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Tis the season! – finding balance in December

Tis the season! – finding balance in December

April 22, 2024

December can be a difficult time for those of us with health goals to meet. It might seem like we’re destined to ‘overindulge,’ or perhaps we’ve convinced ourselves that January is the magical reset button.

But believe it or not, you can revel in the festive spirit while caring for your health. Here’s a quick guide to finding balance this December. 

Set health goals now

Forget January resolutions and consider how you can set yourself up for a healthy 2024. Don’t limit your health goals in space and time. Start thinking about how you can move towards reaching these goals now

Plan ahead

Put a plan in place for both December and January

What can you do over the next couple of weeks to create an easier starting point for January? 

If your goal is to exercise more in January, can you research the type of exercise you want to undertake? Can you start now? Is there anything that may stop you from being able to start exercising? If you have injuries or niggles, get them treated!

If your goal is to cook more for yourself, what can you do now? Do you need to buy some pots or pans? Can you look at recipes?

Make these plans as small as they need to be for you to not feel overwhelmed.

Importantly, plan in time for yourself to readjust after the Christmas break. Allow a gradual return and let yourself recalibrate. The mind-body system does not like abrupt changes; moving between extremes can mess with the pleasure centres of the brain and increase cortisol levels.

Find the middle path

Turn your mind to finding balance in situations over December. It could be leaving a party earlier to prioritise sleep that night, drinking a glass of water between rounds of alcoholic beverages or having one less mince pie. 

These small things really do add up, steering you away from the restrictive approaches to health.

Appetite Regulation

Don’t fall into the trap of ‘saving’ calories for later in the day or the week; it fuels extreme mindsets and leads to hunger and ‘overeating’. Stick to three meals and incorporate more proteins, fats, and fibre throughout the day for increased satiety and reduced appetite, without you even noticing!

Practice some Mindfulness

Be in the moment and embrace the December joy!

Humans cannot think of more than one thing at a time, so being in the present can stop us feeling guilty about how we have ‘indulged’ and mitigate the January dreads. 

Additionally, when we are in the present, we reduce our ruminations of the past or the future and we release positive neurochemicals and hormones. Flooding the mind-body system with these will give you a mood boost in the moment and create reserves that we can draw on in trickier times.

Cope ahead

Anticipate January challenges and prepare coping mechanisms. This could include identifying your support system, planning in space for rest, and engaging in any other activities that you know maintain your well-being. 

The mind-body can feel safer when it knows it has a plan and has options in dealing with what may arise. This helps draw you out of overwhelm and may prevent you from feeling too overwhelmed in the first place.

I hope these help! 

On a broader level, if the only opportunity for you eat good food and socialise is in December, perhaps it’s time to rethink your health journey? I can help you reframe this approach and support you to achieve your health goals, without sacrificing enjoyment. 

Click here to find out more about my programmes and to set up an initial call!

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