surviving the silly season

Surviving the Silly Season with Health and Happiness

Does the silly season stress you out?  “Tis the season to be jolly” or so the song goes.  Cue image of a lovely family sitting under a beautiful tree surrounded by happy children with beautifully wrapped presents everywhere.   It’s all very romantic and lovely.  But the lead up is so stressful.  The year end rush to get all your work done before the holidays start, shopping in overcrowded malls during your lunch break, overspending, office parties, hang overs.  We all know it is the season we all get a little stressed out and we fall off the health wagon.

To help you survive the silly season, we’ve gathered a few tips from a couple of health gurus to keep you sane and healthy over the holidays.

Managing your energy

By Mag Secretario, transformational health coach and sleep expert at goodlifesleep

1. Practice Gratitude

gratitude

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.” Melody Beattie

Creating the conditions for success for any endeavor whether you’re a fulltime parent, an entrepreneur, or you’re an inspired leader trying to make a difference, starts by cultivating and practicing gratitude, happiness and having more positive emotional energy!

Research shows that making time to experience gratitude can make you happier and even healthier.  Take action and commit to taking 5 minutes each morning or night to write down five things which you are grateful for.  No matter how big or small, a word or short phrase, focus on them and actually write them down taking a moment to be mindful of the things you’re writing about and visualise the person or thing you’re writing about. Take your time.

Consider making this a daily GRATITUDE practice.

2. Go to sleep

sleepMillions of people globally have trouble with sleep. Without enough sleep, you will not have the ENERGY or focus to effectively enjoy the holidays, manage stress or engage well with others. I’ve been there before!

‘Who’s got time for sleep with so much to do?’ Prioritizing quality sleep is vital and the most important factor to your brain and body health and it’s likely your sleep health is the most neglected aspect of your holiday planning, your life and your business!

Because sleep is connected to everything in your waking life, the benefits can be a competitive advantage by also increasing your resilience to stress, enhancing problem solving, reasoning, organizing, planning, and executing plans, processes that help us get things done as well as generally balancing your life, making you happier and healthier!

3. Eat right

eat right“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”  Hippocrates

Food is not the only form of nourishment but we’ll talk more about that later. For now, get nourishment by counting chemicals, not calories. By that, I mean read food labels, cut out sugar and avoid processed foods with chemicals you don’t know. Try eating fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables, organic, lean meats or seafood (especially oily fish) or nuts and reduce carbohydrates for 3-4 days one week and notice any changes.

Water is the quickest way to boosting energy by hydrating your entire system, vital to your cell, tissue and organ regeneration and helps deliver oxygen to your muscles immediately boosting your body’s energy. Aim for 8 glasses a day, more if you exercise regularly. Flavor your water with fruits, mint or cucumber to make it fun.

Allow yourself up to 20 minutes for dinner by chewing your food mindfully. Combine exercising mindfulness with eating your meal. Aim for 3 evenings a week to start. People who know, take time to nourish themselves, slow down to ‘speed up’! Balance is the key when it comes to the holidays! Everything in moderation and about feeling good about what you’re experiencing!

Managing family time

by Simone Greer, kinesiologist practicing for approximately 10 years.  Her passion is to empower women to reach their absolute highest potential, allowing them to shine in business so they can be successful in business and in life.  To contact Simone, visit https://www.facebook.com/SimoneGreerKinesiology/ or phone 0408 638 403.

The holiday season will be upon us shortly!

Sharing the Christmas or holidays with our family can contribute to stress due to family challenges with old wounds and unresolved issues. So how do we ‘do the right thing’ with our family over the holidays while still looking after ourselves.  Here are some practical tips to avoid any ‘land mines’ and to make the holidays a time of celebration, especially for you.

cheers1. Know your limits.

While some people enjoy their family and extended family members for hours, days or even weeks, for others, the tolerance level may be for a very short amount of time.  To avoid any conflict, know the length of time you are able to spend with each member and stick to that time.  Do your assessment prior to arriving.

2. Prepare to be receptive instead of reactive.

By being receptive you can avoid any conflict with family.  Keep in mind, anything they say to you is only their opinion and you don’t have to react to it, you can shrug it off, knowing that it does not fit with what you know about yourself.  I always put a beautiful crystal around me and I imagine anything negative coming towards me, bounces off by hitting the crystal and bouncing back to them.

3. Find a safe place

Find a safe place in your mind to go to if things get a little hard to handle.  Imagine yourself at a beautiful waterfall, enjoying the cool water with good friends, or something else you enjoy doing or a place you love.  By having this safe place, allows you to take a rest from the tension in the area.

4. Avoid hot topics

Keep things light, now is not the time to open old wounds.  Prepare some safe topics prior to being with your family.  Being prepared will assist tremendously.

Managing overindulgence

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1. Ditch the servo food and greasy take away on your road trips.

With a little forward planning it’s so easy to whip up enough food to pack in to a little esky and take on your road trip.  Jar food is a great idea. Prep things like chia puddings, muesli, fruit and yogurt, salads, homemade dips and veggie sticks in jars and take them with you the next day.

Mini muffins and quiches are also a really good idea. You can pack them full of healthy veggies and eat them on the road without stopping. Check out my blog for healthy, easy snacks on the road here.

Of course you can always eat on the road, just choose the healthier options available. There’s no harm in having the occasional slip up but the 80/20 rule is a good one to follow, or 95/5 if you’re me lol.

