Christmas is typically that chaotic time of year full of events, celebrations, catch ups, splurging on delicious foods and treats. But it also adds a new touch to ‘silly season’ - we tend to toss every last one of our productive habits out the window at this time of year.
In an effort to prepare you and avoid being stuck up shit creek without a paddle for yet another new year, here is our Holiday Survival Guide - a 5 tip blog on maintaining your excellent headspace and health through a crazy time of year:
Do Not Abandon All of Your Habits
We are creatures of habit, which means that everyone you will be surrounded by over this holiday period inherently understands the need for routine and ‘doing you’.
Movement - schedule that shit in. Make it an obligation. 5mins to do some yoga poses, band activation work or a 20min run. Or if you’re so far up routine-alley like I am, take the 1.5-2 hours for yourself, find a local gym and do your strength session.
Meal prep - it doesn’t have to be that you now take your containers of food to every event you go to - ENJOY YOURSELF - but have meals ready and accessible for what you are home. We find that knowing there is quality food waiting for you can stop those terrible food choices (you know the ones that make you regret your life choices for the rest of the day, like KFC or Maccas)
Stress Reduction Practice
What is your go-to stress reducing activity? Do you have one?
This is something we spoke in volume about in the October blog, Self Care, but ultimately, you should know straight off the top of your head what tool you can pull from your tool belt to bring you back to base after a stressful day.
Download Headspace, or a breathing app or a meditation app, or maybe just some acoustic music will help. Plug your headphones in and wherever you are, start slowing your breathing down and do a segmental body check in. No one around you needs to know you’re meditating or chilling your anxiety, just do it.
Are you ALL ABSTAINER or ALL MODERATOR?
Some people are amazing at saying yes to one sweet and calling it there.
Some people are amazing at saying yes to one and finishing the packet…
I’m a self confessed Person 2. And I don’t just mean with sweet treats or a packet of chips.. this goes for alcohol and other addictive treats - its a signalling in our brain that picks up on the reward pathway, and then goes ham to give us more reward hormones! I’m sure there’s some self control or rewiring us 2ers could do, but ultimately, these 6 weeks before Christmas may not be sufficient to adjust my mind.
For those of us who are aware of our place on the Abstainer-to-Moderator spectrum, carry the knowledge with you to your events this holiday season that you can just have one and that’s fine, or you should avoid altogether because of the inevitable spiral. If it’s food, grab a small plate, fill it with delicious snacks and nibble away over the course of time (eating slowly will signal your fullness). If it’s alcohol, plan ahead now at the events you can BYO a couple of drinks to or be designated driver to - and keep in mind how much of a legend you’re going to be for volunteering as DD for the work Christmas Party!
Sleep is that all important, overpowering influence that we require a certain amount of in order to rejuvenate and restore our a) hormones, b) energy stores, c) sanity, and d) tolerance for other humans (no, just me? #introvertatheart).
Holiday season means a renewed social life and being pulled in seventeen different directions. Go with it - but also make sure you’ve prioritised sleep. PLAN AHEAD - if you have a huge weekend, plan one or two early nights early in the week to ensure you can reboot before Hump Day and surviving the end of the week will be a dream. Alternatively, if you are on time off work and surviving a working week isn’t necessary, STILL PLAN SLEEP. Go to bed at a reasonable hour where possible, set an alarm for 8-9hours later, have discipline and wake up with the first alarm.
Time where we are all together with people we love comes once a year. Even if you don’t spend the ‘holiday season’ with family or celebrating, it’s still holidays from work with plenty of festivity - ENJOY IT.
To end the holiday season by having more guilt than we do memories of the fun is, in my eyes, one of the worse things that you could inflict on yourself. You decide what you do with those memories; whether you judge yourself (and what you do with that judgement); and how you approach the coming few weeks as you aim to ‘get back on track’.
We hope these will help you plan ahead and manage the holidays better!
Remember, enjoy yourself, make great memories and if you don’t blow every good habit you’ve ever made, there is no reason to panic about ‘getting back to normal’ post holidays.
Sending you happy, healthy, strong vibes,