And just like that we are drawing a close to another year! Our out of office statuses have been set and our social calendars are almost full. Whilst this time of year allows many people to enjoy some much-deserved rest and relaxation, it is important that we continue with the healthy habits we have built upon during the year.
Continue reading to find out our top tips to help you navigate the silly season.
1. Make exercise a non-negotiable habit.
Physiotherapist and Life! Facilitator Amanda recommends making exercise a habit. Just like cleaning our teeth every day, exercise can be looked at as a non-negotiable healthy habit. Most of our daily tasks are routines – so by tagging exercise to our existing routine behaviours, we can make sure we get it done, even during the Christmas break! For example, adding in a non-negotiable 30-minutes’ walk before breakfast, or completing 25 chair squats before each meal.’
2. Include healthy eating fundamentals.
Incorporate healthy eating fundamentals at each meal by following the Healthy Plate Model. You can think of following the healthy plate model like having a level of insurance – it means that with each meal you are nourishing your body with vitamins and minerals, fibre, protein, and healthy fats.
3. Remember that it is okay to say no!
There will always be people trying to convince us to have that extra portion of food or fill up our glass without asking first. Whilst they may have positive intentions, setting healthy boundaries is important for our wellbeing all year round but especially during the festive season.
Next time someone tries to add extra food to your plate, how about asking if you could take that portion home instead for leftovers? This shapes the conversation so your friend or family member knows that you appreciate their food but would like to enjoy it when you are ready – not when you are being forced to!
4. Mindful Alcohol Consumption
To reduce the risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury, the Australian guidelines recommend that men and women drink no more than 10 standard drinks a week, and no more than 4 standard drinks on any one day.
We suggest incorporating the following tips to ensure a responsible silly season.
- Consume two glasses of water between every alcoholic drink.
- Choose the “light” options or pre-made drinks that contain no more than one standard serve of alcohol per can/bottle.
- Avoid pre-mixed drinks, these are often high in calories and sugar. Consider sugar-free and/or low-calorie non-alcoholic alternatives.
- Avoid drinking on an empty stomach
- Practice mindfulness
It is normal to experience feelings of overwhelm as our social calendars fill up, especially as we learn to navigate life after a pandemic and start living with COVID-19.
Make the most of free services that can assist you to manage your mental health. Visit head to health and see what courses, community groups, or health services are available to you.