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Zoe Rose Fitness

Does Christmas give you the fear?

Christmas is a wonderful time of year. A time to spend with family and friends, enjoy food and alcohol and to get excited about the year ahead. It is a also a time of year that can be riddled with stress, anxiety and self hatred.

I love Christmas, it’s a great time of year. However, it can bring up a lot of emotions. Keeping yourself physically and mentally well at this time can be more of a challenge than usual. I am going to to look at some factors that can give us ‘the fear’ at this ‘magical’ time of year.

Whatever you fear is about Christmas, don’t let it stop you having a great time 🙂

1- FOOD.

Christmas is all about food right? Having that Christmas meal, all the chocolates, desserts e.c.t. Now you don’t normally just have 1 meal… it is spread out through all of December, with parties and catching up with friends. Even in the office you can’t get away from a box of chocolates or 5! Temptation is everywhere and you’ve now got the added pressure of people going ‘ah come on its Christmas, just have some chocolate!’

If food is giving you the fear and you’re worried about over indulging here are some tips to help keep you on track.

  • Remember its just one day! Don’t be looking at your Christmas dinner with the feelings of guilt and shame. Enjoy every bite. One day/one meal isn’t going to ruin any fitness/weight loss plans that you have so relax and enjoy it. Don’t look at it as the only day of the year you can have a ‘cheat day’ (really I’m not a believer in cheat days!). Look at it as a great time when you can enjoy your food.
  • During the festive period snacking turns into chocolates. Your usual snacks are replaced with mince pies, sweets, Christmas related items and anything thats lying around. Try to eat as normally as possible during the lead up to Christmas. If you want a chocolate – great have one! But don’t have it as a replacement from what you normally eat with your snacks that will nourish your body. If you’re eating well you won’t crave the sweet stuff as much.
  • Eat mindfully. Really enjoy everything as you eat and chew your food well. Make sure your not rushing your meals. If you take everything a bit slower and really enjoy your food you are more likely to know when your full and feel satisfied, rather than wanting to carry on eating.
  • Did you over indulge? Feel bad? Worried about it? …. Oh well I’ll just start in January, may as well carry on like this for December? Don’t beat yourself up… Relax and take a few breaths. Make your next meal one that is full of veg and will nourish you and simply just forget about it. Reset your mind to eating in a way that makes your body feel great.

 

2. ALCOHOL 

What’s Christmas without a glass of fizz or 5? Alcohol is such a big part of this time of year. The whole month of December seems like 1 glass of wine after another and before you know it you’ve drank everyday for a couple of weeks! Friends all want to catch up over a Christmas drink and you’ve got the added issue of the work Christmas party, which of course is the time for your colleagues to get way too drunk then wake up with that regret and fear in the morning.

If alcohol is giving you the fear, here are some tips on how to monitor your drinking:

  • Feel like your social calendar is too full and every night seems to involve a drink? Remember it doesn’t need to. Often we feel the social pressure to have a drink with a friend but do you just want a cuppa? Say so! You don’t need to have something alcoholic, you could even have a hot chocolate! Also, suggesting going for a walk instead of drink is another good way to catch up with friends.
  • That Christmas party…. You want to drink and enjoy yourself, but you don’t want to overdo it and have a 2 day hangover… Firstly make sure you eat beforehand. Yes there may be food involved but often the portions can be very small or just nibbles and that isn’t going to soak up all the pre-drinks you had. So just make sure you have lined your stomach properly. Secondly stay hydrated. Alcohol dehydrates you – a lot! So between every alcoholic drink have a big glass of water. This will make you feel a lot better and will help slow down your drinking. Finally try not to mix your drinks too much. This will only make you feel worse. And importantly: drink mindfully… everything starting to go blurry? Feeling a bit too happy and suddenly your boss seems really attractive? May be time just to stick to water for a bit….
  • Remember you are in control! You are in control of how much you want to drink and when. Don’t let others pressure you because ‘its Christmas’. Its your body and only have that drink if it is something you want to do.

