6 Quick and Easy Ways to Avoid Burnout this December

6 Quick and Easy Ways to Avoid Burnout this December

Here are some quick and easy ways to avoid burnout this December.

In the past, when I’ve thought of December and the run-up to Christmas, it’s always left me feeling faintly breathless at the very thought of it. Packed with a whirlwind of social events, seasonal catch-ups, frantic shopping trips, carol concerts, Christmas parties and not a minute to catch a breath. This can quickly leave us feeling exhausted, overwhelmed and burned out.

But does it need to be like this? As the nights grow longer and the sunsets more vibrant, it can be helpful to stop for a minute, to interject some calm into the chaos. To breathe deeply.  To enjoy those magical moments, to savour a hot chocolate and a mince pie, to take a bracing walk.

To feel the wind blow in your hair and the breeze clattering your cheeks. To rest for a while with your feet up on the sofa, under a blanket with a good book and a mug of steaming hot tea are all great ways of avoiding burnout.

Take a minute or two to breathe deeply from the bottom of your belly, and sigh out any emotion you’ve been hanging on to. There’s nothing better than letting it all go.  If you do this outside on a chilly winters day, you can see your breath as you sigh it out, you can watch it float away. 

Look out for the lulls

Even the busiest of months will have its natural lulls. Quieter times, pockets of slower-paced time when you don’t have to be dashing anywhere. Embrace these quieter days.

Treat yourself to nourishing food, early nights or lazy long lie ins (if small children permit this!) Or snoozy times on the sofa, or days pottering around the house maybe. Use these times to recharge your own personal batteries and to do the things you love doing. 

Create a little magic whenever you can! 

Add a little sparkle to your life by using fairy lights and candles and creating cosy corners to snuggle up into. A cosy nook to shelter you from the outside world. A nurturing cocoon that you can retreat to especially if you have a young family or are expected to entertain members of your wider family over the Christmas period.

No one needs to be on call 24/7 (unless you’re a single parent of course!) It is ok to retreat to your own space with a mug of spiced apple tea or whatever you prefer to drink with a good book, your journal, or simply sink into the space, shut your eyes and block out the world for a while.

Do things your way. You don’t have to do the same things as everyone else.

It’s ok for you to need some time to yourself. Or for you to buy all the bits of your Christmas dinner pre-chopped so you don’t have to spend the whole holiday slaving away over a hot stove.  No one is handing out awards for the neatest chopped vegetables so take whatever shortcuts makes most sense to you. Or if hiding in the kitchen IS your thing, do that! Just do whatever works for you!

Let go of the need for perfection

Don’t worry if things aren’t perfect, often the funniest memories are made from when things go a bit wrong. Let go of expectations, not everyone is going to have a glorious family packed Christmas, some people will be spending Christmas alone, others will find that spending time with family is stressful. 

Just take each day as it comes and don’t be afraid to take yourself out of the way if you need to have some space. It can get a little intense if you go from seeing someone in passing each day, to being stuck in the same room with them for days on end! Everyone needs a little downtime to breathe out or walk off all that turkey and Christmas pudding

For me, my favourite way to celebrate is to have times of connection interspersed with pockets of quiet time where I can be alone and enjoy the peace and quiet. Where I can retreat from the world for a while and read, have a nap, write in my journal or do some painting. 

 

https://www.sarahcooper.co.uk/how-to-have-a-perfectly-imperfect-christmas-this-year/

https://www.mamacoopskitchen.co.uk/all-butter-orange-mince-pies/

 

 

Read More Articles

Time to press pause.

Time to press pause.

Time to press pause? The slight lull between the summer rush and the craziness of the Christmas season can be a good time to press pause for a little while. To rest, take stock, reassess and plan. To deeply exhale. To let anything you no longer need float out of your...

read more
Marjoram Essential Oil

Marjoram Essential Oil

Marjoram Essential Oil (Origanum Marjorana) is a great all-round essential oil. It has a subtle, herby aroma and a wide array of therapeutic properties, making it a great oil to have in your aromatherapy kit! Marjoram is often used in place of lavender essential oil...

read more
5 Reasons why I love Reflexology

5 Reasons why I love Reflexology

Why Do I love Reflexology? 1. It feels nurturing and safe. If I had to pinpoint my absolute favourite reason why I love reflexology I'd have to say it's because it makes me feel nurtured and safe. Unlike massage, it doesn't involve you having to strip down to your...

read more
Time to press pause.

