Christmas Survival Guide

‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’ 

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‘ ‘tis the season to be jolly’

Wow, talk about high expectations!  The Christmas season puts a lot of stress and strain on us in so many different ways, financially, emotionally and physically.

I’d love to share my top tips to help you through this exciting, fun and festive time while keeping your sanity and waistline in check.

If you’ve been working hard to stay healthy you won’t want to go completely off the rails and spend the days feeling less than great.

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Big night out strategy:  there may be many of them, so it would be very easy to over-commit and over-indulge. We all want to enjoy the holidays and festivities at this time of year. Whether it’s one night out or a few, or just one big Christmas lunch these tips will help you to be mindful about your choices. 

On the day of the party keep it real, have a healthy breakfast and lunch. If you like to work out make time to fit in a session at some point during your day.

Have a healthy protein-based snack before you get there so you don’t arrive starving. 

If it’s the kind of party where everyone is contributing food, be the one to take a healthy dish.

When you make your food choices, survey all of the options first. Avoid highly processed foods. Choose protein and plant-based dishes.

If you’re at a buffet style event, don’t stand near the food table as it’s too tempting to keep munching!

Don’t drink your sugar intake.  Cocktails and mixers can be loaded with sugar.  Stick to single spirits and dilute with sparkling water.  Red wine in moderation. Alternate your alcoholic drinks with a glass of water

Ok now that’s my party survival guide but what about the rest of the crazy time?  Well I have a few other tips to keep you on the straight and narrow.

Meal plan: The process of meal planning really takes a lot of stress out of everyday life and can also save you time, money and food waste.  Over the Christmas period take a little time to plan your meals for the week ahead.  If you’re hosting a family meal this is especially important.  Write down what you will cook each day, write a grocery list for that plan and shop online or go to the store only once.

Take time out for you: self-care is an important part of daily life but at this time especially.  Think about what it is that gives you joy, helps you relax and unwind or recharges your batteries.  Is it reading a book alone over a good coffee, having a manicure or massage, a yoga class, a 10 minute meditation, going for a walk outside with a friend or alone?  It doesn’t have to cost money and could save your sanity!  Take out your diary and factor in some time for you, the same way as you would for any important commitment. 

To do List:  I’m a big believer in To Do lists and goals!  I’m sure you have a lot on your plate to get organized for Christmas and I recommend breaking it down into manageable chunks.  Think about what you have to achieve, and the timescales then break it down to a few manageable tasks each day.  That way everything isn’t left until the last minute causing unnecessary stress.

It’s ok to say NO!  You really can’t do everything.  Whether it be declining a party because you just have too many commitments that week or asking for help with Christmas gift shopping, card writing or food preparation.  Is there someone who can share your load?

Relax and enjoy, make mindful choices and have fun!

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