In many ways, December is the month of giving. You give extra time and energy to your family, friends, employees, employers and community. It’s a great month to connect with people you love and attend community events. Studies show that opening your heart and being kind to others increases your wellbeing and helps you feel better.
Yet, the month of December can also increase your stress levels. As the Christmas “deadline” nears work, family, financial and social commitments increase. This can place extra pressure on your mind, body and spirit. So, how do you balance giving to others and yourself during the festive season so you feel energised and well, instead of tired and depleted? Below are 7 simple ways to give to others and yourself:
Three easy ways to give to others during the festive season:
1. Do something helpful for a friend or family member. This could involve:
– helping them with their garden,
– making or buying food for a meal or
– doing some of their household tasks so they can prepare for festivities.
2. Reach out to people who are alone.
Since the pandemic began, this year, is the first year, that many of my clients and students are able to spend time with their loved ones who are interstate and overseas. I’m happy for them. Yet, many are still unable to. If you know someone in this position, can you reach out to them during the festive season or invite them to social events?
3. Support small businesses and shop locally.
I enjoy giving people gifts, yet I don’t enjoy the shopping process. So, ninety per cent of the people I buy for receive produce from local organics stores or handmade edible gifts with ingredients bought from there. This supports the local community and my friends and family receive healthy, nourishing gifts.
Four easy ways to care for yourself during the festive season:
1. Feeling overwhelmed in the in lead up to Christmas?
Remind yourself that life continues after December 25. Rather than focusing on your mental to-do list, shift your attention to the enjoyable spaces in between – planned events with loved ones, time out in nature or hopefully a few days off in January.
2. Go to bed early.
Did you know that going to sleep early helps to cultivate your ki according to Traditional Chinese Medicine? This is because Yang ki (associated with activity) is dominant is the day while Yin Ki (associated with rest and recuperation) is dominant at night. So for your overall health and wellbeing, it’s best to nourish your yin ki by resting at night so you have energy for daily activities.
3. Be gentle with yourself and others.
The past two years have created unexpected challenges for everyone. As I’ve said to Reiki students and clients “it’s been a strange time to be a human being”. Reminding yourself that your entire system will still be processing the challenges, the ongoing uncertainty and recovering from the last two years helps to reduce your expectations of yourself and others.
Last but not least…
Reiki is an excellent self-care practice. So make time for:
Please note: Reiki complements other support you’re receiving