Time to press pause.

Time to press pause? The slight lull between the summer rush and the craziness of the Christmas season can be a good time to press pause for a little while. To rest, take stock, reassess and plan. To deeply exhale. To let anything you no longer need float out of your...

read more
Marjoram Essential Oil

Marjoram Essential Oil

Marjoram Essential Oil (Origanum Marjorana) is a great all-round essential oil. It has a subtle, herby aroma and a wide array of therapeutic properties, making it a great oil to have in your aromatherapy kit! Marjoram is often used in place of lavender essential oil...

read more
5 Reasons why I love Reflexology

5 Reasons why I love Reflexology

Why Do I love Reflexology? 1. It feels nurturing and safe. If I had to pinpoint my absolute favourite reason why I love reflexology I'd have to say it's because it makes me feel nurtured and safe. Unlike massage, it doesn't involve you having to strip down to your...

read more

Time to press pause.

Time to press pause.

Time to press pause?

The slight lull between the summer rush and the craziness of the Christmas season can be a good time to press pause for a little while. To rest, take stock, reassess and plan. To deeply exhale. To let anything you no longer need float out of your life with ease.

Letting go of things that no longer serves you is great as it makes space for good things to flow into your life. Like decluttering a cupboard, tidying up those loose ends of life can be cathartic and powerful. It can give an odd sense of satisfaction. 

Every year in my business, as the darker nights draw in I take out my business journal and figure out what is working well and what needs to be tweaked. I plan what I need to do next be it book myself onto a CPD course, or whether to add or drop a treatment or package. This tweaking strengthens my business and makes it more coherent.

If you’re not self-employed then you could do this for your home life, seeing if there’s anything you need to add in the coming year or anything that you’d like to let go of. If you like you can make a vision board or mood board or a board on pinterest with ideas of what you’d like.

Pausing for a while can help you figure out what you need to get (for who!) for Christmas. It can help you take stock of whether you need to go buy more Christmas cards or whether you’ve still got loads left from last year. Whether you’ve already got enough wrapping paper or whether you need to buy more of that.  

I definitely need to do this this year as last year we were convinced we didn’t own a Christmas tree so bought a new one, only to discover our old one wasn’t actually at the tip like we thought but lounging around in the loft, neglected and sad. 

image of woman taking a photo through the rear view mirror

Taking a pause can be like climbing a steep hill then taking a moment to catch your breath before continuing your journey. It allows you to take a good look ahead and to figure out the path you wish to take. It can also allow you to look back for a while to see how far you’ve come. To look at the obstacles you’ve overcome and how much stronger you are now, a year on.

It can be good to re-gather strength as our lives are ever busier and we often feel like we have to be everything to everyone and this needs to stop.

By taking time to pause, we can reassess what is actually something that we need to do and what is something that someone else can do. It’s so easy for us to do everything because we know it will get done, but sometimes we need to hand back the reins to the other person and let them get on with it even if what they do isn’t to your high standard! 

Time Management: How to make time to do the things you love

Time Management: How to make time to do the things you love

Time Management: How to make time to do the things you love.

Have you noticed how you can find time to do certain things (like binge-watch yet another box set on Netflix ) but not do other things? Like write that book, bake that cake, plan that trip or organise that cupboard which you’ve been meaning to do for years now?

Or maybe you’ve been planning on meeting up with an old friend for months but it never quite happens? The idea gets bandied about with enthusiasm ‘oh yes we MUST meet up for coffee soon’ but then no plans are made and it still remains something on your to-do list!

Firstly, consider what the problem is. Is it actually lack of time?!

First lockdown proved to me that lack of time hadn’t been what had stopped me doing things. Suddenly we had all the time in the world. Months and months of free time lay ahead of us and still I didn’t start writing that book. I did do some writing, I started writing out my favourite recipes on a new cooking website, but the  book idea lay dormant. 

