The festive period is a time for celebration, family time, and happiness, and we hope even this year we can still enjoy those three things! But for some, this time of year can also bring feelings of guilt, whether in the form of food, exercise or work, so we’re here to give you some tips on how to avoid the guilt this festive period. Less fear, more festive.
Today we’re back with Yasmin to help you enjoy the Christmas holidays without any guilt…
The festive period comes round once a year and lasts for a week or 2 (or for however long you want to stretch it out*). That’s 2 weeks out of 52 that mean you taking some downtime from work, indulging in more celebratory foods or drinking more alcoholic beverages than usual.
In the grand scheme of things, 2 weeks out of 52 is less than 4% of the year, so please give yourself permission to enjoy what this time of year brings with it and remove any guilt you may have. Put yourself in 99 year old you’s shoes: would you rather they looked back on holidays full of judgement, or holidays full of joy?
*for us, it’s Christmas from the 1st onwards and we’ll not hear anything more about it.
2) Don’t be hard on yourself
It has most likely been a tough and challenging year for most of us which has thrown up many unexpected challenges or obstacles. However you have had to change, adapt or react to the events of 2020, its no doubt that you have tried your hardest and given it your all.
If you are a typical ‘type A’ person who is always striving and grafting to do your best, but finds it hard to rest and break, then we want you to know that you really deserve that downtime, rest and relaxation. In fact, we are often more productive when we take breaks and periods away from work, so please do not feel guilty. Enjoy your hard-earned time to relax and enjoy the festivities, this year especially.
3) Acknowledge your achievements
It is easy for us to become self-critical and not give ourselves the credit we deserve, yet there are most likely many achievements or moments you should be proud of that have occurred this year. Try and take some time to sit down and write a list of anything positive you have achieved this year or any moments you are proud of.
These do not have to be big things, simply reacting to something in a calm manner is something to be very proud of. This is a list you can look back on before the festive period and there you will have all the reasons for allowing yourself some downtime. Celebrate your successes, because we can guarantee you’ll have plenty of them.
4) Avoid burnout
All work and no play can often lead to burnout, so it only makes sense that we allow ourselves some playtime! In more scientific terms, stress over a prolonged period of time can initially lead to heightened levels of our stress hormones, including cortisol, however if this stress and workload becomes very constant and chronic, our adrenal glands (which produce and secrete the stress hormones) can struggle to ‘keep up’ and become fatigued, leading to lower levels of stress hormones and typical symptoms of fatigue such as extreme tiredness or fatigue, increased anxiety and relying on caffeine and sugar to get through the day.
Allowing yourself rest, breaks, time for play, and things you enjoy can prevent the development of fatigue and burnout. Relax, recharge, and come back the best version of you there is: healthy and happy.
5) Feed your soul
The festive period is often filled with lots of celebratory and customary foods from mince pies and Christmas puddings, to fried doughnuts and nankhatai, and for some this can become anxiety or guilt provoking. Therefore, we wanted to highlight the fact that although these foods may be less nutritious than your everyday meals, they all have a place within the diet and these are foods that can ‘feed your soul’.
If you allow yourself to enjoy certain foods in moderation, this can often help foster healthier relationships with food in the long term. It is important to remember the importance of having 3 balanced and nutritious meals throughout the day too, to give your body some key nutrients, energy and avoid skipping meals to compensate for increased indulgence in festive foods.
Wishing you the safest & happiest break possible,
Yasmin & Team Boundless x
References: Oosterholt, B.G., Maes, J.H., Van der Linden, D., Verbraak, M.J. and Kompier, M.A., 2015. Burnout and cortisol: evidence for a lower cortisol awakening response in both clinical and non-clinical burnout. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 78(5), pp.445-451.