With December in full swing, I thought that it would be a good time to go through the TOP 5 habits we can implement over this festive season. There are some unmistakeable realities that literally just happen- Christmas parties are inevitable, best laid plans will probably be spoilt, unexpected guests will just rock up, you forgot something at the shops and you will feel so busy you’ll forget to take a moment for yourself….

But it’s Christmas and it is awesome. For all of its craziness, it is the best chance we have to spend with family & loved ones and in that regard, I think maybe a little extra stress & strain is not a bad thing. What can we do to help balance out this amazingly chaotic time of year?

Eat well: now this might seem obvious as we all do a great job of eating over Christmas, but this year first up- don’t hate yourself for eating a little more than usual and try to satisfy your belly with meats, salads and veggies as opposed to going straight for the sweet treats, cakes and puddings.

Drink: with any Christmas party there will always seem to be ample wine or beer flowing around. Once again, don’t hate yourself for having a glass of wine, but ideally mix in a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage. Water helps you to avoid dehydration which can occur really easily in the Australian summer and helps keep you full between drinks. Grabbing a soda stream is a great simple way to drink water that has a little more flavour but still great for you.

Move: that Ozzie backyard game of cricket, going for a play at the beach or taking the kids for a spin on their new bike are all great ways to move and make it part of the celebrations. Likewise, try to avoid the chair or leaning against the table when socialising- it is completely ok to stand and go to the bar yourself for the next drink, at least you moved to get there. As for taking the kids for a ride on their new bike- how bout jogging or riding along side them? Lead by example knowing that they’ll always follow in your footsteps. Dancing works too- so for those late night Christmas parties, get your boogie on. It might not be your usual exercise, but it’ll still be great for you. One of the best things about Christmas is giving gifts- around the tree this year don’t just sit back on the couch, get up, bend & move around that tree and help spread the joy!

Relax: as a nutritionist once told me, “did you give yourself permission?” If you stress over the extra food, drinks etc., mentally and physically your body will have a harder time processing it all. Remember that this time of year is supposed to be fun and enjoyable so if anything- enjoy. The lower your stress hormones the better chance you have of adapting to the change. After all, we don’t want our body stressed out with our cortisol levels hitting the roof thanks to a glass of red wine or an extra plate of food.

Get adjusted: we might not be there on Christmas day or even at the work Christmas party, but if you have the time available and you feel overwhelmed or the body has just had enough, we are always here to minimise any unnecessary stress or strain.

So go on- have fun and enjoy! I’m sure the celebrations have already started and from all of us here we wish you an amazing holiday period, a Happy Christmas and an even better New Year!!!

Merry Christmas