So Christmas is upon us, the lights are starting to go up and the shops are full of Christmas decorations. This is the exciting time of year where you wrap up warm and go Christmas shopping whilst stopping for the well-earned cup of tea (or glass of prosecco).
We all know what comes next; Christmas drinks, work Christmas parties and the over indulging starts. Then Christmas hits, more drinks flow… and the food, oh the food. We end up thinking “ just one more” on most things – and why not? It’s been a long year and this is a time to celebrate and enjoy the company of friends and family, which I completely agree with. I am not saying that we should drink 3 bottles of wine a day and have 5 meals a day. But I am saying that it is important to have fun! Sometimes we can start overthinking and telling ourselves off before we have even finished our Christmas lunch, which in my opinion, isn’t always for the best. Focusing on our mental health over Christmas is really important.
Firstly, here are a few excellent phrases that I use that I would like to share with you.
- It’s OK to have that extra mince pie, its Christmas.
- Rewarding myself by eating what I want over Christmas isnt that bad!
- Prosecco and mulled wine are not required with every meal, but its OK to have a few drinks with family and friends.
- And my personal favourite – Sucking in your stomach is not the same as losing weight; but it’s an excellent short term fix.
Rather than go on about what not to do and that exercise is key (As we all know this), I just want to highlight the importance of mental health through this time of year. Due to this there are a few pieces of Christmas advice I would like to share:
- Spend time with family. Studies have shown that spending time with a caring family can significantly increase brain function. In a child’s brain it has even been shown that it increased the production of gray and white brain matter which are the main components of their developing nervous system. Basically, it makes us smarter!
- Laugh Lots! Laughing with friends and family not only makes us feel good but has amazing health benefits. Laughing can help to reduce blood pressure, improve our immune system, help to produce dopamine (our happy hormone) and even can reduce the risk of heart attacks.
- Give your family a hug. Did you know that hugs have been shown to a significant stress reliever? They also aid the release of Oxytocine which can make us feel happy, reduce stress and even increase our immune system. Studies have shown that a 10 second hug can significantly change our mood for the entire day!
However, the most important thing is to have a Wonderful Christmas and enjoy it with no guilt. Yes the jeans may be slightly more snug and we may have become festively plump. But remember, the gym will still be there in the new year, and we are always on hand to help you with your aches and pains and give any advice you need to help you reach your goals in 2020.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from The Thornbury Clinic team!