Planning on Surviving Christmas?

As I sat having a coffee, listening to Shakin Stevens Christmas song followed by another Christmas jingle, I reflected on what the next month has to bring.

Christmas means different things to all of us. Whether you are a devout Christian, you follow another faith or you have no specific religion, we live in a country where avoiding Christmas is almost impossible.

Aside from the financial pressures Christmas can bring in our endless “must have” society, there are the emotional and food related stresses that often leave people depleted and in need of a holiday by January.

I had a lady this week tell me she had to decide between spending money on looking after her health or buying an expensive Christmas gift for her grandchild that he expected. The child was actually 20. I wondered how that “child” would feel if he realized his gran was making that kind of decision. It really made me question the values of our society and although there is little I can do to directly influence it, I would hate to think of someone I love going without something really important just to buy me a gift I probably don’t need.

When it comes to food, we all know what we shouldn’t do over the next month. Be it indulging in foods you normally avoid or just plain over eating paying attention to what you eat is never a bad thing. I always find it more productive to focus on what I can do rather than what I can’t. So rather than making a decision to not eat mince pies, which usually makes me obsess about mince pies to the point I buy a whole pack, it’s much easier to decide that every day I’ll eat some salad or fresh vegetables, and by focussing on what my body does well on there is less space for the sweet sugary snacks and I crave less. If when the evening comes and I fancy a snack, if I’ve already promised myself vegetables, I still to it and eat something healthy.  

It’s also a great month to focus on getting fit. Even if it’s just ensuring you walk for 15-30 minutes every day, make space to go to the gym or commit to a walk in a country park every weekend, make it a priority. Yes, it’s true you probably won’t do as much as you intended, but experience shows me when I make a decision to do something it’s far likely to happen.

Granted the week of Christmas will probably involve significantly more calories and carbs that my body usually can handle, so what I want to be in the best possible shape prior to the event.

So set your plan for Christmas now before it rushes up on you. And maybe this time in January you’ll have the energy and focus to do those New Year’s Resolutions that you’re usually to shattered to commit to.