As fun as the party season can be, many of us are left with that dreaded sluggish feeling having overindulged. But instead of suffering a festive come-down, psychologist Rachel Andrew reveals her top tips for finding balance this December
1. Pace yourself
The initial burst of excitement that is Christmas time gives our bodies a rush of adrenaline. The aim of this is to energise us to be at our best for a short period of time. That level of energy is completely unsustainable over a prolonged period. We need time for our bodies and minds to recuperate in between.
2. Replace some of your ‘shoulds’ with ‘wants’
‘Shoulds’ often relate to our sense of responsibility and expectation. List all the things you think you should be doing at Christmas time and in January, and then list all the things you actually want to do. You won’t be able to get rid of all your ‘shoulds’ but try to limit them where you can so your lists are equal.
3. Recognise your feelings
So many people can feel ‘over’ Christmas and it’s important to know that feeling like this says nothing about you as a person. It does not make you bad, abnormal or miserable. It sounds cliche to say that your feelings are normal and that others feel the same, but this research indicates exactly this. It is comforting to know that many others understand and feel exactly the same.
4. Challenge your norm
Ask yourself, “What gets in the way of me doing something different?” You may know what you want to do but something still stops you from choosing to do it. It can be difficult and complicated to make changes. If it wasn’t, we would be all living the ‘Christmas lives’ we want to. Just knowing what the obstacles are and trying to overcome them step by step can be useful.
5. Practise saying, 'No' and 'I can’t'
You may choose to offer an explanation or an apology but be confident that you don’t need to give one. This isn’t something that always comes easily so practise it each day like any new skill.
Rachel is working with Gordon's ultra-low alcohol gin and tonic to help people find a better balance in December so that they can still enjoy January and be generally healthier during both months.