During lockdown I managed to find time to watch 170+ episodes of Silent Witness, and several other box sets. I drank my way through box after box of tea bags and pot after pot of fresh coffee. I took loads of online courses to improve my social media skills, my copywriting skills, my zoom hosting skills. But the book remains unwritten

image shows 6 colourful paperclips in a messy heap on a white background

Time to allow yourself to do whatever it is that you love

I talk to anyone who will listen how I love writing, yet often I don’t let myself write. I find ways of procrastafaffing (you know, faffing on and procrastinating) Suddenly I can find a pile of paperclips that need stacking or maybe my pencils need sharpening. Or the cats bowl needs a few more biscuits. You get the picture.

Finally I realised that I needed to give myself permission to write. I also needed to set up a time and space to write. When my children were at school I used to go to a specific coffee shop with my notebook straight after school drop off every Tuesday, get a large latte and 2 hours on the parking and write whatever was in my head into my notebook.

Since they left school I’ve not found space in my diary to do this on a regular basis. I get the impression that what I need to do is to get a specific time written into the diary on a weekly basis. 

time saving. Image of a notebook with brightly coloured dividers

Clearing space to make time

To make this work I may have to drop something else, or create space by streamlining things so I have more time. So I need to look at where I can save time. Are there any processes I can automate to make life easier? Could I make more meals in the slow cooker, freeing up time in the evening to sneak in more writing? 

Instead of fitting writing in in between other things, maybe I should do my writing first? Maybe I could do some first thing in a morning along with my morning tea?

Maybe you could do the same. Starting the day with doing the things that you love doing (as long as it’s NOT playing the Tuba!) and then hopefully the rest of the day will flow around it, filling in the gaps. Rather than having to find a time to do the thing you love

What do you think? 

                                  https://www.sarahcooper.co.uk/the-5-am-club/

             https://www.sarahcooper.co.uk/how-to-create-the-life-you-want/

Marjoram Essential Oil

Marjoram Essential Oil

Marjoram Essential Oil (Origanum Marjorana) is a great all-round essential oil. It has a subtle, herby aroma and a wide array of therapeutic properties, making it a great oil to have in your aromatherapy kit!

Marjoram is often used in place of lavender essential oil as it comes from the same plant family, shares many common properties and doesn’t have that strong lavendery smell associated with lavender.  A lot of people seem to either love or hate lavender but don’t seem to have such a strong view on marjoram, thankfully! 

Using the leaves and flowering heads of the marjoram plant, the essential oil is made by steam distillation. 

marjoram essential oil

What are the main properties of Marjoram Essential oil?

 

Analgesic (Pain Relief)

Marjoram is wonderful for relieving pain, be it pain from aching joints, relieving muscle tension or easing headaches and migraines.  It is thought to be particularly good for back pain where there is tightness and tension in the lower back.

On the skin, it helps bruises heal quickly. 

Antispasmodic

Marjoram has antispasmodic properties so is great for the digestion, especially for easing stomach cramps and indigestion.  It may be useful for irritable bowel syndrome to help stave off abdominal cramping. It also helps ease period cramps and is great after sport.

Laxative

It can help ease constipation. 

Warming and good for the circulation

Marjoram is great for getting the blood flowing, and this in turn helps the body feel warmer.  It also has relaxing properties which can help reduce high blood pressure.

Clearing for the Head and Respiratory System

If you have a stuffed up nose,  a cough, or need a clear head, marjoram is what you need. It helps ease congestion in the respiratory system and clears sinus build up as it has expectorant properties. It can be helpful for asthma and bronchitis alike.

Calming for the Nervous System

Marjoram essential oil is great in times of stress and grief. It is thought to help combat loneliness. It can be useful to help your body relax and aids a restful night sleep. Marjoram is especially good for insomniacs. 

How to use Marjoram Essential Oil

The most beneficial methods for using marjoram are in a massage blend along with a suitable carrier oil or in the bath. 

If using in a bath always mix with a teaspoonful of sunflower oil and mix carefully before swishing in the bath.

It can also be used in a steam inhalation by putting a couple of drops in a bowl of hot water, popping a towel or tea towel over your head to form a tent and inhaling for 10-15 mins.

