Exhausted?  Tired? Less zest than a damp dishcloth?  Yup, sounds like it’s Christmas!

Everyone’s favourite time of year…unless of course you’re a jeweller, in which case you’ll probably spend it collapsed in a heap on the floor after the Christmas making rush.

But you SHOULD be celebrating.  You’ve provided your customers with another stellar year of service, you’ve worked hard and now it’s time to put down tools and chill.

Although I’ve been on maternity leave this year, I’ve had a busy few months since I started this blog, filling every second with writing, planning and telling people’s stories.  It’s easy to forget something’s hard work when you’re so passionate about it. But even I am going to take a couple of weeks to put down my laptop and take a break.

So how to do it so that you make the best of your downtime without succumbing to a fog of fatigue, illness, or just plain worrying about how you might have done things better?

This post isn’t really business related – more about keeping YOU well, so you can thrive when you’re ready to start work again.

Here’s my six festive tips to enjoy your yuletide (and survive the other side):

Do nothing (work-wise)

You NEED a rest.  When you’ve been on the hamster wheel, it can be hard to get off.  You might think that you’ll never get back on again! But rest is important.  Any job (particularly creative ones) really benefit from stepping away now and then to gain a sense of perspective.  And after working yourself silly over the last couple of months, this is a really good time to do it. Take a few weeks off, and you’ll probably find you’ll have a heck of a lot more energy (and ideas) when you do get back to it.

If you do have an amazing idea that suddenly pops in your head and you want to act on it because you know you’ll forget it (we all know the best ideas always spring up when you’re trying not to think about them).  Then start an ideas pad – where you jot down your ideas and don’t look at them again until you’re ready to start work again. Just think of it like an ideas car park – you can come back to give them a spin later on.  When you’re ready.

Green smoothies

Now let’s be clear.  I’m not a health expert, and neither am I about to tell you to launch a health care regime in the middle of the festive period. However, if you’re like me, and a bit too much bread and sugar makes you feel bloated and low, then I have a great trick – green smoothies.

One of these bad boys once every couple of days keeps up your veg intake when you haven’t eaten as healthily as you’d like, and helps you stay feeling tip top to enjoy the fun…and then you can keep on with the festive treats a bit longer!  

What’s my recipe? Well chuck any green veg into a blender with some ice and lemon juice.  I throw in some frozen broccoli, a stick of celery, a handful of spinach, a chunk of cucumber and a small apple.  It always makes me feel better (and I’ve found it’s really good at helping with PMS too!) 

Take a break (from any food)

Now, I promise this isn’t going to turn into a healthy eating thing.  But if you’ve eaten too much and just don’t feel like breakfast the next morning, then…don’t eat it.  The days when we were told to eat breakfast every day are over. Loads of research has been done now about the benefits of a short fast on our bodies’ immune systems and digestive systems.

If I overindulge one day, this is a complete game changer for me, I just don’t eat the next morning.  I don’t need the food and it gives my digestive system a rest! Drink water instead and you’ll feel so much better.

Get some festive fresh air

There’s a reason the classic Boxing Day and New Years’ Day walks are still so popular.  And that’s because there’s nothing like getting out there and stretching your legs and walking off the Christmas turkey (or other Christmas related foods), after being cooped inside a house.

A nice brisk walk may be old-fashioned, but it gets your blood pumping, burns off a few calories and clears your head. Perfect remedy to get the creative juices flowing too!

Gift yourself – whether that’s to a piece of clothing, gemstone, a tool or even a piece of gold or apron

We’re always busy giving gifts to other people at Christmas, but how often do you get the thing that you really, really wanted?  This year, why not try buying yourself a present? It could be anything, an item of clothing, that tool you’ve always wanted, or even a piece of silver to make yourself that pair of earrings you’d love.  

Basically if there’s something you really want, that you know you won’t get anywhere else, then don’t wait for someone else to do the honours, treat yourself.  You’ve worked hard and you deserve it.

Think of something you’d love to do (and make sure it happens)

Christmas IS about giving, and that’s important, but all too often we’re so focused on making other people’s Christmas brilliant, that we forget to do anything for ourselves – especially when we’ve got family responsibilities.

But you have to feed YOUR soul too.  It’s like the analogy on an airplane in an emergency – you have to save yourself before you can help others.  So feed your soul with a bit of Christmas cheer and do something just for you. Even if it’s a night in with your favourite film with your favourite glass of wine.  It’s so important to make time for yourself.

So I hope you have an amazing Christmas.  You deserve it. But you also deserve to look after yourself – if you don’t do it, who else is going to?  

I’ll be sticking to my top festive tips, are you with me?

What are you top tips for surviving the festive period? I’d love to hear them…