How to find that healthy balance during the holiday season

It is officially the holiday season now – end of year parties have begun, gift buying is in full swing, and I personally believe it’s socially acceptable to start playing Mariah Carey’s All I want for Christmas.

With all the hype of the holiday season, it can be easy to get caught up in over-doing it and trying to fit in as much as possible into these last few weeks of the year. Throw a pandemic into the mix and we have even more catching up to do after months, or possibly years, of not seeing certain loved ones. So, it is understandable that whilst there is so much joy during December, there can also be a lot of stress too.

It is quite the balancing act when you must decide between which events to attend and which to decline, which foods to indulge in and which are better left on the plate. Sometimes you want to do it all, but not at the expense of your health and happiness.

So, whilst you’re in the midst of the holiday festivities, here are a few gentle reminders to keep in mind for your own health, peace and happiness:

  1. You do not need to say yes to every party you are invited to

The best advice I have heard about setting healthy boundaries, particularly when you’re prone to being a yes person is, “when you are saying yes to others, make sure you are not saying no to yourself,” (Paulo Coelho). If saying yes to every invitation is putting you in situations with people you don’t feel good being around or it’s taking you away from valuable time doing things that are good for you, then are you sacrificing your own wellbeing at the expense of pleasing others?

2. It’s OK to indulge and not make up for it later

During the festive season those favourite sweets you haven’t eaten in a while make an appearance and there may be more drinking-related events than usual. It is your choice to enjoy these indulgences that come with special occasions, and you do not need to shame yourself for this occasional treat. If you allow yourself to indulge and then starve yourself the next day or over-work your body at the gym to make up for it, then you haven’t really allowed yourself the indulgence, you just punished yourself for it. The same goes if you choose to decline these treats. You don’t owe anybody anything if you don’t eat the pie they made for your party or the shots they bought you at the bar.

3. Give gifts from the heart and because you want to

For some the most exciting part of the festive season is gift-giving. It can give you so much pleasure finding the perfect gift for someone and then eagerly watching their reaction as they open it. For others gift-giving doesn’t sit so well and the thought of the Christmas shopping madness, the excess of unneeded toys and the obligatory involvement in a workplace KK is enough to shy away from the whole process. Gift-giving is definitely an area that requires a little balance and perspective. Do what you feel comfortable with and keep an open mind to how others experience it to find that balance, particularly when it comes to gift-exchanging.

4. Enjoy the moment and happy holidays!

This has been quite a year for many of us and the holiday season is a nice time to relax, enjoy and celebrate with loved ones.

I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season! Stay updated with future posts like this by subscribing below.