Marie*, a participant on a recent Springboard workshop in the University of Surrey glowed as she said ‘I love November, lots of new students, I feel so productive’.
If only we all felt like this – but let’s face it most of us feel like November signals the start of stressful times. Daylight hours reduce, winter weather creeps in and those Christmas adverts on the TV start to drive us mad.
We live in a 24/7 world and we expect ourselves to be on-top of everything – moving forward, taking action and feeling fab and enthusiastic. Guess what? Sometimes November produces more low level anxiety than raging optimism.
Our ancestors would have approached this time of the year quite differently – doing less, sleeping more, staying warm and conserving their energy for necessities. So, while it may not be possible to opt out altogether, maybe you could try some of these suggestions:
Keep life simple – decide your priorities…what’s really important. Cut back on some non-essential activities. Say ‘no’ to some things that you don’t want to do (it might feel uncomfortable but you’ll live!)
Take BIG care of yourself – put your health and wellbeing at the top of your agenda. Eat well – lots of delicious soups and casseroles – but avoid processed stuff, too much sugar etc. Take your vitamins. Try to get out in the fresh air and walk/exercise. Allow yourself plenty of sleep and rest.
Stay in the present – we all know ‘the big day’ is around the corner, with its joys and challenges. But try to resist being pulled into the frenzy too soon. Keep a perspective – it’s good to enjoy it and not good to feel anxious about it. Be easy on yourself; give yourself little treats and breaks from the demands of life.
And most of all, remember November comes and it goes….every single year.