A Christmas ‘to do’ list

By: Richard Bruce

As we enter the festive season we’re typically bombarded with the usual health messages such as – keep to healthy foods, don’t overeat, don’t stray from your usual healthy eating, keep to your sleep times, don’t eat junk foods or drink alcohol regularly, don’t stop your exercises.

These are all great points in principle, but during holiday time I like to think more about the ‘dos’ than the ‘don’ts’. Yes, it’s good to avoid going off the rails, which is easily done – but it shouldn’t be all about restrictions. It’s not known as ‘the silly season’ for nothing! If you can think differently about what you do  in the sense that it will make you feel good – then the whole season’s festivities can be perceived in a much more positive way.

Here are some things that might be helpful to keep in mind:

• Do try to remember it is a holiday time – allow yourself the time and space to actually kick back and relax. We can be prone to over committing to seeing friends and family, doing chores, cooking, hosting, travelling and so on. Unless those are the things you love and enjoy, for some it becomes exhausting. And you can end up feeling worse after the holidays than before it started

• Do carve out some time to actually do a bit more of the things you truly enjoy. Whether that’s just passing time, mastering a new hobby or picking up an old one – do something that puts a smile on your face and makes you feel elated. It’s good for the soul

• Do try to call in to neighbours to connect and say hi. You never know who might be alone or need help. Life is so busy these days and we can sometimes forget about those in our community, in particular those who might be less fortunate or less able

• Do find some time alone for an hour somewhere in each day. When around family for the holidays, all the chaos can be stressful. Something as simple as a nice walk to give yourself some space helps. Ideally schedule a mini-break away for the day or overnight that is about you and not anyone else

• Finally, and most importantly, do enjoy yourself without feeling guilty about it. The occasional indulgence is what the holidays are about. Enjoy the nice food, sleep in if you can, forget the chores, pamper yourself, go out and socialise. These things are not only great but absolutely necessary. Life is for living. So unwind and recharge ready for the New Year to come.

The coast is such a great place to live with amazing nature and great people. Go discover and make the most of it. Here comes a new decade! I hope it brings you adventures, happiness and joy.

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