2. Slow down on the alcohol

I’m not saying don’t have a bit of fun, but be sure to nourish your body that little bit more during the silly season. Drink bone broth a few times a day and stay really well hydrated. Having a couple of glasses of water in between alcoholic beverages will really save your body the next day.

Also, it’s best not to drink alcohol on an empty stomach. Be sure to have some wholesome food in your belly before you head to the bar.

infused waterI’ll share some great alternatives to alcoholic beverages below that have got me through the last year alcohol free. Sometimes using a beautiful champagne flute or fancy cocktail glass can make any drink seem special.

  • Fruit infused iced water or sparkling water – my fave combo is mint, lime, cucumber and raspberries
  • Raspberry or mixed berry coconut water kefir
  • Sparling water with a wedge of lime
  • Iced herbal teas

Being an ex-party girl myself, I do feel much more comfortable and included with a beautiful healthy drink in my hand.

3. Switch those sugar laden sweets and desserts for healthier alternatives

chocolate crackleWe are sooooo lucky these days to have access a massive range of healthier dessert alternatives. Health is such a craze now and important to so many people that are thankfully all sharing their healthy recipes with us. You can search Pinterest, google and the millions of health blogs and websites for delicious recipes.

Some desserts and sweets on my Xmas menu this year include my Mango Lime ‘No’ Cheesecake, Vanilla Panna Cotta and Healthy Chocolate Crackles.

Please give them a try and let me know if you love them as much as me.

Enjoy the crazy silly season and take care of your beautiful body. If you don’t, where else are you going to live? 😉

Managing stress

1. Breathe

The key to surviving the silly season is to manage your stress.  The best way to relieve stress is simply to breathe. Deeply.  Get the guide here.

2. Eat well

apple and blueberry saladIf you’re cooking or going to a pot luck, whip up a dish or a quick salad using these stress buster foods.  They are full of anti-oxidants that will help your body deal with stress more effectively.  Added bonus – they’re yummy!

3. Get organised

If you’re organised, you won’t go into overwhelm.  Do your shopping early so you don’t have to face the last minute hordes on Christmas Eve.   Better yet, get the gifts on layby  so you can buy early AND you don’t have to find storage or hide them.  Just remember to pay and collect in time!

Host a pot luck dinner so everyone can bring a dish instead of cooking the entire meal yourself.  Or go to a restaurant for the big family dinner on Christmas Eve.

4. Fit in some down time

sleeping pupBeing on the go all the time is exhausting.  Fit in some down time to recharge your batteries.  If you’re holidaying with the family, make sure you build in some quiet time for reading and chilling.  Afternoon nana naps will give you energy for late night partying!

Conclusion

Now imagine enjoying Christmas with the family – you’re calm and joyful.  You are healthy and you feel absolutely fantastic!  Nothing phases you because you’re organised and you took care of yourself first.  Doesn’t that feel better?

Pick a couple of things you can do these holidays to make sure you end the year off well and start next year fresh and healthy.

What are you going to do today that your post holiday self will thank you for?

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Jenny is a working woman, seeker of health and peace on earth.

10 thoughts on “Surviving the Silly Season with Health and Happiness

  1. By far in my world Christmas is the happiest time of the year.  I love spending time with family.  I love watching grand kids open gifts.  I love good food with family and friends.  I also love the fact that I totally forget about work and the world outside Christmas during the holidays.

    It is a time of year where everyone should take time to reflect.  Thank you for writing this.  Couldn’t have come at a better time.

  2. I have two sons, one just four, and the other now thirteen – ANYONE with kids is definitely stressed out at this time of year in my book! 

    I think a large portion of your article is leaning towards early preparation, or some form of preparation, and I think this is key to getting through December without flaking out. I actually get things ‘moving’ half way through November (I started last week). 

    I’m also interested in your section covering eating the correct foods over this period, something that is traditionally very hard! 

    Great article. 

    1. Thank you Chris! Yes, early prep does save you a lot of stress. Well done for starting early. Incorporate these food ideas into your meals so you do get some healthier things in too.

  3. Some amazing tips for the festive season ahead. Gratitude is one of my favorite things, I write in my graditude journal daily (well almost daily) . As regards eating right I am Coeliac (Gluten Intolerance) so healthy is always the way to go for me, and most alcohol has Gluten so that’s done for me … Give me a cup of tea (decaf of course) lol … My birthday is Christmas Day so just happiness all round 😉

  4. Reading your article brought back so many memories when I was just that, overworked, overexcited and mostly overwhelmed to get everything done in time.

    Now, looking back I can see where i went wrong and also my attitude towards life, material things etc has changed. Not sure if getting older has something to do with, however, the older i got I changed and I started to question if this is what I want or what are the Holidays all about to begin with?

    Here is how I changed my habits. I stopped running for the “perfect” gift for everyone. Some of the adults even suggested to skip the gifting for each other for this season and focus only on the kids, which are plenty in our family.

    Getting the house ready with decoration is always a pleasure and not stressful at all because I do enjoy it.

    I do eat lighter during the pre-season since the Holidays, let’s face it, are a bit “stronger” than usual and why not. there is enough of the new year left to cut back. 🙂

    I got certainly a few more ideas from your article like getting better organized and also taking some down time. Hard to do when you are a “go-getter” like myself. 🙂

  5. I love how you brought this all together, Jenny! Thank you for the opportunity to share and serve others, especially during this particular season. It shows that we all have our challenges no matter where we are and with Thanksgiving in the US tomorrow (22nd), it’s difficult avoiding the commercialism and self-imposed stress we create. We wish everyone a healthy, happy and wonderful holiday season!

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