Updated: Nov 12
The end of year festive season commences from Divali and Thanksgiving in November to well after the New Year. In East Asia it extends all the way through to the Chinese New Year in mid to late January. A relentless season of festivities, family, friends, joy and... stress? Work, social and family events can take their toll.
As parties commences and whilst still trying to finish the office year, things can get busy and health sidelined. Here we will provide some tips on how to maintain health, keep the stress at bay and have time and energy to enjoy the festivities.
Start planning early. If you haven't already done so. What’s on the schedule, what needs to be done? Have you spoken to everyone involved, kids, family friends? Who will do what? Given the amount that needs to be done have a proper planning session, let everyone contribute.
Don't be afraid to say No. If things look overwhelming, prioritise. Do you have to attend every event? Do you have to take so much on? Say “no” if you have to but perhaps try to make an alternate plan for the new year and stick to the commitment.
Start planning now. It's worth saying again.
Present and Gift shopping. Don't delay. Get out to the stores before the crowds or look online.
Budget. The festive season can get expensive and leave you feeling broke by the new year. Be honest with your budget. It is possible to downsize presents, to find smaller tokens of appreciation especially if you have to give presents to a lot of people.
If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask. For larger gatherings with friends or family perhaps the burden can be shared with them. They are likely to respond positively with a little advance communication.
Stick to your exercise habits and don't fear missing a workout or two. Getting your workout or exercise completed, especially during buys periods is a win. If you can complete a short workout - whatever you can do - consider it a success. A walk, a short run, a quick yoga routine, calisthenics, some stretching. If you exercise regularly use the Holidays as a down (low volume) period to allow the body to recover.
A workout doesn't have to be perfect, just get a short session completed.
Eat healthy, daily. Try to eat something healthy everyday. What meal can you control, breakfast perhaps? Can you make sure that you eat healthy snacks, fruit and nuts, on a daily basis or before you go out. Fill-up on healthy items so that you don't binge later.
Moderation. Enjoy the seasonal treats and the snacks but remember - you don’t have to go all in every time. Two slices of cake are divine, three...
Hydrate and fill. When the corks come out and the alcoholic drinks are pouring, alternate alcoholic drinks with plain water to avoid that hangover. Your liver and head will thank you later.
Call your loved ones. If you are not spending time with loved ones and close friends schedule a time to speak to them while there is time to do so. Perhaps speak to them before the holidays themselves so that you can have a proper conversation.
Learn a Breathing Technique or Short Meditation. If stress is getting the better of you practise practise breath work to reduce the stress, clear the mind and relax the body.
Remember, it's your Holiday too. Make sure that YOU have time to celebrate and don’t place all the burdens are on your shoulders. Adults (especially family members) and kids will usually just do what they want irrespective of how much you may feel you need to manage them. Go with the flow.
Looking further ahead into January the Chinese New Year is a double whammy for many. Make the most of early January to be healthy. Start the year with exercise and healthy eating - focus on those lovely cleansing soups - and keep up the healthy habits through the Chinese New Year. You might also want to consider planning for a dry (booze free) January to kickstart your health in the new year.
No festive season will ever be perfect. We try our best to make things great but sometimes life is beyond our control. People will be late, the weather may be problematic, something may break. Don’t let the Holidays stress you out. Take a deep breath, give a thought to your own self-care and enjoy.
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