How to get ahead of Christmas overindulgence
Day 5 In the series of the Christmas Countdown on getting the better of Christmas Stress.
Audio duration 07:30 Reading duration 9:00 average.
Important warning: When listening to any audio content please ensure you’re not concentrating on anything else like driving a vehicle or operating machinery! With your safety in mind
The story so far in the first four blogs in this six-episode series has included:
- Expectation and experience
- Loneliness and initiatives to make it a better day
- Dealing with difficult people
- Christmas Fun – perfection!
Today’s blog discovers how we can control Christmas overindulgence.
Never mind the day itself – the lead up to Christmas can have people over-committing to pre-Christmas events, reaching for the alcohol and stuffing themselves with food. It’s a de-stress, comfort thing! Well, at least that’s what we tell ourselves.
While it’s okay to take a break from moderating our eating or drinking, there is still some wisdom in resisting the urge to overindulge massively.
There’s nothing worse than waking up with the dreaded hangover, whereas excessive bingeing can lead to sickness – not to forget unwanted weight gain.
I guess some people would say what the heck, those extra Christmas pounds can be worked off in the new year. It is, after all, a personal choice how much to consume.
Overindulgence of alcohol though can have some nastier effects not only on oneself but those around you. That’s why it’s a good idea to learn what is okay to have in moderation and of course don’t drink and drive if consuming any alcohol.
Agree with yourself as to how you’ll put the brakes on eating an entire Christmas cake or guzzling a whole bottle wine or ‘mothers ruin’ (in the UK this refers gin!). You could even consider making yourself accountable with timely reminders on your phone, or announce there will be no Christmas overindulgence for you by writing it down and sticking it on – THE FRIDGE OR CUPBOARD DOOR, in your purse or pocket. Or is that little over-the-top? If so how could you make yourself more accountable for keeping your promise not to overindulge this Christmas?
We can’t please all of the people all of the time.
Anyone out there old enough to remember the Filofax or Leefax? It was a way to write down your daily schedule and ensure no clashes in the planning.
People with these leather-bound organisers (me being one), would very often be heard to say, “I’ll just see if I have a window in my diary!” These days most people pop their commitments into their phone, or into a diary like Outlook or Google. Reminders pop-up and then we look in horror at the clashes of back to back meetings we are expected to attend.
Keeping track of what your priorities are.
So, if Christmas overindulgence also means trying to ‘frantically’ fit in every invitation then you may need to learn the art of saying ‘no thanks I’m not available then.’ Or words to that effect.
Not always easy if it’s the bosses party and you are expected to attend the Friday before Christmas day when mayhem and last-minute preparation is calling.
Whatever pre-Christmas events demand, late nights rolling home worse for wear can also mean that the next day’s plans get dashed too. So, what activities would you prioritise as a ‘must attend?’ If travel is involved what amongst your ‘must-dos,’ do you prioritise and ensure you get them done first?
It’s all down to planning.
And if you’ve had a problem with planning in the past, then it’s time to either start early or team up with someone who is good at it.
The main message being, to watch out for over-committing yourself with additional responsibilities. Get organised create a plan and stick to your comfort zone. That way the unexpected invitations can be more instantly accepted or rejected because you’ll have assigned your time and you’ll be sticking to it.
Saying no thank you for any additional invitations to prevent that Christmas overindulgence isn’t always easy. It gets better with practice because you’re more authentic than the person who says yes and nods ‘oh no!’.
Step back and notice how much better you’ll feel if things are less chaotic. Unless of course, you enjoy the chaos of Christmas overindulgence! Whatever your decision at least you’ll know that your actions are your own choices.
From previous experience what else has been overwhelming at Christmas time?
Time to get a handle on that before it happens again. If it’s appropriate, you could discuss your needs and concerns with others who may choose to help out by taking on a few of the tasks.
Alcohol and food choices.
Consider what better and healthier coping strategies you could bring in as a way of reducing the temptation and alleviating stress?
Ask yourself these questions:
How would you take action to help you to not overeat or drink at the holiday celebrations?
What steps are you willing to take which will help keep any excess pounds off your waistline?
Keeping in mind if you feel that in moderation it’s okay to enjoy that extra slice of Christmas cake or glass of vino in preference to a whole bottle.
- What else could you be doing to help keep those stress levels down? (see previous blogs for ideas)
- What have you done before which worked and allowed you to manage your emotions better?
Getting a good night’s sleep
Make it a priority to ensure you’re getting to bed and not staying up till all hours every night before Christmas. The advantage of getting restful sleep will aid in keeping you healthy (fewer colds and flu) and enable you to think more clearly over the holiday period.
Sign up here to collect a free list of ideas for healthier coping strategies and some tried and tested tips on how to get a good night sleep in preparation for the holiday events.
In my final blog, we look at one of the biggest causes of stress over this period, financial obligations. The pressure of the media and specific brands to buy, buy, buy! All those things, alongside youngsters or adult expectations, can ramp up those stress hormones and risk you going into debt.
- If that was your story last year, then I wonder what you would consider doing differently this year?
- What conversations could you have with loved ones to ensure everyone stays within their financial means?
Although I sincerely hope this won’t describe your circumstances:
- What possible avenues are out there to help reduce your stress levels in the financial outlay before Christmas, and potential debt worries after Christmas. Especially if finances have spiralled and you feel out of control.
I’ll be posting what others have done to prevent or help solve this issue in my last Christmas countdown blog called:
Debt at Christmas, ‘What happens if you Splash the Cash’
Until tomorrow thanks for reading.
Whether it’s stress, anxiety or building your confidence in finding your life purpose, I’m here to help. Click on my image to find my contact me page.