“How in the name of Rudolph am I going to navigate my health holistically this silly season?”
If you find yourself asking this question, read on!
While most of you are getting excited about Christmas (as you should!), many of you are also getting nervous about what silly season celebrations can mean for your mental & physical wellbeing. A long list of celebrations and events can feel overwhelming, alongside family commitments and huge ‘to-do’ lists this holiday season.
Maybe you’re feeling like you’ll miss out because you’re trying to be healthy or the exact opposite, that you’ve got to throw your entire health practices and values out of Santa’s sleigh because it’s just too hard during the silly season.
I honestly believe there is a happy medium in the middle and that you can enjoy ALL that Christmas has to offer, while still maintaining your happier, healthier self.
Here are some of my Christmas tips:
1. Start with mindset.
It’s all about choice and that choice rests fully with YOU! Simply make a choice for a balanced approach and then embrace it. I love using a planner to help me do this.
So, grab a pen and paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side, write “CHECKLIST”, on the other write “ACTION LIST”. On the Checklist side, write in big letters and believe it:
“I choose to feel good over the holidays. I choose happiness for myself.”
Now, draw stars around it or highlight it or do whatever you feel but make it stand out. This is your mantra for everything over the festive period.
2. Next comes the how.
First up, you have to be realistic. So, look at your checklist and write achievable goals around your health and wellness routine. Something like: I will exercise X times a week. I will have X alcohol-free days.
But be real with yourself. Writing that you are only going to eat veggies or do a juice cleanse over Christmas probably isn’t going to happen, right? Or if you do go ahead with it, the likelihood is you’ll feel like you missed out on the fun stuff. It’s the holidays guys, so relax a little!
A big part of health and wellness is enjoying what you do, which includes feasting with your family at Christmas. Then on the non-party days, there’s no reason why you can’t be continuing with your usual approach to activity and nutrition.
So, after you’ve set your Checklist, look at your Action List and calendars and think about diarising your days. Which will be your ‘regular’ days when you can eat, drink and exercise as you would normally? Can those be your alcohol-free days, cleaner-eating days, sugar-free days maybe? When will you get your exercise in? What about self-care?
Make sure to chat with your partner (plus other family members and friends as required), and include the kids too, so you’re all on the same page and supporting each other and then stick to it! Just maintaining a balance between ‘party’ and ‘regular’ days will make such a difference to how you feel about the holidays.
For me, I’m fully going with the flow the evening of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve, I know Boxing Day and New Year’s Day will likely have a slower start than usual, but I’m going to ensure I still get in some ocean time or at least a stretch and/or walk and then keep to my regular health and wellness practices on the other days. That means simply maintaining my own daily wellness rituals, keeping refined sugar as low as possible, alcohol-free and eating a wholefood-loaded diet.
So, let’s not over-complicate it, ok? Just remember, keeping a healthy, happy mindset and body is simply about maintaining balance and flow. So, if we feel we’re still in our flow regardless of parties, events, lazier days etc. then we will come out of the holidays feeling rejuvenated, re-energised, and enlivened.
Let’s just aim for moderation, relaxation and joy, and forget about the rest.
Merry Christmas everyone!