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Loving the Holidays with No Regrets

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Christmas and the festive season is a time of great fun, community and celebration. It’s also a time of overindulgence and pushing yourself to the limit.

Some might find that this time of year leaves them frazzled and exhausted. It’s no wonder, when you consider the common culprits:

Shopping: Budgets go out the window and presents abound, as we want to get something nice to show how much we love our family, friends and coworkers.

Parties Galore: Office parties, lunch catch-ups and dinner parties offer a bounty of wonderful foods.

Drinks Galore: Catching up over the holidays pushes the fluid consumption way up. Adding in a little extra juice, alcohol or coffee can leave you feeling exhausted from the sugar or caffeine high…..followed by the dreaded crash.

Limited Sleep: Who can sleep with all of the fun and preparation?

Exercise: What’s that? We’ll start again in the New Year.

But, Christmas isn’t about the presents, the parties or even all of the food, is it?

Yes, these things are a part and parcel of the season. But, all too often, it’s these very things that make us feel spent, exhausted, cause us to overspend and (heaven forbid!) overeat. 🙂

To keep you feeling your best this festive season, I challenge you to slow down, go easy on others, go easy on yourself and to get to heart of the season.

Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to do the following by the end of the season….as in January 8th.

  • Feel energized and revitalized.
  • Love yourself and be proud of yourself for having enjoyed all that the season had to offer.
  • Accomplish the above while avoiding excess in things like spending, eating, drinking or lack of sleep.

“Ha!,” you might laugh at the challenge. After all, balance is not a word we associate with this time of year. But your challenge and mine this festive season is to stay in balance, feel great and Make This Your Best Christmas!

Our aim:

  • to spend less
  • to live at a slightly slower pace
  • to enjoy a lighter spend
  • to be more active
  • to enjoy the foods we love, giving ourselves permission to enjoy without overindulgence

Need a little support? That’s what friends are for! Friends watch each others’ backs, right? So, share your goal with your friends, and ask them to come to your rescue if they see you about to fall off track. You can even be your own best friend and equip yourself with the power to resist the forces that try to take you out of balance.

I offer these tips that I, too, am taking to heart in the coming weeks.

Make a pact with yourself. Allow yourself the freedom to enjoy the tasty seasonal delights (without guilt), and in exchange you’ll do the following:

Plan your day: Before you leave the house in the morning, take a minute to think about what is on for the day. Where are the parties, what do you have to do, where might you get in a little extra exercise?

Parties: Decide which to attend based on your desire to attend. Maybe there’s a party you could take a pass on, without offending, and instead do something you love or something that will make you feel good about yourself. Some ideas that come to mind? Enjoy a massage, take a walk on the treadmill, attend a yoga class, read a book, spend time with the kids, family or friends.

Tip: When you do something you love, it gives you energy. When you do something you feel you should do but don’t want to do, it takes energy away from you.

Eat before you go out, and don’t skip meals: This sounds crazy, but this action of eating before you go out does more than just fill you up. It makes your brain able to choose which tasty treats you’d like to sample. Since you’re already full, you’ll snack instead of going overboard.

Tip: Skipping meals causes your body to store energy and slows your metabolism.

Up the exercise ante: Instead of giving into the couch, now’s a great time to buy a gym membership or take up walking. You’ll be amazed how a 30-minute walk and some light weights will rev up your metabolism, clear your mind and help to reduce seasonal stresses.

Tip: Exercise is an alternative therapy to antidepressants because it releases feel good endorphins.

Rein in your spending: Buying the perfect gift might feel great, but a gift of love and appreciation will put a longer-lasting smile on the receiver’s heart.

Tip: Homemade gifts are inexpensive and often divinely delicious. A plate of cookies, brownies or your loved one’s favorite snack are all great ideas.

Finally, if you do overindulge, have a quite loving chat with yourself and review where your plan derailed. You didn’t fail, louse up or any other lovely name you might use on yourself. Forget it, and move along. Tomorrow is another day and a new opportunity to plan again.

7 days to Christmas, and things are ramping up! Will you ramp up too, or choose to stay in balance?

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