December is known as the ‘silly season’, and is usually a time filled with lots of fun – catching up with friends and family, work parties (if you’re lucky enough not to be rostered on), drinks, meals out, late nights and a lack of sleep. While it is a wonderful time of the year it can be very easy to get off track with your health and fitness, and people often feel a little bit balanced and out of control. Add shift work into the mix and you have quite a bit of added stress on your body and mind!
I have definitely been indulging lately, as I believe in balance and would never want to miss out on fun due to my health and fitness journey. As I’ve said before, I drink alcohol, I indulge in junk food, I skip workouts – you name it, I’ve done it.
This year though, I made a promise not to be so harsh on myself. I decided to adopt the mindset of doing what I can, when I can, and that despite getting involved in all the Christmas fun I would remain balanced this year – ensuring that all my hard work over the past 6 months wouldn’t be coming undone.
Here are the tips I’m implementing this year to help me stay balanced during the silly season!
As I’ve said before, I used to be the kind of person who would miss a few workouts and completely give up. This year, I made a promise to myself that I would stay committed and fit in my workouts when I could. I’ve had a lot of people visiting me in Brisbane over the past two months, and that meant that some weeks I could only fit in one or two gym sessions or a walk. Any workout is progress, so instead of getting caught up in negativity I congratulated myself on making that session and reaping the benefits.
I also have been trying to fit in exercise wherever I can. Some days I might go for a walk in the park, or do a 20 minute yoga video before work and other days I make time for a run, a workout at the gym or at home or my personal training session.
Speaking of at home workouts, they are great for when you are pressed for time. YouTube has so many quick, easy workout videos that you can do without any special equipment! Next time you only have 30 minutes free and can’t make it to the gym or for a walk try one of these!
I have been scheduling my exercise around my shifts, and writing in when I plan to go for a walk or head to the gym. Personal training is a non-negotiable for me – it’s very easy to bail when you don’t have anyone to answer to, but knowing that my trainer is relying on me keeps me accountable. Additionally, planning your exercise around your shifts means that you are more likely to get it done, rather than waiting until you feel like it…because let’s be honest, you may never feel like it!
Remember that just like one healthy meal won’t automatically change everything, a little bit of junk food won’t undo all your hard work. It’s important to have a healthy relationship with food, ensuring there is no emotional attachment or guilt involved in your food choices. It’s Christmas, so make sure you enjoy yourself! There is nothing better than a chocolate from an appreciative patient, a few wines with your friends, or a lovely meal shared with your family. Don’t go overboard, but don’t let an obsessive and restrictive lifestyle stand in the way of enjoying your life! Find your balance.
Pictured above (image taken by my sister) is a green juice, tumeric latte and salad and hummus sandwich on wholemeal bread from Aromas Cafe in Noosa. I don’t ordinarily eat bread but can say I thoroughly enjoyed this sandwich. Having a lot of people visiting me meant that I was going out for a lot of meals. I know this is true for a lot of people, especially around December. I found that making sure I ordered the ‘healthier option’ (lots of veggies, lean source of protein) the majority of the time meant that I wasn’t getting too off track with my healthy eating.
Additionally, make sure that you are taking time for yourself in between your shifts, Christmas shopping, drinks, dinners, parties and everyday life. Even just five minutes of silence and deep breathing can help you feel more calm, focused and productive. It is easy to get overwhelmed this time of year, so work out what helps to keep you feeling good and incorporate these things into your routine.
And finally, enjoy yourself! Whether you are working or lucky enough to be off during this Christmas period, make sure you enjoy yourself and take a moment to be grateful for everything you have.
Image source: Unsplash