As we approach Christmas and look forward to spending time with our family, friends, and colleagues, we can look back at the last couple of weeks editions of the Wellbeing newsletters with lots of top tips and ideas for the festive period.
A few things I would like to share with you to remember look after yourself and support your own wellbeing, here are some reminders and additional Christmas-friendly activities that you could try:
- Remember to enjoy nature, we shared a couple weeks ago the importance of being at one with nature and if you cannot get outside, there are a few things you can do to bring nature into your home. For example, you could watch a nature documentary about winter, or even a walking documentary, you could even find a live stream from a zoo's website or safari park.
- Get active. In many editions of our previous wellbeing newsletters, we talk of the importance of exercise, Megs Office Yoga, Cycling, Canoeing, Running or Walking. Why not take a walk along your street or neighbourhood to see if there are any Christmas lights or window displays in your local area?
- Connect with people. You could try writing down your reflections on this year and sending it as a letter to people in your life and ask others to do the same. This is sometimes known as a 'round robin' letter. You could send it out with Christmas cards, or share it over email.
- We have shared recently on learning something new, why not try to learn a new recipe or craft or teach yourself about another religious holiday to broaden your knowledge of other faiths and beliefs.
- In the Wellbeing newsletter a few weeks ago we shared about finding purpose within our community. Why not give a little time at Christmas to support a local charity or Covid mutual aid group with a Christmas project, after all this year is like no other?
If you have Christmas traditions which you enjoy, you may be able to adapt them for this Christmas:
- Instead of going to a Christmas carol concert or service, you could watch one on TV or join in with a virtual choir.
- If you would usually share a meal with certain people, such as family and friends, you could plan to order delivery or cook and eat a meal at the same time.
- If you have children and you usually take them to a Christmas fair or to visit Father Christmas, you could help them write a letter to Santa instead.
You might also want to introduce new traditions. This could be dedicating some time to remember a loved one. Or it could be taking some time for yourself, such as by meditating or writing in a journal.
You may plan to celebrate Christmas with other people in your life, such as with friends, family, or colleagues.
Be supportive of others who may not celebrate Christmas, or who do mark Christmas but also celebrate other festivals and holidays. They may have lost important moments this year too, for example religious festivals or events that happened during lockdown. Or they may prefer not to celebrate Christmas for many other reasons.
Looking back and looking ahead...
There is no doubt about it, many of us have been on high alert this year and it has certainly taken its toll with the COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit, various protests, redundancies, relationship breakdowns and ongoing economic stress which have exposed the fissures in our society. Sadly, as a result there is an increase in acute stress, anxiety and depression resulting in an estimated one in three having experienced mental ill health.
In the new year, we will want (and need) solutions as we adjust to a post-pandemic world. Expect an increase in virtual therapy and support groups, mindfulness apps, and other resources that help us manage our anxiety and emotions.
With the launch of our own CPJ field Wellbeing program two years ago we have continued to develop, add new supporting documents, materials, training, and resources. One of those being the introduction of the weekly Wellbeing Newsletter at the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic, with the main aim to support and offer top tips for supporting you with your Wellbeing and Mindfulness as we faced new challenges within our work and family lives.
Here are some of the top tips from 2020 and reminders for 2021
The fitness world had to reinvent itself:
With some gyms renting or selling their equipment for at-home use. Other boutique chains have taken to using social media platforms such as Zoom and Instagram with streaming live workouts. As in the success of the Les Mills, one of the leaders in on-demand personal workouts and enabling us to workout at home and with the recent addition of Megs Videos to our own Wellbeing Hub this certainly helps to enable CPJ Field to support you in the workplace.
Whilst some have been taking to the streets in record numbers as a means of increasing mobility and personal fitness. For 2021, I am sure we will see increased enthusiasm for walking, cycling and even stretching in the workplace, which will have massive benefits to our personal wellbeing, physical and mental health. So why not consider applying these simple but effective changes in our daily routines for getting to and from work, lunch breaks and any moments of downtime.
In many of our Wellbeing newsletters we have shared the benefit of food:
There is an increased emphasis on building our body’s immunity. In 2021, we will be taking a holistic approach through clean eating, superfoods, and foods that promote healthy gut bacteria. There will be renewed enthusiasm for vitamins and supplements and continued experimentation with nootropics.
Families will still be cooking at home more than ever, accelerating the growth in healthy, nutrient rich food. many wonder foods will get tried in the quest to strengthen the body against infections and invasions.
Empowering everyone to look after their wellbeing:
Good wellbeing and mental health are essential assets for individuals, communities, workplaces, and society. They can help each one of us to live fulfilled, productive, and mentally healthy lives. We know that each person’s mental health and resilience are shaped by a broad range of factors. As we approach a new year, we are sure that our Wellbeing Hub will give you all access to the tools and resources you need to stay healthy mentally and physically.
Looking to the future:
As we continue to write editorial pieces for the up-and-coming Wellbeing Newsletters for 2021, we hope that you will be inspired, encouraged, and find new interests that can help you, help others and encourage your wellbeing and mindfulness journey in the days, weeks, and months ahead.
In the next edition Emma will talk more about 2021 and what you can do to make a difference in the year to come…
By Andy Holter, Funeral Director and Wellbeing Trainer