3. ANXEITY 

Christmas is the time where you are suppose to be at your happiest, spending time with all your family and enjoying every second! That is what we are lead to believe…. however, Christmas can also be very stressful. There is the pressure of financially being able to afford everything, getting all the trimmings and making the most wonderful food, keeping up with your social diary and then to top it all off spending lots of time with all your family usually in very close confinements. This is enough to make even the most relaxed person feel slightly anxious.

If your anxiety is taking control of you at this time of year, here are some good tips to help you get through it:

  • Keep making sleep a priority. Already stressed and anxious? Then chuck in sleep deprivation and you’re only going to make things worse. It is amazing what a good nights sleep can do for you and how it can improve your mood the next day.
  • Try meditation. Already into meditation? Great! Make sure you keep it up. Its easy to let it slide when you are in a different routine. If you’ve never tried it before give it a go. There are so many great benefits from meditation. Check out my blog about it!
  • Make time for you! This is a good way to stay level headed when with your family or maybe someone else’s family. This may be going for a walk on your own, reading a book or doing a workout. This doesn’t mean you need to be antisocial. It just means you’re giving your brain a break to relax and reboot.
  • Speak to someone! Feeling anxious? Speak to someone and tell them how you feel. If you don’t feel ready to speak to anyone, try writing it down. That way you can make sense of what is causing you to be anxious.
  • Remember nothing is permanent. If Christmas just isn’t making you feel good. Remember it just one day. Soon all the fuss will be out of the way. This is the same for if you’re going through something tough. This feeling isn’t permanent and it will pass.

 

4. FITNESS

You don’t need to bother working out over Christmas, that is what January is for? Right?! Your social calendar is full, you’re onto your 4th mince pie of the day so you may as well sack in that workout for another mulled wine. You are physically and mentally drained from all the Christmas fun so really don’t feel like it… but you’re going to get a six pack in 2019 so you may as well enjoy eating and drinking while you can…. There are so many reasons not to workout over the Christmas period. However I believe there are so many reasons to workout during this time!

  • Think about how you approach your workouts. Workout because it makes you feel good and you know how much your body wants to. Focus on moving in a way that feels really good and its going to help change your mindset. You will want to workout no matter what time of year because you know how good it is going to make you feel.
  • It can be a great way to catch up with friends and family. Suggest going for a walk or a hike. That way your moving your body and  spending time with people you love.
  • If you are trying to change your lifestyle to a more healthy one it needs to be one that is maintainable. This means you want to do it and can do it. If you have decided that January is your time to kickstart your journey – great! but… why not start now? Doesn’t need to be something huge, just a walk or cycle or try some fitness videos at home.
  • If you already have a workout routine in place and are worried about not being able to keep it up. Don’t. This is just one small period of the year and won’t affect you. A rest may be something that your body really needs. Focus on doing what you can when you can. Take the pressure off and enjoy.

 

At the end of the day the most important thing is that you have a great Christmas. Focus on things you can control and don’t worry about the things you can’t. It is just one day of the year that is really spread over a month. 

At the end of the day the most important thing is that you have a great Christmas. Focus on things you can control and don’t worry about the things you can’t. It is just one day of the year that is really spread over a month.

There are many people who don’t get anytime off during Christmas. A shout out to everyone who has to work during Christmas! And for a lot of people their jobs will be made lots more stressful because of Christmas (anyone in retail, doctors, nurses, emergency services just to name a few!). You guys deserve a medal!

I also want to acknowledge that Christmas isn’t a happy time for everyone. It may be hard because of loved ones not there and you may be struggling to deal with your emotions. Whatever you are going through remember there is support out there if you need it. Here are some links below to where you can get help:

https://www.cruse.org.uk/get-help/about-grief/anniversaries-and-reminders-when-you-are-bereaved/coping-at-christmas

https://www.mind.org.uk

https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk

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