So you want this Christmas to be better than ever before? Do you want to feel like your holidays seem to have gone on forever? Do you want this to be the happiest, brightest, fun loving break you’ve ever had?
“routine is the most important aspect to maintaining happy holiday break”
Over the years I’ve seen so many people take Holidays. I’ve seen them return happy healthy vibrant and full of energy and I’ve seen them return stressed run-down tired and irritated by the thought of going back to work.
So, what’s the difference in these two groups of people?
Well we could argue about a lot about the different aspects of their life and what has and hasn’t changed, however, there are some key things that I’ve seen time and time again in people which seem to be so critical in deciding whether you have an amazing break and a fantastic return to work or you end up in grumpy land stressed and tired when life goes back to routine.
You see the human body absolutely needs routine. Now there’s two types of routine that is important to differentiate here.
The first is the habits we have from day to day. These habits are things such as which hand you brush your hair with, which route do you take to work and which foot do you kick a ball with. The more you vary these habits about the more symmetrical stimulation you get to your brain and the better the brain performs.
Then we have lifestyle routines. These routines are more about how the body functions from day to day. These include things such as what time you wake up, when do you have breakfast and what time do you go to bed. These routines require physiological or neurological adaption in order to maintain function.
When we change these routines around it creates a level of stress on the system. I’ve seen some people experience this state of stress as fatigue, I’ve seen other people experienced this as emotional stress whilst others become unwell.
Either way all routines are important to be maintained whilst we’re on our break.
In addition to these routines, the other routines that are really critical that we need to maintain our exercise routines and our dietary routines.
Unfortunately, special events often mean late nights and morning sleep ins. The key things that really suffer from this more than anything else are changes to our food preparation and changes to our exercise habits.
Whilst some late nights are expected during this time, how quickly we get back to normal often defines how good a January and summer we might have.
Over the years I’ve gathered information from the experiences from thousands of people that I’ve seen under my care and generated a few simple tips that you can do over your Christmas break to keep your system in tiptop condition.
So here are my top tips to surviving Christmas and making January the best summer period you’ve ever had!
- Don’t break your morning routine – It sounds so simple but how you start your day would dictate the tone for your entire day. If you continue to do the things you always do in the morning and wake up at similar times you have similar days it really is critical that we start each and every morning in a similar routine one that involves movement or exercise, some form of mind clearing Viet meditation, cold showers or whatever works for you and a healthy breakfast
- Prepare food in advance – One of the first things that happens as we get tired is we sacrifice food preparation. We naturally move more towards foods that require short preparation times and provide high numbers of calories. For most people this is carbohydrate and we say it over and over again when people get tired, their diets tend to move more towards a high carb based intake. The result is elevation in insulin levels or insulin resistance, reduced fat metabolism, reduced aerobic capacity and reduced endurance.
- Enjoy it, but sparingly – No I don’t mean don’t have fun, in fact the exact opposite have more fun than you ever had before, but choose the important moments to break your diet the important moments to lose a little sleep and surround those days with the best routine as possible. This will ensure you have a speed bump in your health and not run into a brick wall.
Christmas doesn’t have to be a time where weight is gained, fatigue sets in and we set ourselves up for a massive stressful start to our working year!
From everyone in my team we want to wish you the happiest and Merriest Christmas that you have ever had! Please be safe, be happy and make sure you’re set for an amazing 2021!
Remember, if you’re in trouble or need help, just reach out throughout this time. Happy to help you structure out your Christmas period or help you get back on your feet.