The big day is nearly upon us, and as we sign off here at Global Health HQ we want to take this opportunity to wish all of our loving friends, family and supporters a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
This time of year can be difficult for many whether you have stressful family dramas or have worked hard all year long to be the epitome of health and temptation is now all around. To help you have the most magical time at this wonderful time, we have provided some tips below to help you to remain healthy and happy this festive period.
1 Just say no!
“But it’s Christmas!“ is all too easy an excuse to use from December 1st right through to the 31st. But remember, Christmas is just one day. If you don’t want to have that last pig in the blanket, or if you don’t want to drink tonight – then don’t. Stick to your guns in a very firm but fair manner from the get go and you will find that family and friends may try a couple of times, but will know that you’re being serious. Any sign of uncertainty that you show them will only increase their persuasive powers. Make a decision and stick with it.
2. Eat before the dinner party
Don’t go to a party when you’re starving. Try to have a healthy snack beforehand. If you do arrive hungry, drink some water to fill up before filling your plate. If you do want to indulge, then make sure throughout the day or week before the party, you’re very careful with your eating habits and your exercise game has been on point.
3 Long gone are the days everything is closed for two weeks!
That’s right, you may see people stockpiling milk, bread, pringles, chocolate, wine, cheese and everything else they can get their hands on today, but the truth is the supermarkets (alongside most other things!) are only closed for ONE DAY. So if you don’t need to fill your house with temptation, then don’t. Your gym will be back open again on boxing day or the 27th. So yes, enjoy yourself, have the morning prosecco and fry-up if you want to, but don’t let this be the case for the next two weeks. Have your day and then get straight back to the plan come boxing day.
4. Stay hydrated
You can also be mindful with your appetite by keeping yourself hydrated all day. Drink at least 1,5 litres every day. The more the better. You can do this by regularly keeping a jug of water near you whether you are at home or at work.
5. Be grateful
For many people, keeping a positive mental attitude over the holidays can be very difficult; whether it be family dramas, missing loved ones or being alone. It’s all so very easy to get down about what is missing from our lives or what’s going wrong . But a sure fire way to keep your mind healthy is to each day list 5 things you are grateful for. By just saying it aloud and thinking about what wonderful things you are lucky enough to have can lift spirits in moments.
6. Be kind to yourself and others
Everyone is human, everyone has flaws, no-one is perfect. Again it’s all too easy to moan about the in-laws or to complain about how useless you are in the kitchen. The holidays are often a time for reflection of the year that has passed and dreaming about the year to come; taking life stock is a valuable task that everyone should do at some point throughout the year. It is important though to not be too hard on yourself, you didn’t quite manage to achieve all of your goals? Okay. There is still time. Don’t beat yourself up, instead each day tell yourself 5 things that you love about you. This could be appearance, personality, achievements. Whatever it is, sing it loud to yourself.
7. Get your vitamins
Keep your body healthy all throughout the season by consuming foods high in vitamins and minerals. Look out for winter veggies such as beetroot, cauliflower, kale and brussels sprouts. They’re filling as well as nutritious, so they will help fight off the nasty winter bugs.
Christmas stress arrives easily. By practising relaxation or breathing techniques alongside our PMA tips you can keep the stress at bay and just enjoy your Christmas. Nothing ever goes right 100% but the time is going to pass anyway, so what would you rather? Stress about the little things when there’s nothing you can do? Or laugh it off and have a wonderful time with your loved ones?
9.Eat slowly and enjoy
It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to signal the brain that you’re full. Enjoy each bite and make sure you don’t rush – you never know, you may be too full! This allows your mind and body to take in only the necessary amounts of calories needed to function well by the time your brain tells you you’re already full.
10. Keep your workout routine
Cold weather and shorter days don’t mean you have to stop exercising completely. Schedule your exercise just like you would any normal meeting or event. Stay active with outdoor winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, hiking or even sledding. Put on some warm clothes and jog around the neighbourhood, or just take a walk. If you’re not a fan of winter sports, sign up for some HIIT or Pilates sessions at your gym. Most fitness centres have heated swimming pools and indoor tennis courts. If you’d rather stay at home, do some bodyweight or Youtube workouts.
11. Avoid “all or nothing” thinking
It’s important that you allow yourself some treats now and then. Otherwise, you’ll end up craving it so much that you’ll eventually over eat and feel guilty about it. It turns into a vicious cycle of deprivation, overeating and guilt. Enjoy good-quality treats in controlled amounts, but balance them with healthy foods.
12.Our most important tip of all…Have Fun!
Don’t look at the winter season as just an ongoing food festival. The best part of Christmas is being with your family and friends. Whether you’re at a small dinner or a big party, take your mind off of food and focus on the people you love, having fun and good conversations. No-one’s Christmas is ever perfect. So stop panicking. If we all just relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company instead of being hooked in by the consumerism of the event, we would all have a much more enjoyable time.
So have the second serving if you want it, make the batch of mulled wine, and open up those selections boxes. Just remember that Christmas doesn’t last forever and come Monday get back into your normal routine to look and feel great for welcoming in 2017. Most importantly – love the ones your with, be grateful for them and everything you have, love yourself and recognise your achievements this year. It may not have been perfect, but nothing ever is. So find the good amongst the bad and get ready for a brand new year.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
– The Global Health Promotions Team –