As we approach the Christmas holiday season, we all need to ask: will it be the “Silly Season,” where we all eat too much, drink too much, and don’t cope well with all the family situations that may present at this time of year – or will we choose to care for ourselves, look after our bodies and our wellbeing, enjoy and appreciate those around us to the best of our ability, and work to build connection with our loved ones in whatever way that may take shape?
The choice is always ours – it will never be perfect but there is always joy to be found and it will be what we make of it.
Simple choices – like avoiding alcohol, drinking plenty of water, not eating that second or third helping, having smaller servings of dessert or avoiding sugar and sweets altogether – all support our body to stay clear and light. And if we find it hard to make these choices, instead of giving ourselves a hard time we can gently work to understand why. For example, is there something that we don’t want to feel or something we don’t know how to deal with, so we eat or drink to numb ourselves a little (or a lot!). Choosing to feel what is there to feel can short-circuit the choice to have that drink or that extra piece of pudding.
What can also be challenging at this time of year is dealing with family situations where much that has remained unresolved during the year presents itself. This can be challenging but it also presents us with an opportunity to heal what has remained unhealed or unsaid throughout the year. If we can appreciate who the other person is, and not get caught up in their – or our – behaviours or emotional reactions, then a tremendous amount of healing is on offer.
Some tips that can support us during the Christmas season are:
- Minimising intake or abstaining altogether from alcohol helps us to cope better with everything – physically and emotionally. Alcohol is toxic and if we are totally honest, most of us feel much better when we don’t drink it.
- Doing our best to minimise sugar, sweets and too much heavy food will also support our body immensely.
- Getting to bed early, not getting caught up in that extra conversation or sitting in front of the computer or TV supports our body to rest well.
- Not feeling like we have to ‘please’ everyone. It’s not our job to do everything for everyone – we can focus on just being ourselves, caring for ourselves, feeling what is needed in any situation, what is considerate of everyone including ourselves, and where the load can be shared.
- Appreciate, appreciate, appreciate! Appreciate ourselves and our amazing qualities (yes, we do have lots!), and appreciate all others that we meet and spend time with. A focus on appreciation reminds us who the other person truly is, adds a great depth of joy to our interactions, and helps us to not get caught up in emotional situations.
Will we be caught up in the ‘Silly Season’ this Christmas, or will we choose to care for ourselves and enjoy and appreciate those around us? These are the ultimate gifts we can give to ourselves and others…
By Kathy Byrne, Nutritionist and Health Practitioner, Brisbane