Thank you to our beautiful positive lifestyle programmer and energetic wellness catalyst Marissa Frew who has written this article to help you survive the silly season, whether you’re travelling or staying at home
Every year we prepare ourselves for some Christmas madness! With presents to buy, family to manage, food to prepare and the rest it’s not no wonder it’s called the ‘silly season’! Add to the mix that many are now traveling over the Christmas period whether that be for work, to visit family, to have a holiday or a last minute emergency. Navigating ones way around Christmas is getting trickier each year. The good news is there are some simple tricks you can do to maintain your health and at least try to make it through relatively emotionally unscathed and less bloated.
Before you go away set dates in your calendar for when you plan to exercise. You have to be disciplined! Really work at sticking to the times you’ve allocated. Even if you only make it some of the time, you’ve at least given it a go.
If the gym is not your thing or if you’re not within the vicinity of one then google some travel WODs (workouts of the day) that can be achieved using your own body weight, within the small space of a hotel room. Most of these exercises take no more than 20minutes and you’ll feel great after.
There’s also yoga! Just take a small yoga mat with you on your travels then you can enjoy some gentle stretching to wake you up each day.
Ask your hotel for a map of local run/walking trails or a nearby public pool if you like swimming. Whatever it is you choose to do at least you’ll alleviate some of that bloated, over fed, Christmas build up in your belly.
So we all know that Christmas is that unavoidable time of year when we all manage to stuff our faces with food that ain’t so good for us. Day after day there is an abundance of Christmas pudding, meat, seafood and more! With all the food available it’s impossible to go hungry and more likely you will feed yourself into an early coma….boooo!
A simple trick is to dig in and eat the salad first. I’m not talking the creamy potato salad but more so any salads filled with raw green leaves! Get yourself a big plate of that (cause you can never have too much) and add a small portion of meat or seafood on the side. When you’re done take a break for 15 minutes. If you still find you’re craving more food then snack lightly on some ham, seafood or salads and avoid the potato, pasta, breads and deep fried options.
This goes for all hotel buffets too!
Most of the time our hunger is really the body crying out for fluids. No, this does not suggest downing a massive glass of Pepsi or a jug of booze! This means water. Crystal clear, simple water. If you’re travelling by air to arrive at your destination you will more than likely be dehydrated. Combined with recycled hotel air conditioning as well as the searing temperatures of summer and you have a nasty combination.
Start your days with a good 600ml of water and an hour or two before you eat be sure to drink some more. Then at least you know your hunger’s not some kind of twisted trickery
The last thing anyone’s going to follow through with is giving up booze over Christmas. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a few drinks over the holidays but as with any other time of year alcohol is to be respected. Cabin pressure and recycled air really dehydrates the body so if you’re flying to get to your holiday destination best restrict alcohol consumption during your flight or at least get in loads of water before and during.
Whether on a flight or not be mindful of how many drinks you’re consuming and drink a glass of water in between each glass. This way you can at least stay hydrated and be less likely to want that extra glass of champers! Always eat something before you consume any alcohol and of course don’t go mixing your drinks.
Christmas tends to be the perfect excuse for people to lose control and drink excessively. Your body’s not going to thank you for it on that first day back at the gym, nor will your family if you start the verbal onslaught of the years unresolved issues…wooops!
Don’t you just love the array of holiday treats! I’m talking sugary, creamy, chocolate, biscuit, custard goodness that always tastes amazing at the time but does no justice to our waistline or our overall health! Too much of this stuff will certainly have you befriending the toilet or at least clenching your belly by days end.
None the less I say ‘enjoy!’ Having said that be mindful of your levels of enjoyment! Traveling is a killer if you’re trying to watch what you eat. The good news is snacking on good food whilst abroad is just as easy as snacking on bad food so try and change what you’re looking out for when you’re in the mood to munch on something.
Remember that going hungry is just like a little detox for your digestion so better to eat nothing than eat something fatty or filled with sugar. Let yourself have a small portion of the sweet stuff after each meal but avoid snacking on it and stop yourself from over indulging!
We are so blessed to live in the day and age of smart phones, mobile phone apps, social media and Skype. There are so many ways we can now connect with our loved ones and be with them when we can’t physically be with them If you find yourself separated from your loves ones, traveling overseas during the Christmas break then use these avenues as much as you can. Call and connect, send photos, Skype or use whatsApp for free messaging and phone calls.
The whole Christmas gift giving tradition can get a little out of control! Most gifts are soon forgotten, re-gifted or thrown away without any real appreciation. What better gift to give than an exciting, fun experience that brings you together with friends and family. Why not invest in tickets to a show or set a date when you’ll prepare a meal for everyone. Perhaps organizing a hike through a national park followed by Christmas lunch.
If you find yourself away from home or in a different country this Christmas this is the perfect way to explore your new surroundings. Check out what one day experiences are available in your local area. Or if you have friends or family traveling to visit your home you can book a tour, hike, cruise or show in their new found destination. Much more fun than loading up on more stuff.
Sadly some kids are losing their appreciation of what Christmas is really be about. So instead of giving more unwanted gifts why not find ways to give your time and invite your kids to give back to the community, recycle and/or volunteer!
You can also bring your friends together to paint and decorate collected toilet rolls, old jars or papier-mâché Christmas decorations.
Oxfam and World Vision have a nice selection of pressies and gift donations where you can purchase cards for an allocated amount and dependent on which card you choose the funds go to goats, education, mosquito nets and school lunches for those who need it most. There’s also TuShare, an online avenue to swap and share any of your old, unused items.
If you’ve travelled internationally for work or a family holiday you and your family can donate time and/or unwanted possessions to the local community or charity.
Do what you can to enjoy this crazy time of year and help others to enjoy it with you. Give thanks for everything you have and appreciate the blessings you’ve been given. Gratitude is above all else the best gift you can give yourself and those around you.
Merry, merry christmas and best wishes to you and your family for 2014!
Marissa is a positive lifestyle programmer and energetic wellness catalyst and is the founder of Life Elements. She has been a physical trainer for over 6 years specialising in flexibility and movement and has a true passion for understanding and experiencing the energetic elements of health and how they support, nurture and develop the body and soul. She is the creator of the most amazing health and lifestyle programs such as Blessed energy and Fit to Travel. Blessed energy came about from her commitment as the health director at Model Academy Australia, supporting the health and empowerment of young aspiring models and the recently launched Fit to Travel is making waves in the travel industry for it’s specialised focus on the health of corporate frequent flyers. Marissa is an inspiring guest speaker, writer and lover of all things that assist in creating a vibrant, energised and positively fuelled lifestyle.
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