How to navigate December [without going batshit crazy]

December 7, 2019

It’s the time of year for those of us in the Northern hemisphere that the change in season starts to hit us harder.

Most of us pretend nothing has changed and we continue full speed as if it is summer and our body is receiving a lot of light and vitamin D.

It isn’t.

It’s almost officially winter and our bodies are starting to run on empty if we don’t make time to refuel.

Less light means less energy.

I spoke to a dear friend this week and she mentioned she wasn’t as happy—not as enthusiastic—as she normally is, and she was looking for the reason why. She sought it in external factors while I could see it originated from doing too much.

If you don’t schedule in time to relax and recharge you’ll get grumpy at some point. It’s just a matter of time.

So if you feel a little less happy, more easily agitated or plain tired I recommend you slow down.

Ideally schedule one day a week in which you have no obligations. That allows you to do (and feel!) what your body needs.

We get out of touch with the needs of our body when we keep busy and run on adrenaline. I’ve done that and that works well up to the point that it doesn’t 😉 Then you crash.

Now I don’t want you to crash and I’m guessing neither do you, so I urge you to schedule downtime.

Yes I know it’s the busiest time of the year and you likely have a lot of obligations in the coming weeks. That’s why it’s extra important to take better care of yourself.

Did you know your brain needs 24 hours to get to a deeper state of relaxation? And that it needs that deeper relaxation to be able to be fully functional?

That means no checking emails or thinking about your work for at least one full day and night. So no checking emails on e.g. Sunday.

It might take some getting used to. I know it did for me. The first Sunday I wasn’t going to check my email I caught myself plenty of times. Without making a conscious decision to check my mail, I had already grabbed my iPhone and pressed the mail icon. The sound of mail coming in was my cue to turn the phone facedown and not look at it.

What I found fascinating is the number of times I checked my phone without being aware. Chances are you do something similar.

By the way, checking email or social media can literally be addictive because it releases dopamine.

In fact a Harvard article says “Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram leverage the very same neural circuitry used by slot machines and cocaine to keep us using their products as much as possible.”

Scary, right?

If you take anything away from this blog I hope it is to slow down. Plan your days a little less full. Go to bed a bit earlier or perhaps sleep in on the weekend. Take that social media and email-free day and you’ll feel much better. Chances are that cold will pass you by or at least be over much quicker.

I wish you a wonderfilled month of December!

With love,

PS Want to start the New Year feeling great? Join me for the Gratitude Project! Gratitude is a shortcut to happiness, feeling calmer and less stressed. Get your seat here or read all about it now.

 

Link to the Harvard article
Photo credit
Iris-van-Ooyen-04
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