Christmas is a time for joy and celebration but it can also be a period of stress and excess as well. In fact, what with the strange combination of excitement, abandon, and anxiety, we can be very vulnerable to falling into habits we would rather not have. Happily, there is a way to stop this from happening, and it’s to have a replacement for a harmful habit close to hand. As many of you know, I’m all about switching the negative to the positive so I thought I’d put together this post to give you some ideas too.
PARTYING TOO HARD? PACE YOURSELF!
It is very easy to party a little too hard at Christmas. In fact, many people end up feeling awful for the week leading up to the 25th. While some even have a stinking hangover on the big day itself. All because they have overindulged in a little too much Christmas cheer… hic!
Of course, I’m not for one minute suggesting that you shouldn’t celebrate this Christmas with plenty of vigour, far from it! However, swapping from an ‘oh well, it is Christmas’ attitude to one where we pace ourselves does have a lot of benefits.
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In fact, pacing ourselves when drinking alcohol and adding in the odd glass of water means that we are much less likely to wake up feeling like death the next morning. It is also something that cuts down the likelihood of us embarrassing ourselves too (C’mon we’ve all been there, right?).
Additionally, still, another benefit to pacing ourselves when it comes to alcohol is that we won’t be tempted to do something we shouldn’t. Namely having a sneaky cigarette or two. Now I’ve never smoked and my lungs thank me for it but I know many people who do or who used to and often when they’ve tried to give up, the thing that can end up getting them back on the dreaded tabs is alcohol. Smoking kills and no amount of alcohol is worth risking starting up again. Just think of all the hard work you’ve done.
In fact, you can doubly protect yourself against this possibility by stocking up on vape juice before your big night out and making sure that you have our vape in your bag as well, if you’re using vaping to help you to quit. Then even if you are tempted, you can choose a better option without running the risk of succumbing to that harmful addiction just in time for the Christmas period!
OVER EXERTING YOURSELF? BE MINDFUL
Christmas is a joyful time, but it is also an incredibly busy time, as well. With most people having present buying, wrapping, Xmas card writing and sending, and food prep on their to-do list, among plenty of other tasks.
Of course, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that Christmas needs to be magical and perfect as well. Something that we can perhaps blame on the very charming, but wholly unrealistic Xmas movies that play from mid-November on most channels these days.
However, in our quest to create the perfect Christmas, both for loved ones and ourselves, it is very easy for our perfectionist tendencies and habits to emerge. These being something that can actually have a very negative effect on our well being and mental health. With some of us feeling so burned out by Christmas Day, all we want to do is stay snuggled up in bed.
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That is why it is much wiser to resist putting pressure on ourselves to spend hours arranging baubles on our Christmas tree, and offering to cook for every single member of the family. Even the ones that you have spoken to since the 90s!
Replace this perfectionism habit instead with a more mindful attitude. One that encourages you to slow down, and be as present as possible during the Christmas period, even if things aren’t Hollywood movie perfect. In fact, by doing this, you may just realise that you don’t need things to be quite as perfect as you thought. Instead, discovering you are happy and grateful just to get to spend some quality time with the ones you love.
LISTENING TO YOUR SELF CRITICAL VOICE? LOOK FOR THINGS TO APPRECIATE INSTEAD.
Many of us feel the pressure to look our best around Christmas. What with all the family lunches and work parties. Of course, for many of us, this can trigger an unstoppable tirade of automatic self-criticism. Thoughts can make us feel less than, at a time when we want to be at our best selves.
With that in mind, switching our mindset from paying attention to the stream of self-criticism is vital. It’s not that we have to stop it, it just that we need to realise that just because we think it, doesn’t mean it’s true.
Additionally, to further reinforce this, why not deliberately pay yourself a compliment or two? In fact, over time, this can develop into a wonderfully positive and healthy habit, not just for Christmas but for your entire life too!
I really hope these tips help you and that you have a great festive season 2019!