This is, apparently, the season to be jolly — fa la la la la la la la la — but it’s also a good time to practice kindness not only to others but to yourself. The festive season can be overwhelming, whether you’re busy with social engagements, experiencing change, or feeling the sting of loneliness or loss. Offering yourself kindness and care can help guide you through this often busy season.
So what does self-kindness look like? It’s different for everybody, but here are some ideas to get you started.
Acknowledge your achievements
We tend to be very good at getting down on ourselves, but not so great at noticing when we’ve done something to be proud of. Think back on your year and congratulate yourself on the good moments (big and small) — especially if you’re taking steps to change your gambling. Whether you’ve maintained change for one day or one year, that’s something to be very proud of. If you tend to be negative, make a list of the positives so you don’t forget your ongoing efforts towards change!
Take care of yourself
That means, do some exercise, drink plenty of water, eat your fruits and veggies, and try to get lots of sleep. It can be tempting to blow off the fundamentals in the busy holiday season, but you are your own most valuable asset. Invest in yourself by looking after your health so you can put the best foot forward in 2020!
If you’ve recently made changes to your gambling, it may be that you have more room in your life for experiences you might have missed out on before. Identify which of those experiences are bringing you joy — such as spending time with friends or family, or having money to spend on a treat or hobby — and luxuriate in them! Those experiences are the result of your hard work and you deserve to enjoy them.
Offer kindness to others
Offering generosity to others can make us feel really good, and often there are a lot of small ways we can help out the people around us that we don’t even notice:
- Do one of your housemate’s chores.
- Surprise your partner with flowers.
- Help the old lady down the street out with her garden.
- Invite the widower next door to dinner.
You are capable of bringing small joys to other people, and that will help you see the good in you. You’ll also help build or solidify the relationships that may help you through difficult times.
Be honest about your limitations
You might get a lot of social invitations at this time of year, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept all of them. You might be feeling tired or antisocial. That’s fine! You might feel like a specific invitation is going to put you in danger of relapse. It’s okay to say no. Sometimes it is fine to lie and say you have plans, but actually stay home with the dog and watch Netflix. Even on Christmas day! You need to do what is right for you. It is more important to look out for your health (mental and physical) and recognise your limits than burn the candle at both ends!
Sometimes you just need to talk it out with another person, and that’s what we’re here for, 24/7, 365 days a year. It doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas morning or just after midnight on New Year’s Day, our trained counsellors are here to chat. Get in touch online or give us a call on 1800 858 858, or join the members of our peer-support forum to share feelings of celebration and support.