It is official the countdown to Christmas is on. A sign outside a Pub brazenly declared “21 days ’til Christmas” this morning as I went sailing past on my walk. Its that time of year when magazines post articles on how to cure a hangover, not gain weight, not get salmonella, make the best ever Christmas cocktail, bake the best Christmas mince pies and host a roaring good barbecue all at the same time. Northern hemisphere t.v. shows are all twinkly lights and snow while we are sweltering in 30 degree heat. Then there is all the presents, parties, credit card debt, blah bah blah – is it any wonder that we get “silly” at this time of year? This time of year can be really stressful so how do we keep ourselves sane?
1. No matter where you are practice gratitude.
It doesn’t really matter what is happening around you, it is all but a fleeting moment. Be grateful for all that you have in your life that is wonderful, even be grateful for the stuff that’s challenging because it keeps you green and growing. Be grateful that you have friends and family to buy presents for, or parties to attend, it means that you are loved and appreciated
2. Let go of the Guilt
Admit it, you are going to feel guilty about something this holiday season and the chances are it is related to food and or alcohol. Let it go. Lots of people stuff up their diet and exercise plans over the holiday season. just assess your expectations – is it a realistic expectation that you hold? Are you expecting too much of your self? Are you just giving yourself a reason to feel like shit?
3 Give yourself a clean slate.
So you buggered up your food and exercise plan – give yourself a clean slate and start again from where you left off. I am not saying to make it a free for all event, just let it go and move on.
What on earth does that mean? It means apply the 80/20 rule. Aim be onto it 80% of the time and allow for 20% not so onto it. You are human after all. If you apply this rule over the holiday season the chances are good that you will come out the other side no having sustained quite the same amount of damage.
Example: You choose to eat healthy, tasty, nourishing food 80% of the time or maybe even more than that. You choose other options that may not be so healthy only 20% of the time or maybe even less than that because you choose to be healthy, fit and well.
5 Self Acceptance
This one is a challenge for a lot of people and it was for me for a long time too. When you learn to accept who you are the whole process of keeping your shit together is much easier, you know what you are like, you have awareness of your behaviours rather than denial, so it is much easier to notice when you are doing something that hasn’t been so helpful in the past and then be able to do something more positive in it’s place.
Example; you have one too many drinks instead of going “oh well I’m drunk now, I may as well go the whole hog”, you notice when you have maybe had a little too much (or maybe you notice even earlier than that) and decide that its time to change to juice or water because you choose to feel human in the morning.
At the end of the day it can be hard to keep a clear head at this time of year. However we all have a choice about how we respond to what is happening around us and inside us. We can keep ourselves happy and balanced. we also need to remember that its ok not to be perfect too and if we fall down we can get back up 🙂