Balancing Wellbeing at Christmas

Miss Caitlin Anderson – Wellbeing Health Promotion Officer

The most magical time of the year is almost here: Christmas; a time of rest, rejuvenation, family, friends and food. Timetables are shredded, email auto-replies are switched on, and spontaneous adventures are a daily occurrence.

During this time, however, it can be easy to let our everyday Wellbeing Health practices slip, and succumb to the hustle and bustle of the festive season. This can be overwhelming for some, and places us at a higher risk of illness. Over the holidays, it’s essential that we prioritise our mental, physical and emotional health by incorporating the following MENS REMAP tips with your family:

  1. Move everyday – Schedule a family bike ride, backyard cricket, beach swim, dog walk or run either first thing in the morning or last in the day to avoid harsh sun exposure.
  2. Stay sun safe – During the school term, we always promote the wearing of a wide brim hat and sunscreen to protect against harmful UV rays. This alone, however, isn’t enough if you’re spending long hours in the sun. As recommended by the Cancer Council, aim to limit your sun exposure between 10am-2pm, wear sun protective clothing, and take regular breaks in the shade.
  3. Get cooking – One of the best things about the festive season is food! Take the time to learn a new recipe and cook with, or for, your family. You might like to try baking a wholemeal banana bread, or challenge yourself to a three course meal. Remember to include fresh veggies!
  4. Connect regularly – Keep up regular conversations by calling your mates, catching up in person, or arranging a shared activity such as surfing, hiking, golf, a movie, rock climbing, or breakfast.
  5. Allow boredom – Unstructured days can lead to boredom, but this can be a positive! Boredom stimulates curiosity, creativity problem solving, and is a great way to strengthen family bonds.
  6. Schedule ‘flow’ – Make time for activities that you find challenging and enjoy, where hours may pass by without you even looking at the clock. Some examples include: board games, reading, painting, fishing, or bike riding.
  7. Prioritise down time – Proactively disconnect from technology, people, and make room for ‘quiet time’. This could mean: listening to your favourite music or a guided meditation; stepping outside into nature; going for a swim; or watching a favourite movie. These are all great ways to ‘recharge’ your mind and body during the silly season.

The Wellbeing Health Team wish you a safe and healthy Christmas, and we look forward to seeing you again in 2021.

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