10 tips to survive Christmas
1. Prepare yourself!
To avoid the last minute Christmas panic of frantic present buying, of stressful food preparations and late Christmas card writing, make the conscious effort to start early this year. Start gathering the food supplies as soon as possible and buying presents and wrapping them early. Just leave the very final tasks for the last weeks leading up to Christmas so you can get in the festive spirit without the last minute frenzy.
2. Find a balance!
Christmas is about drinking and eating to excess but where possible try to do things in moderation. You may be haunted by previous Christmases where you have finished the season feeling bloated, overweight and out of shape. So take control and make this Christmas about balance and moderation. For example for every meal where you over-consume or drink too much, make sure you drink plenty of water, get a few extra hours of sleep, take a brisk walk and be good to yourself.
3. Make it a fit Christmas!
Once you have shaken off the cobwebs of Christmas day, the alcohol has left your blood stream and you are feeling human again, take a trip to the gym, to the swimming pool or go out for a brisk walk or gentle jog. If you burn some of those excessive calories that you consumed in roasted meats, baked goods, sticky desserts, chocolates and sweets over the last days you will feel better mentally and physically.
4. Pace yourself!
Work Christmas parties are the perfect opportunities to celebrate your professional successes with your colleagues after a long year of hard work. With all the emotion and excitement of celebration comes a high likelihood of drinking too fast and too much. By all means, let your hair down but careful not to let the excitement translate into drunken disorderliness in front of your bosses and try to avoid doing things you might regret when you go to work again. Treat the night like an exercise regime and try and be minimally disciplined.
5. Embrace the spontaneity!
In the festive period your daily routine will get interrupted and you may forget to have that hot lemon water before your breakfast, or you may put off doing your washing on Sunday evening or spending some time before bed to read your book. Rather than worry about it, embrace the change and embrace the short-term shake-up. Keep your important routines alive and let spontaneity take charge of the rest.
6. Eat before the party!
To avoid making poor food choices at the event, eat something before heading off to a party. Some of the choices that will be laid before you at parties will not be healthy or nutritious and will not keep you feeling full for long. Purposely choosing something healthy and nutritious before arriving at the party will help you line your stomach in preparation for any over-indulgences or bad choices that you make.
7. Drink water!
Drink water between alcoholic beverages and make sure you stay hydrated. Don’t make the mistake of mainlining only caffeinated, fizzy and alcoholic drinks as you will disrupt your system and need a lot more time to recover from the inevitable painful hangover. Drinking water does a world of good and helps to prevent a world of pain due to dehydration or indigestion.
8. Schedule recovery time.
Plan your holidays so that you have a few days before going back to work to recover fully from Christmas and prepare yourself for the new start. Having some days either side of Christmas will help you enjoy the festive period more and avoid unnecessary stress and panic. It will help ensure that you get back to work in one piece with a tank full of energy for what is to come in the New Year
9. Remember to sleep!
Lack of sleep can disrupt your organism and lower your defences. Make sure you find time to rest and get quality sleep. Sleeping is how we recover from over-indulgences and excesses. Eating and drinking large quantities of low quality substances can affect our sleep patterns so try to squeeze in a few more hours of shut-eye when you get the chance. Even only a few hours of quality sleep can do a significant amount of good.
10. Choose wisely
Whether it is opting for the crunchy raw vegetables instead of the sausage rolls, or whether it is choosing smoked salmon instead of bacon snacks, try and choose your nibbles as well as you can. Christmas dinner usually has a whole host of healthy options in its veggies and lean meats… you just need to look out for them! Apply the Pareto principle of 80/20: be healthy 80% of the time and let yourself make naughty choices the other 20%... Most importantly enjoy yourself and take care to make choices that help prevent any unnecessary feelings of guilt afterwards.