Winter Survival Guide 2020/21 - DECEMBER

Previous posts in the series can all be found here. Follow along on Instagram @fjcoaching for regular nudges.

The theme for December is INDULGE. Of course it is. 

Things to think about

Tis the season. I can’t find any hard data about what percentage of the world celebrates at this time of year, but for Christmas alone its estimated to be around a third, including many people who do not consider themselves to be religious. As ever, I’ll be as inclusive as possible here and you can pick and choose what resonates with you. Whether you marked Diwali and/or Thanksgiving, whether it’s Christmas, winter solstice and/or Hanukkah, this is a time for celebrating and for sharing – especially food. Food and light seem to be recurring themes!

But whether or not you mark the midwinter festivals, this is an important time for a little indulgence. I invite you to interpret that as prioritising whatever brings you comfort (and indeed joy). Yes it might be gastronomic treats, or it might be a fire and a good book, or extra time by yourself to reflect (see October post) or to move (see November post). Indulge in more sleep. Indulge in some creative thinking, or writing.

Indulge is a great concept. It doesn’t have to mean unhealthy or selfish. Rather the opposite – it can be about self care - taking time to consider what makes you feel good and what really matters. You can indulge in the kindness and generosity of the season, even at a distance. Many people find this time of year stressful or lonely – perhaps feeling excluded from the assumed gaity and abundance. Step up your gratitude practice, and embrace a different way of preparing. 

Combine the familiar and the novel, for 2020: menus, movies, fragrance. Notice what has NOT changed, which includes the taste of your favourite treat, the smell of cinnamon and the entire plot of 'It’s a Wonderful Life'. Make a deliberate choice to notice what really makes a difference to your wellbeing, and then prioritise those things. Notice what the people near to you need. You might have time or resources left over to indulge in making them a little more comfortable too.

Things to do

1) Make lists. Shopping lists, thank you lists, menu lists. List the wine you loved or the books you’ve been recommended. Start a ‘feelgood’ list to prompt you when at a low ebb. 

2) Tread lightly on the planet. If you’re a gift-giver, consider the environmental impact of your choices, including packaging. UK people – try Rapanui or BAM for sustainable clothing (we’re all still in 'loungewear' for a while yet!). Order books through Hive, who support independent bookshops. Subscriptions are a great gift that lasts for ages: magazines, coffee, chocolate or (my favourite so far) cheese! You can even get a subscription to socks.

3) Support your local food bank, wherever you are in the world. It’s not ok that people are hungry.

Tools and resources

-         Following on from the lists task…try the Trello app - it’s so easy to track ‘To Do – Doing – Done’ with very user-friendly drag-and-drop boxes. Add as much detail as you like

-         Finding it hard to put yourself first? Try to reframe this as ‘being at your best in order to serve others’. Remember you have finite capacity and need to top up your tank

-         Want to feel justified in indulging in more/better sleep? Try this: TED talk - Sleep is your superpower.