Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also a hot bed of gluttony, sloth and over indulging. It can also be a stressful time if your family life is fractious, or you struggle with grief and loss. Whether it’s your physical or mental health you have concerns about, here are a few things to do to help protect your health throughout the holiday season.
Set non-negotiable boundaries.
If you’re getting overwhelmed with plans, to dos, and a hundred and one festive social events, don’t be afraid to set social boundaries with your family and friends. There’s nothing wrong with declining invitations, especially when you’re run ragged. If the over indulgence of mince pies, tubs of Quality Street and mulled wine are tipping you over the edge, set yourself rules, I’m personally only drinking and eating treats on the weekends, and staying healthy during the week (Christmas day excluded of course!).
Schedule exercise in (and stick to it!)
I’ve already booked in yoga classes through to the new year, and I’ve added a few swim/gym sessions into my calendar as non-negotiable plans, and I’m planning the rest of my holiday period around those. I may not want to go to the gym on Christmas eve, but I know I’ll feel better for it when I’m led on the sofa drinking mulled wine and eating sugar cookies in the evening.
Make time for mindfulness.
Even if it’s just for a few minutes before bed or first thing in the morning. I love the Breathe feature on my Apple Watch for this, it reminds me throughout the day to take a minute to deep breathe, and I always feel so much better for it. When things feel stressful, or you’re really feeling the exhaustion, stop and take a few moments to focus your breath. I find daily mindfulness practise helps me stay more present, notice the good small things in the day, and remember them better too.
How are you looking after yourself this holiday season?