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Navigating the year-end grind: Simple tips to get through


This morning Chris asked me, “How are you?”. Our standard start to the day.

I have to be honest with you. I replied, “Tired, and mildly grumpy. Not for any particular reason 😂”. Just one of those days when you roll the wrong way out of bed and everything seems a bit harder.

We’re getting to that time of year when the days can feel like a little more gritty. Everyone’s tired, the pressure is on to get things done before the end of the year and Christmas and all the activities that go with that are just around the corner.

The funny thing is – this happens every single year. I’ve written columns for media on how to take care in the lead-up for Christmas a good few years in a row, and yet – generally speaking – it’s still all same old, same old.

So here’s the advice I recycle because it’s solid advice (and will be taking myself).

1.     Be right here, right now
Practicing self-compassion is probably the last thing you’d think to add to your festive to-do list, but it can be a helpful tool if you feel overwhelmed at any point. Self-compassion is giving ourselves the same kindness that we would give a friend. There is a ton of great research on why this is a powerful approach, but as a super simple idea ask yourself ‘what would I tell a friend to do right now if this was them?’ And do that.


2.     Know that good enough is great
There can be a lot of pressure at this time of year, especially with work and personal commitments and expectations. Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix when it comes to dealing with difficult people but what you can do, is focus on you. Be clear about what you can control and what you can’t, and what’s important and what’s not. By February next year, most of the things that are stressful now will be long forgotten so give yourself a break and know that good enough is great.


3.     Be with people who love you in all your glory
There’s almost nothing better than spending time with people who love you for who you are and can make you laugh until your sides hurt. Find time to be with those people and find ways to help each other take care – be it a walk together, joining a festive activity or simply sitting down over a cup of tea to catch up on life. There are lots of other great people you can talk to in your community too. Reach out to helplines in your local area, or EAP in your workplace.


4.     Celebrate the goodness
When you get a chance, write down a list of all the good moments from 2023. It might be a list of big things, small things or both. The idea is to come up with 10 to 20 things that make you smile and feel buoyant. And those things can be personal and professional.


5.     Support the community
There are many people that go without during the festive season. Consider donating your time or items to organisations that support families or individuals in need. Or if you know of someone, reach out to them in whatever way feels comfortable to you and to them. To quote the Mental Health Foundation, “Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connection with the people around you.”


Take care, stay safe and wishing you a less stressful lead-up to the festive season ahead.
What’s one thing you do to get through the end-of-year grind?
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