I am writing my final blog of the year and reflecting on 2018. A year in which my career has had me jumping for joy and leaping out of my comfort zone and quite surprisingly I may have finally learnt to practice what I preach.

For me the last 7 or 8 Christmases have become the most stressful part of the year when anxiety has taken over and panic sets in. Not because I don’t like Christmas – quite the opposite! I love it. I am a Christmas kid and therein lies the problem my rambunctious nature gets me a little carried away and I find I have gone over board in my preparations. Ironically as the chorus of Mariah’s All I want for Christmas plays, I’m often thinking all I want is for Christmas to be over!

Perhaps as caregivers, whether it is our role in the workplace or if we have double the pressure with parental responsibility at home, Christmas intensifies our care giving and thoughtfulness! Crikey, don’t we just ramp it up – we continue to do and be all of the things to other people! We take on too much, do too much, and try to be too many things to too many people. It can leave us feeling underwhelmed, exhausted and resentful.

This Christmas I urge you to think about yourself in the same way you plan, provide and take of others. There is nothing better than planning a thoughtful surprise or gift for a loved one. It gives us a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Yet how easily can you allow yourself to think of taking the same time and care to follow through with what feels good for you?

If your friend was sat next to you right now, upset about how stressed she was feeling, how much she had to do, how frazzled, overwhelmed and low she was feeling. What would you say? Take a moment to think about it? Honestly you would treat her with kindness, compassion and empathy. Now imagine that person is you? Are you able to do the same?

2018 has taught me that my Wellbeing is precious. I have to work hard to take proper care of my wellbeing, reminding myself: I love fresh air walking my dogs and being outside, eating well, exercising and doing things that feel positive for me. So I take seriously the care and kindness I think of and treat myself with. My Christmas wish for you, is that you take precious time to do some things that make you feel good and that your future self will thank you for and if you see someone else struggling you are able to reach out and remind them to do the same.

Wishing you a peaceful and restful Christmas and a healthy and happy new year.

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