The festive season is here, and during this time it can be common to slip out of a healthy routine. You
may find yourself really busy, or maybe with a lot of free time.
Christmas is typically sold to us as the ‘season of joy’, although a 2016 study by Michael Mutz, revealed that across a large scale, people reported a lower life satisfaction and lower emotional well-being during the Christmas period.
So how can we care for ourselves during this period? Student Psychologist T’Keya Chambers and Student Exercise Physiologist Ellie Lawson share their tips on having a happy and healthy holiday season.
3 ways to look after yourself during the holiday season:
Tip 1: Keep moving, a little goes a long way!
You may find you are not exercising, which is completely okay and something we should never feel guilty about. Exercising doesn’t always have to mean going to the gym, it can be as easy as completing more incidental activity throughout the day. For example, try park your car further from the shop entrance to increase your steps, use the stairs instead of the escalators or do some squats whilst you wait for the kettle to boil!
Tip 2: Enjoy your food!
You may find yourself in social situations where there are types of food that don’t align with your diet or health goals.
Avoid restricting food entirely. You can still eat yummy food in moderation, so you don’t miss out. You can also bring a healthy meal to be shared at gatherings for everyone to enjoy!
Tip 3: Breathe in… breathe out…
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed during this time of year. Make sure you take some time out for yourself when you’re feeling stressed or worn out. Find a quiet space, maybe outside and
practice some deep breathing to calm your mind and body.
Don’t feel guilty if your health habits change during this time! It is quite normal and we can help you to get back on track in the new year!
T’Keya Chambers (Student Psychologist)
Ellie Lawson (Student Exercise Physiologist)
Mutz, M. Christmas and Subjective Well-Being: a Research Note. Applied Research Quality Life 11, 1341–1356 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-015-9441-8