Tips On Looking After Yourself Over Christmas: Self Care To Keep From Slipping Into Old Habits

“Oh go on, it’s Christmas”

It’s that time of year. A time for joy, overexcitement and overindulgence.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a second helping of dessert, skipping your usual exercise routine or polishing off that selection box.

However, when we have worked hard on our fitness, mindset and nutrition all year, overindulgence often comes with guilt. 

And, while too much turkey can be helped with a boxing day walk, mindset and unhelpful habits can be harder to come out of. Especially when the clamour and noise of Christmas and New Year have died down and we are left with January doom and gloom.

So, this week, I want to share with you my personal ways of managing my health and self care over Christmas without falling back into old unhelpful habits.

Nutrition Self Care 

Avoid waste and make healthy choices without feeling as though you are being restrictive. Here are my tips:

  • Plan meals in advance. This helps to stop me buying too much food or food that I don’t really want which then screams “eat me” every time I walk past the fridge or cupboard. 
  • I was brought up to finish everything on my plate and not to throw food away. So, when I have people over I tell them to bring containers so that they can take home leftovers.
  • When it comes to the big meals, a great way to make sure you are sticking to the correct nutrition ratios is to fill half your plate with lots of veg (broccoli, sprouts, salad, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots), then add in the protein (like turkey, fish) and finally the roast potatoes. By remembering the correct balance of your meals, even though you might eat too much, you can avoid feeling guilty and still enjoy all the food.
  • Try to avoid snacking between meals – easier said than done, I know! There are chocolates and sweets floating around everywhere at this time of year! It is easy to fall into mindless eating. Something exacerbated by the dark and cold nights. 
  • If I really fancy sugary food I try to limit myself to have it as dessert at mealtimes only. This prevents the feeling of self-denial and also I’m full after the main course so I eat less of it.

Keep Moving To Feel Good

Christmas is a difficult time to stick to usual routines, especially if you have lots of places to be or you have people visiting. 

I try to stick to my usual routine of moving every day. It might be weight training, HIIT sessions, or pilates at home but even a 30-minute walk after a meal will help to balance blood sugar levels and stop the mid-afternoon cravings.

If this isn’t always possible, don’t stress. Dancing to Christmas songs in the kitchen or giving yourself time to gently stretch in the morning when you wake up can be enough to keep feeling good. 

Carve Out Self-Care Time

This will look different for everyone. It also sounds impossible if you have a busy Christmas household but it only needs to be for 5 minutes. Here is what I try to do to recharge:

  • I’m an introvert, which means I need alone time to relax and replenish my energy – every day I try to carve out time to be quiet and alone. 
  • I like to read, do a short meditation, journalling, hot bath with essential oils, going for a walk alone or listen to some relaxing music.
  • Do something that brings me pleasure that is just for me – it doesn’t have to be big or expensive and it doesn’t have to be just one thing either. 

Enjoy Yourself and Believe In Self-Care

A big part of ‘surviving’ Christmas stress is to remain positive in your self-talk. If you feel as though you’ve eaten too much or not exercised, it’s ok! Don’t let negative self-talk ruin your enjoyment. 

I like to get back into my healthy routines as soon as possible and believe I can do it with ease – the power of this mindset is surprising!

When the celebrations are all over I give any leftover unopened boxes and packets of festive food to the food bank – then there’s no temptation to eat it. It is a great way to give back too!

If you are thinking about making a positive change in the new year, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. I can help you regain your confidence and feel healthier and happier than ever before! 

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