Monday, 21 December 2009

Staying Happy Over the Festive Season

happy!As we are just days away from Christmas now, most people are busy with last-minute preparations and probably don't have a lot of spare time to think about much else! Getting wrapped up in the festivities and the feeling busy that comes with this time of year, seems to last all the way through until the new year. Are we really all so busy or is it a welcome distraction from the day-to-day normality? What is the best way of staying happy throughout the festive season?

One thing I realised I have been guilty of in the past is using Christmas and the holiday as an excuse not to do the things I'd do in any other week of the year. Things that make me feel good, like exercise. Or I do things I wouldn't usually do in a regular week, like unnecessary shopping (lured by the sales) or eating way too much chocolate. Lots of people complain that they feel unhealthy, sluggish and a bit depressed after Christmas and I think these types of things are part of the reason.

It's great to have a relaxing time over Christmas, enjoy some special treats and do activities you might not have the time to do when your partner is not at home to help with the children. I think it's important to do different, fun things as a family and not worry too much about the regular routine. However, there are some things it's good to keep doing, to help keep you feel happy and healthy. If you normally go for a run, a workout or some kind of exercise, that's probably one part of your routine you might consider keeping over Christmas. You'll feel better for it and indulging in richer festive food won't then be so bad :-)

When the Christmas holiday comes to an end, your husband or partner goes back to work, and you're left with a house that needs a good clean, a body that needs a detox, your purse strings feeling tight and a pile of new gifts and sale purchases to find uses for and space to put away, you'll probably feel pretty miserable. Instead, if you do a little bit of cleaning most days (just 10 minutes of tackling one small area of the house), you won't get a build-up of dirt and clutter. If you intersperse your rich meals with healthy light foods (fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds etc) and keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water in-between glasses of wine, you won't feel so full and bloated. A brisk family walk every day can be an enjoyable activity if you go somewhere new or stop off to see friends and getting out alone for a run or to do some other kind of exercise will be reinvigorating and mood-enhancing!

It's good to remember what Christmas is all about and what it means for you and your family. I think we need to be wary of using it as an excuse to do or not do certain activities that we enjoy and benefit from, even if they don't seem so attractive at the time. You can make these things fun so they feel less of a chore. Eating healthily after a day of indulgence, can be more enjoyable if it involves cooking a new recipe and being a bit more adventurous with food. Exercise can be easy to do if you play a game or sport with family or friends. To really have a happy Christmas, you need to feel happy yourself!

Is there anything that you do or don't do , routines that you keep or discard during the holidays to keep in the festive spirit?



  1. This year we are starting a new tradition that is in line with your ideas. Now that my kids are getting a bit older we are going through their toys and getting rid of some them. It is one way to help not have the holiday clutter after Christmas but it is also a great way to teach my kids how to give. We are donating their toys to others. They are 3 and 5 years old, and I will say it is a lesson-they don't love the idea of getting rid of their stuff, but they are learning that others may need and we have plenty.

    I also agree that keeping up healthy habits does make for a more enjoyable season. You are still able to indulge and enjoy, but can enjoy it more knowing you are not undoing all your hard work!

  2. I'd totally agree on the exercise front - sadly I'm not the worlds greatest athlete but a walk every day (even if you just pop to the park for half an hour) really does help.

    Merry Christmas!

  3. Tiffany - I'm really impressed by you getting your kids to give some toys away! Like you say, it's a way to relieve some of the clutter and a great way for them to learn to live with less and give to others.

    Lucy - thanks for your comment. You're right than even a short walk in the park makes you feel tons better. Merry Christmas to you too!


Thank you for reading. I'd love to have your comments and thoughts!