Christmas is NOT the time to start a new healthy living routine, it just isn't. However, that doesn't mean you have to just throw all caution and reason to the wind, munch every mince pie that comes your way and forgo your workout for another night on the sofa.
You CAN keep up some semblance of normal life and routine inspite of all the temptations and party invites. And I'm saying this, not to ruin your Christmas or make you feel ashamed about all the chocolate you're about to eat. In fact it's quite the opposite. It's because I want you to be happy, feel good and have enough energy to really enjoy this super special time of year. And you can't do that if you're reclining on the sofa after every meal with a bloated belly and a guilty conscience.
So here are my 5 top tips for having a healthy - er Christmas.
SLOW THE FUDGE DOWN! I don't mean, cook your fudge more slowly - I mean, stop trying to do it all. Slow down. Do less. You don't have to make it to every school event and kids party. You don't have to have the neighbours over for mince pies. You definitely don't have to write Christmas cards to all and sundry. PLease for the love of Christmas, ask yourself - what really matters most to me this month - and do ONLY things that help you with that.
SORT YOUR SLEEP OUT. Right, now you’ve less on your plate it’ll be easier to get to bed at a reasonable hour consistently. Do not underestimate the sleep piece when it comes to physical and mental wellbeing. Your blood sugar levels will be more stable from when you first wake up in the morning meaning more energy, and less likelihood of finishing off the kids advent calendars in desperation on an afternoon slump.
WALK! Ok so you may not keeP up with your usual workouts (if you even have any) but you CAN get out for a daily walk. Make it part of your usual day during the week (school run/commute) and part of your family weekend activities. Encourage yourself to walk a little quicker, fund a hill to climb and benefit from the exercise as well as the time in nature.
BUY LESS FOOD. The easiest way to change your behaviour is to change your envirmement. In other words, if you have less crap in the cupboard, you’ll eat less, and waste less too. What’s good for you is usually good for the planet.
MAKE THE MOST OF THE MOMENTUM. And finally – because you probably will still ‘over indulge’ and probably won’t be as active as you’d like – use that slightly nauseous, annoyed at yourself post-Christmas feeling to the max. You know when your body starts to CRAVE clean eating and reject more stodge? You know when you feel compelled to get your body moving in a way that gets you sweaty and strong? USE IT as a catalyst for change. Don’t make up some gubbins New Years resolutions, actually make a plan that includes solid ways to change your habits for the long term, and stick to it (more on that in the next blog).
Staying healthy and having a fun Christmas don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Contrary to popular belief you can enjoy the big C MORE when you set yourself some boundaries around bed time, food and exercise – and the same goes for your kids by the way. Keep in mind how much more stroppy they are when they don’t get enough sleep, and how hyper they get on all the sugar. Be kind to them as well.
Till next time, stay present and make the most of this time of year – no other Christmas will be quite like this one.
Health & Happiness, Heather
PS Know you’ll need a helping hand with getting back on track in the New Year? Check this out for the BEST way to get healthy in 2020.