Five ways to deal with Christmas
I work in sales and as we approach Christmas I am constantly going to functions. I find this time of year incredibly stressful, so how can I support myself/my health during this time? Thanks, Alexa
RE-EVALUATE THE TO-DOLIST
Re-evaluate your to-do-list, how many of the items on it need to be done by you? How many can be done by a colleague, family member or friend? How many of them need to be done now? How many of them need to be done at all? Try to keep tasks in perspective and learn to prioritise.
JUST SAY NO
It is time to put less pressure on yourself in all aspects of your life. So often our own expectations or pressure can cause us to burn the candle at both ends. Don’t be afraid to say no to commitments when they’re the last thing you feel like. Only you can take care of your health and happiness and often learning to say no is the best place to start. Use the time you gained to do something you love – go for a walk, practise some yoga moves or simply curl up on the couch with a good book – you will feel so much better for it.
If you find yourself stressing about all of the people you have to buy for – flip this around. Consider instead how lucky you are to have so many loved ones.
COMMIT TO A MORNING ROUTINE
If your days are getting more and more jam-packed starting your day with a restorative routine can make all the difference to help your mindset and allow you to start your day with a feeling of spaciousness. Go for a walk, sit with a cup of tea and watch the sunrise or simply practise long, slow belly breaths while you wait for the kettle to boil. It will make all the difference to your energy in what can be a hectic time.
PUT YOUR LEGS UP THEWALL
A great way help you breathe diaphragmatically is to lay on your back with your legs up the wall. Lie in this position for 5-10 minutes and focus on your breath. Place a folded towel under your back or bottom for support if you like. Take 10 minutes to fully relax into this pose, it’s especially restorative with some soothing music.
AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
So often in the whirlwind of the silly season we forget to stop and reflect on all that we already have. If you find yourself stressing about all of the people you have to buy for, or what you should wear to your Christmas party and so on – flip this around. Consider instead how privileged you are to have so many loved ones and that you have the opportunity to celebrate with them.
I’ve recently been advised to remove dairy (for gut health) from mydiet. The thing I found the hardest by far is what to use as a milk alternative. What is the most like trim milk? Thanks, Hollie.
Hi Hollie. There are many nondairy alternatives available now. You can make your own nut milks using soaked almonds or cashews or coconuts, or you can generally purchase rice, oat, almond, even hazelnut or macadamia milk.
I have found that most people find rice milk similar in taste and consistency to trim milk. If buying a milk alternative, check the label for added sweeteners and avoid those. A word that will typically appear on the label if an additional sweetener has been used is ‘maltodextrin’. It can be good to mix up the types of milk alternatives you use, choosing a different one each month, for example.
Dr Libby is a nutritional biochemist, best-selling author and speaker. The advice contained in this column is not intended to be a substitute for direct, personalised advice from a health professional. Visit drlibby.com.