Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas madness

Christmas means different things to each of us. For some, it is a time to reflect over the past year while providing an opportunity to relax and unwind with family and loved ones. For others, the marathon shopping trips, the huge preparation involved with Christmas lunch or dinner and perhaps even the mere thought of having to spend an afternoon with the extended family is enough to wish the ordeal over before it has even begun. A little preparation and some added Christmas joy can make a big difference to your Yuletide celebrations.

  • Thinking caps on: no-one wants to be wandering aimlessly around the shopping centre trying to think of gifts to buy. I’ve seen Christmas trolley rage and it’s not pretty. To avoid this, sit down with a cuppa and have a think about who you need to buy for and some possible gift ideas. Search the net for online buying options and try to get this area covered as soon as you can. Not only will you save time but this will help reduce those expensive impulse purchases.
  • For a good cause: think about donating to a reputable charity. There are so many needy people around the city/country/world that the gift of giving shouldn’t stop at your doorstep. You can give as much as you are able and hold your head high knowing that you have made a meaningful contribution.
  • Get into the spirit: and I’m not referring to the left over pudding Brandy either. It’s easy to lose sight of what Christmas means to us individually so take heed of what the angels have to say and promote peace on earth and goodwill towards others. This really shouldn’t be a seasonal thing, rather something you aspire to do everyday.
  • Treat yourself: although it’s called the holiday season, it rarely feels like a holiday at times. If you can’t get away for a decent break, make time for yourself to recharge the batteries. You might want to go to the beach or park with a book, catch up with the girls for lunch or go see a movie.
  • A helping hand: if you are feeling particularly stressed this time of year, there are some wonderful nutrients that can help support and nourish the nervous system. Essential fatty acids, B group vitamins and magnesium will replenish lost nutrients due to stress and herbs such as Withania, Licorice and Ginseng can improve how the body copes with stress.
  • Enjoy the ride: stay active during the Christmas break. Not only will this benefit your weight loss efforts but will also help you to de-stress. Try summer sports such as swimming, tennis or beach volleyball (don’t forget your sunscreen). Christmas isn’t a time for laziness, be consistent with your efforts and start the New Year in a positive way.
  • Boozy rouge: hangovers are hard to handle at the best of times and almost impossible during such a busy time of year. Drink responsibly to reduce excess calories and to lighten the load on your liver. You’ll thank yourself the next day.
  • Be happy and enjoy yourself: make the most of this time you have and embrace the Christmas spirit. It only comes around once a year so enjoy the sun, smiles and Santa and don’t forget the mistletoe!