I am feeling so festive this year, the tree is up, Michael Buble is blasting and the celebrations are already out! As much as Christmas is such a wonderful time of year for lots of us, it can also cause a lot of stress in the lead-up. It can feel chaotic as all routine goes out the window. If routine is something that helps you to get through the days, you may just be feeling a little anxious right now.
When we have spent weeks and months trying to implement good habits into our days, whether it be exercise, eating, sleeping, meditation or anything that positively impacts your physical and or mental health, we can really worry about “falling off the wagon”.
I hate the term falling off the wagon. Firstly, who’s wagon is it? It’s yours and you don’t need to fall off it, you can slow it down or step off it for a day or two but no dramatic falling is needed. You make the rules. There are ways that we can keep to our good habits whilst still having a really good time over Christmas.
- Let your friends or family know your intentions. If you plan on going for a run or doing a workout on a particular day, see if anyone wants to join you. Ask someone to lend a hand and look after the little ones while you do it. If you keep your plans to yourself you may end up getting frustrated. So make sure your intentions are known and a family member is more likely to step forward to help. Keep your workouts short, a Bumps & Burpees workout is only 30 minutes which is an ideal time to sneak away and also not too long to ask someone to help out.
- Stay hydrated. I know this is such a cliche thing for a health professional to say but when we are busy and there are lots of people around (and bucks fizz on offer) it is so easy to go a whole day without drinking water. Fill up a big bottle, add in lemon or mint or whatever you like to make it more tasty and make your way through it from first thing in the morning so you are more likely to finish it … you can still enjoy your bubbles too!!
- Get out in the fresh air. There is nothing like wrapping up warm and going on a big family walk. It’s great for lifting your spirits and staying active if you can’t get a workout in. When the house feels a little chaotic, it can be a good idea to get everyone out of the house and breathe in some fresh air away from the madness, or even better – leave them in the house and get out for some peace and quiet!!
- Don’t deny yourself the delicious treats. I for one cannot say no to all the mini chocolates at Christmas, and I don’t! But, what I also do is try to make sure I get the goodness in too. I keep my fruit and vegetable intake up where I can to balance it out. I would be so sad for Christmas to pass me by having watched everyone else enjoy all those yummy treats without me so I make sure I have plenty of healthy food in my diet as well.
- Don’t underestimate the power of sleep. You may have a newborn or a toddler who is keeping you up and you’re thinking “why is she telling me this!!?” What I mean is, just because it’s Christmas don’t start making your bedtimes later and later. The likelihood is your wake ups won’t be getting later and then you are just going to lose sleep and get progressively more exhausted, and we all know what happens when we are exhausted. We reach for the quick fixes and all our logical healthy thinking goes out the window! Keep your bedtimes relatively similar to usual if you can help it.
- Give yourself some slack. Yes we may eat a bit more than usual and move a little less over the holidays but is it really that bad? It’s just a few days and once the new year kicks in we are all back to focusing on those goals anyway. So enjoy the time with your loved ones, last year that is all we wanted remember?
Whatever you may be doing over the festive period, have fun, take time to rest and if you can, pop into the online studio and pick one of your favourite workouts to do. You’ll never regret a workout, even if it’s just a quick stretch.