The tough just like everyone else want to lie down in a darkened room, head under the pillow, eating copious amounts of chocolate, drinking wine and wallowing in self pity!

Well, not everyone OBVIOUSLY but right at the moment, I am speaking to an alarming amount of people who usually appear to have life pretty sussed or certainly seem to manage times of stress well, who have just had enough!

Let’s face it, we weren’t expecting any of this, nothing could prepare us. 2020 has been a year like no other and this last stretch is just a relentless struggle. This weekend I had another wave of gloom where I literally sat watching the catch up of Strictly Come Dancing and couldn’t stop crying. The music made me cry, the beautiful dancing made me cry, my gratitude to the dancers and team for producing the show during such tough times made me cry… get the picture?

I’m tired of masks, I’m tired of not wearing my earrings because I keep getting them caught up in the bloomin thing and pinging them across the floor, I’m tired of not wearing my trademark red lipstick because it sticks to my mask. I hate not knowing when I’ll next see special friends and family, I hate it that so many people have been subjected to so much hardship this year and as for the grief……that sets me off all over again. I’m tired of Covid absolutely fed up to the back teeth of it.

Every one is. Everyone is feeling exhausted, worn out, fed up, done with it.

BUT…..thank god for the amazing, brilliant minds that have developed a vaccine. Thank god for the key workers who have had no choice but to keep going through this year and have cared for, and saved so many. There are endless thanks to give and if this year teaches us anything, it’s to be thankful for so much.

So how do we get to the end of the year without completely burning out? What can we do to find some energy to cope with Christmas and whatever that brings? These are just some of my suggestions;

  • Try and eat as healthily as you can (I know it’s Christmas) but over indulging on the sugar and carbs will not improve your mood or energy levels. I’m not saying cut the treats out but find some balance – fresh fruit and vegetables are key.
  • have a bit of a pre-Christmas de-clutter. If you can find the time, try and clear some space around your home even if it means stuffing things out of sight just for a period of time so it doesn’t become overwhelming. Clear space, clearer mind. Get the music on, whizz the hoover round, open the windows and let the fresh air in – in essence, change the energy levels of your environment.
  • relaxing baths or showers – seems obvious but we sometimes forget to do the simple things at times of stress. Just a little time to unwind where you are not scrolling on your phone, solving someone else’s problems, trying to think of what to have for dinner that night.
  • Meal planning – when we feel at our most tired, the effort of conjuring up another healthy but tasty dinner just seems impossible. For the sake of 30 minutes, sit down and plan what your meals will be for the next week and shop accordingly. Stick to the plan (unless someone magically offers to cook for you) and see how it helps?
  • Get outside – I know it’s been cold and wet BUT get those waterproof jackets on, get the wellies out, go for a good stomp regardless of the weather even if it’s just for 20 minutes, trust me, it will help and it feels great coming back inside to the warm and dry.
  • Accept what is – we’ve had this conversation, we know that Christmas is really only one day, we know that this year it will be different yet we still try and cram the square peg into the round hole. Give it up. There will be moments of joy, there will be moments of tears, there will be moments of “how the f**k did this all happen?” but they are moments and will pass.

Things will change, 2021 will be different – we don’t know how yet but it will be. Let go of creating the perfect Christmas, be thankful for the things you can and accept that it’s different. You’re allowed to crumble, you’re allowed to find all of this incredibly tough. Do what you can to minimise the effects and conserve your energy where you can.

One day at a time, one foot in front of the other. Keep going, you’ve got this!