Drinking on a work night
Going on my phone after 9pm
Perhaps drinking and staying out past 9pm on a weeknight has affected your sleep, energy levels, gym routine and productivity in the past, so you want to avoid that where possible.
Maybe scrolling in bed at night has affected your sleep quality and you’ve found yourself tossing and turning for hours.
Having a set of self-care rules will make decision making so much easier during the week.
For example, if a coworker asks you to join them for drinks on a work night, you can trust the wisdom of your past self. Your past self has already made the decision for you.
Create an on-the-go self-care cheat sheet
Create a list of 5-10 self-care activities that take less than 10 minutes to complete.
Think about simple things you can do to boost your energy, de-stress and calm your senses.
Bonus points for activities that can be done at home, at work or on-the-go.
This is your cheat sheet. Write it down in your diary. Add it to your Self-Care Menu in Curation. Add it to the notes section of your phone. Write it on a post-it note and stick it to your desk. The idea is to keep it accessible so that you can refer to it when you feel stuck for ideas.
What this does is it will help combat that “I don’t have time” excuse.
When you do your self-care homework ahead of time and proactively think about practical ways to practise self-care, it becomes a lot easier to integrate into your lives even on the busy days.
Here are some 10 minute ideas to get you started:
Meditate using an app like Oak, Smiling Mind or Headspace.
Try a calming breathing exercise like square breathing.
Let out all of the air in your lungs to the count of four.
Keep your lungs empty for a count of four.
Inhale for a count of four.
Keep your lungs full for a count of four.
Sing along to your favourite song.
Dance it out and feel the tension melt away.
Put your legs up the wall.
Light a candle and focus on the aroma. Let yourself daydream.
Go for a walk around the block and get some sun.
Walk barefoot on grass.
Watch the clouds and look for shapes and images.
Watch an inspiring TED talk.
Do some burpees to get your heart rate up.
Most importantly, be gentle with yourself. Go at a pace that serves you so you can enjoy the festivities ahead!