Christmas is nearly here! The Christmas parties have already started, and I am sure will start coming thicker and faster the closer we get to the big day!! Have you thought about what you are going to do to make sure you last the course, stay fit and healthy and still have an awesome time!!
I am sure, like me, you are looking at the month ahead with mixed feelings of excitement and shear dread for everything that is coming up. Christmas is a wonderful time of year - full of friends, relatives and parties, none of which happen without a great deal of organising. It is very easy to succumb to the pressure of seeing everyone and doing everything to make sure you make the most out of this special time of year, and in the mellay it’s easy to let yourself fall by the way-side - and by Christmas Day you are less then the best version of who you are!!
There are so many benefits of self care, and a little can go a long way at this time of year. By taking the time to check in with yourself and make sure you’re doing okay, you benefit not only yourself, but those around you. Here are some examples of self care that may work for you this holiday season:
We all have annual traditions and activities we want to be able to squeeze into the season, but some of these can easily fall by the wayside once our calendars begin to fill up.
Beat the busy-ness at its own game by sitting down BEFORE the peak of the season and making a list of every important event and activity. Then lock in a date for each item on the list. These events and activities just became your priority. Now if anything else comes up (and it will), you can plan around your list of essentials.
If there was ever a time to over-indulge, Christmas is it. This is definitely a time of year to be mindful!!
Enjoy the dinners and parties, the odd mince pie and a slice of Christmas Cake (my fave) but in between times, try to keep things light and healthy. When we are not used to eating heavy, rich food, it not only affects our weight but it also affects our energy levels, mood and can cause fatigue.
Don’t spend all of December in a constant state of indigestion. Take care of your body, and it will reward you with plenty of energy.
When things get busy it’s easy to forget to stay on top of your fluid intake. Try and make sure that you are drinking your 2 litres of water a day to keep your energy levels high, keep your digestive system moving and, of course, prevent any possible hangovers!
Don't forget that alcohol is a diuretic - so if you know you are going to be having a few drinks, make sure that you have a large glass of water before you go out. Try and drink one glass of water between each alcoholic drink and have another large glass of water when you get home. You might have to have a wee in the night BUT your head will thank you the next day!!
Have some ME-time
Try not to think of having a few minutes every day for yourself, away from the "party", doing something just for you, as being over indulgent - its not, it’s an essential part of self care.
Find time to do your yoga stretches, take yourself off for a manicure, have a bath in Epsom salts, enjoy a few chapters of your book.
When you have literally had enough - don't push the envelope, remember you can say NO sometimes. Have an early night - skip one outing - be smart, listen to your body, and give yourself the gift of regular quiet time.
Spread the load
If you’re going to be doing a lot of entertaining over the Christmas period and that means a lot of cooking for a big crowd - think about ways you can make things easier for yourself. Try some one pot wonders or cook a few batches of Spag Bol/ Curry/ Stews in advance and freeze. Ask for help, no-one minds bringing a salad or a desert along - make things easy for yourself.
It might be hard to stick with your normal exercise routine at this time of year, but don't let your hard earned fitness go to waste. Get out into the wild and have a lovely long walk or go on a bike ride, do some stretches or check out my Vimeo www.vimeo.com/.user60530331 and find a short workout to crank up your endorphins and increase your energy levels; and of course, stand you in good stead for the inevitable extra calories that might be coming your way!
It might help you to stay o track if you get your workouts in first thing in the morning, as your routine may well get disrupted by your social life!
Remember - your exercise routine should leave your feeling energised NOT depleted!
Now is a great time to slow down on your social media intake in the name of smart self care. There’s enough to fill up your brain at this time of year without the cultural cross section of useless information begging for your attention on your social media apps.
Live in the moment - you miss so much when your head is somewhere else and distracted by social media.
The less time you spend scrolling this Christmas, the happier you’ll be.
At the end of the day, Christmas should be a wonderful time of year.
So don’t get so caught up in the craziness of it all that you leave yourself and your needs as a last priority - make sure that what ever happens you have lots and lots of FUN and see 2018 out happy and healthy!!