Stress & Wellness: Surviving the Silly Season

By Emily Harrison This is the sort of post I thought I’d be writing for December in the run up to the peak of festivities…but it seems like everything is creeping forward and next month is already “too busy.”  Not to mention there’s a little spring racing fever sweeping through race tracks, wardrobes and champagne bottles at the moment.

So if like me you may be feeling a little stretched (and not in the good way) then let’s talk tips for maintaining one’s sanity and beaming serenity as we stride towards 2013.

Make a date… with yourself.  Schedule it, sync it and make it non-negotiable with your self. Do not apologise for it. Whether it’s an hour in the park at lunch or an afternoon to get your hair done or an evening to watch trashy re-runs. Give yourself space to collect, recharge and take time-out amidst the push and pull of the everyday.

Start the day well, even if you know it’ll end wild. So you have a week of office/client/friends/family festivities? Then take control of what you do have control of….plan healthy breakfasts, lunches, snacks and plenty of good quality H20.

Hydrate and drink responsibly. We all know it but sometimes the synapses forget to connect between those effervescent bubbles and the karaoke machine.  Take care on hot days and remember to love your liver. A squeeze of lemon in warm water to start the day can do wonders (great for jetlag if travelling too).

Play smart in the sun. It’s nice to be enjoying warmer weather - take care to love the skin you are in and play safe in the sun. The free SunSmart app can help to know where the UV levels are at.

Exercise! It does not start as a new year’s resolution! Maintain your routine (or build one in) to keep you feeling good well before 1 January.

Smiling eyes, open heart (a.k.a 'Trying Not to Lose Your Marbles'). We all know holiday seasons are not always like the card they come with (Love, Peace and White Doves anyone?) they can feel like testing times; they can bring up emotions, they can challenge our patience, rile our inner peace and you haven’t even carved the turkey yet.  So if you find yourself propelling towards mental or emotional mayhem, consider the breathing thing we started the year with, or a few moments quiet time…even if it’s in the loo.

Reflect and acknowledge. So often we are just hanging out for the start of a New Year, as if the slate clears come 12:01 AM.  I know because I think that too at times, and I know that this year has been incredibly challenging for many people, myself included.  What I have found is that from tough times come little gems of insight and understanding that can help you to shine again – possibly in completely different ways. Consider a few minutes for reflecting and acknowledging the positives the year as brought you – from new acquaintances, to new opportunities to new awareness’s.  (and because we’ll all be like rhuuhlyyy busy in December why not make your list over the coming weeks?)

May you go gently, with a loving kindness to self over the coming months.

Emily Harrison is a yoga teacher and freelance writer. She still likes to leave out something for the reindeers and elves. You can read more at