 

Contraindications

Some books advise not using Marjoram oil if you suffer from low blood pressure but according to Tisserand and Young, second edition, page 346 there are no known hazards or contraindications to sweet marjoram.

It may be wise to avoid marjoram in pregnancy unless advised to its safe usage by a suitably qualified and experienced aromatherapist. 

What does Marjoram Essential Oil Blend with?

Bergamot, Cedarwood Virginiana, Chamomile, Cypress, Lavender, Mandarin, Orange, Nutmeg, Rosemary, Rosewood and Ylang Ylang. It will also blend well with the other herby essential oils.

 

 Read my other Aromatherapy Articles 

https://www.sarahcooper.co.uk/frankincense-essential-oil-a-hug-in-a-bottle/

https://www.sarahcooper.co.uk/essential-oil-blends-for-stress-and-anxiety/

Buy Essential Oils. 

https://uk.nyrorganic.com/shop/sjcooper/area/shop-online/category/aromatherapy-and-diffusers/ 

I am a Neal’s Yard Independent Consultant and will receive a small commission fee if you shop with me.  

 

Book yourself in for an Aromatherapy Massage (if you’re within 10 miles radius of Boroughbridge!) 

Let’s talk about stress!

Let’s talk about stress!

Let’s talk about stress

Whilst it’s generally thought that having some stress in life is a good thing (otherwise nothing would get done!) What happens when we have too much stress? When we have too much stress it is a bit like driving constantly on full throttle. Whilst it’s great to be able to put your foot down to the floor of your car when you need to escape from something, driving along like that all the time is going to cause problems. It is the same for being constantly stressed.

Our bodies are amazing in that they release a hormone called cortisol whenever we have cause to activate our fight/flight/freeze reflex. So when faced with danger our bodies can quickly shut down any unnecessary processes (like digestion, reproduction, and to some extent deep thought!) and receive a big whoosh of energy to provide our muscles with the right amount of glucose to be able to run as fast as we can!

Normally this level of stress only lasts for a few minutes or an hour before the danger passes, or we find a solution or we have run away far enough for the issue to no longer be causing us a huge amount of hassle.  But when we are constantly in a state of stress, this doesn’t happen.

What happens when we’re constantly stressed?

We find that we may have a constantly raised heart rate, our blood pressure stays up, digestion is compromised, we find it hard to switch off and sleep, we get headaches, low mood, we feel tense, our heads start to ache, we get muscle pain and have trouble thinking straight. This means we might end up feeling tired, unable to cope, irritable and exhausted. We may make poor choices or reach for quick snacks rather than eating proper meals. Then everything begins to spiral.

image of woman who is stressed.

Having any of the above issues is enough to put your body out of kilter. If you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome for instance you may feel anxious about where the nearest loo is, or find it hard to eat out in case you come across one of your trigger foods. Or you might be worried about the pain you might be in.

If you struggle to sleep you might find it hard to concentrate and then get behind at work. Or you might find that you lack energy to prepare healthy meals for your family or you might feel irritable over the least little thing.

Life becomes hard. Daily activities can seem too difficult to do.  Everything annoys you. Everyone annoys you. You start to feel overwhelmed. 

So what happens when you do get your stress levels under control?

You find that you’re more able to cope, your brain is clearer and more able to make good choices and focus on the task in hand. You find that you wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead. Your blood pressure returns to normal and your heart rate slows to a normal pace. Any tension you may have been carrying in your back, neck and shoulders starts to melt away.

You find that the tension you’ve been feeling in your jaw starts to ease a little which helps you have fewer headaches. Life slowly starts to feel normal again.  You start to feel lighter and brighter and more able to tackle difficult things.

How do I stop feeling stressed?

One easy way to ease stress is to have a series of either Reflexology, Massages, or Reiki Treatments. These all help restore your body to a state of calm and help put a space between you and whatever is stressing you out.

Having treatments is a bit like having a mini holiday, it can allow you to be able to see things more clearly once you’ve put a little distance between you and them.

Plus when you come for a treatment you normally get to not only unwind and switch off for an hour or so but also we have a chat and a giggle and that too can be good for the soul and stress levels alike. They also feel amazing.  

Pin It on Pinterest