With the hustle and bustle, expectations and effort put into the festive season, I have noticed that its not always “the most wonderful time of the year”.
Now I’m not being all bah-humbug, but it can be a time that adds more to your plate than usual, this can lead to additional stress, overwhelm and less time for yourself and your self-care.
Here are my thoughts as a peri-menopausal woman in the shape of an acrostic poem (well, not a poem, but words that resonated with the letters in Christmas)


C
: Calm.
Take time to feel calm when you may feel the complete opposite. Some deep breaths – for example, breathe in for a count of three or four, and out for a count of three or four, whenever you need to. This will help your nervous system to relax and give you some moments to help let the stress/anxiety/frustration pass.

H: Help.
It can be difficult or even not thought about at this time of year, but if you need some help getting things organised then ask, this could be anything that will make the preparations and build up to Christmas day easier for you.

R: Rest.
By the end of the year we are often in need of rest, and as the party season is in full swing, this is even more so. Late nights, visitors and travel, all lovely but can leave us feeling pooped. A nap, a sit down with a cup of tea, an early night. Do what you can to rest.

I: Ingredients.
Food and Nutrition during this time of year can leave us feeling full, not making the best choices and maybe missing out on key nutrients.
Ensure you eat well, try and stick to your usual diet, one that makes you feel nourished and satisfied. Party food should be enjoyed, but dare I say it, in moderation. If it makes you feel “meh” then consider what you are eating. Aim to have fresh fruit and veg to hand to add to meals and snacks.

S: Stress.
Can build up over time, and often we just brush it aside. With things to organise, people coming together – family, friends there may be more stress than normal. Try and recognise when you are feeling stressed and what is causing/triggering it and see what you can do to help reduce those stress levels…. C, H and R all apply here!

T: Talk.
Communication is key, not just to sort logistics, who’s preparing this and bringing that, but during this festive period, you may catch up with people you haven’t seen for a while and this can also be a time where we talk with friends and family that we don’t necessarily get on with or want to talk to.
Try and make sure you give yourself time, space and the chance to prepare if you know you are going to see these people. If you really do not want to engage with them, do you have to?
Enjoy the conversations with those nearest and dearest to you and the time spent talking.

M: Movement.
Get up and move. Going for a walk, clearing your head (not just from one too many prosecco’s) but if your usual exercises classes are not on over Christmas, then getting out and about will not only make you feel great, but give you time to yourself, or time to talk with friends and family in a relaxed way. A work out at home to will give you some time to yourself and physically make you feel good.

A: Alcohol.
It has got to be mentioned! We probably drink more than normal at this time of year. Be mindful of what you drink. Alcohol can affect us differently as we go through peri menopause and beyond. Alcohol is a diuretic and can leave us dehydrated, so when you have a drink complement it with plenty of water and ideally drink when eating, so it gets absorbed slower. Too much can lead to our C,R,I,S and T being affected!

S: Savour.
Whatever you have planned or you do over this period, savour the time you have spent preparing, the effort you have put into the festivities, and some time for yourself.

Wishing you a happy and healthy Christmas x