Often, the way we celebrate is to loosen our inhibitions and relax, through eating and drinking to our hearts content.
Many members will describe dreading these occasions, as they may signal a slip back into a lifestyle they are wanting to move away from.
Here are some tips to surviving the holiday season and emerging in fantastic health.
Ensure you have some structured self care activities in place.
This could be daily exercise, time alone, or time spent doing hobbies, this will help you to re-focus and shift away form the food and drinks surrounding you.
Set some goals for the holidays.
Whether this is around health (exercise daily), personal growth (reading all the books on your summer reading list), social (catching up with friends you haven’t seen/emailing them) or cleaning out drawers in anticipation for the new year.
The holidays can be an opportunity to prepare for a great year, and reflect on the one just gone – a time to clear your mind.
A good question to ask yourself might be – when my holidays are over, what would I liked to have done? What would I have liked to spend my time on? In previous years, what did I wish I had spent more/less time doing?
In regards to drinking and alcohol…
Reflect on what you would like your drinking to look like over the holidays.
Would you like to be completely abstinent, or stick to a number of drinks each day? It can help to set expectations early on with family, to help them to know whether to offer you drinks or not.
It can also be good to have a back-up plan, in case triggers arise – eg. what am I going to do if I have an argument with my siblings, and feel overwhelmed? What am I going to tell my parents when they offer me a drink at lunch?
Being prepared for what is likely to happen is really helpful. Remember, lots of people don’t drink during the holidays, and at some point, they too have had that conversation with their family.
Often if we say something like 'I'm focusing on my health at the moment, and have noticed that alcohol is really setting me back in terms of fitness', or 'I'm not drinking this year, as I want to feel refreshed after the holidays - but please don't let that stop you', our family and friends will understand and accept that.