‘Tis the season to be jolly which can only mean an array of work parties, lunches, family get-togethers and all the mince pies. How do we maintain some wellbeing balance, whilst still enjoying the festivities?
Here are our hacks to help relieve some of the stressful challenges during the Christmas period;
Fitness – Small but Mighty
To all our fellow fitness enthusiasts who are anxious about whether they’ll still be able to maintain the same level of fitness over Xmas, put those worries aside. Let’s face it, fitness routines during this period are usually the first to go, whilst you and your diary try hard to compete with multiple commitments and endless socialising.
Why not try to slot in quick lunchtime or morning sessions, aiming for a shorter more intense exercise, going hard but in less time. There are several HIIT classes or vids you can watch which will have you sweating in no time! This will not only help you maintain a good level of fitness, but also help sweat out excess toxins and some of those margaritas you were guzzling the night before.
It doesn’t have to be Iron Man-worthy, a lunchtime stroll with a colleague is also a great way to clear that head and get some extra steps in. Every little helps.
Diet – Start Well
Something I am always asked by clients, is how will I enjoy the abundance of food, yule logs and tasty hors d’oeuvres but not pile on the pounds? The answer is just that, enjoy it. If you’re concerned about the high consumption of calories, I suggest eating well at the start of the day, first thing in the morning. Filling yourself with goodness, boosting your immune system in this vulnerable flu/cold season. Let’s ensure you can enjoy this season illness-free.
Start the day with a cup of warm water a few drops of lemon (good ole Vitamin C), then whizz together a banana, some frozen berries and a few spinach leaves. Add in a nutrient boost such as Moringa powder, nuts, seeds and voilà! Enjoying a quick, easy, filling and healthy breakfast smoothie will provide your body with, well needed raw, live, enzymes, antioxidants, iron and potassium! Carry it with you and sip it throughout your morning. At least this way you’ll be able to enjoy any guilty pleasures that follow AND get to use your smoothie maker that’s been collecting dust during the winter months.
Stress – Less
Endless parties, competing dates, work, presents, shopping, family, friends, long days, short nights, so much to do, so little time. Why not relieve some stress by reducing the activities you don’t actually need to be involved in.
Do you really need a Christmas get together with your colleagues from 2002? Or could you get away with skipping your partners work-do? Go where you want to go and don’t feel obliged to attend every party in the northern hemisphere. Stop over-promising and over-committing, even superheroes need a break sometimes.
Book out a few evenings for yourself during this period to make sure you’re not out every night as soon as December hits.
Shop till you drop – Not!
If you’re a shopping traditionalist at heart like me (needing to touch, feel and sniff the present-potentials) why not reduce the hassle by providing a theme for all your presents e.g. perfume/aftershave and get everyone’s gift in the same shop? Simples.
Or if you have already completed your shopping list, how about providing presence not presents? Take the time to connect with others, making space for more offline interactions.
Although Xmas is a time for social connections, for many it can mean the complete opposite. This time of year can highlight feelings of loneliness, isolation, depression and other factors that can impact our mental wellbeing.
Give more presence at Xmas, it’s completely free.
Just to be clear, acceptance doesn’t mean doing nothing, it just means to reframe your perspective. Maybe rank your expectations of this season realistically in order, to adapt more readily to the pressures which are either in or not within your control.
In fact, in my classes December is where we meditate on ‘letting go’. Letting go of the need to do everything, please everyone, be perfect and at the same time allowing ourselves to let go of guilt, control and fear. Xmas is a good time to let go of all the things that do not serve us, releasing it all as we begin to get ready for renewed space, focus and energy for the new year.
So the next time you’re about to tuck into your (third) mince pie, breathe in, enjoy it, exhale a sigh of relief, express gratitude and let go.
Enjoy your break!
Naomi Davidson is founder of Orange Moon Wellbeing, a Wellbeing Network & Wellness Concierge Service. She is a qualified Counsellor, Nutritional Advisor, Yoga and BoxFit instructor, author and Mindfulness Guide. Follow her personal blog Forty and Fabulous here.