I really love Christmas time, the parties, the food, seeing friends and family, but like most people it can often feel stressful managing all the extra stuff on top of an already busy life. I spend a lot of time talking to businesses about how their staff can manage their work/life balance and how to make healthier choices and I find that this is even more important to consider at Christmas time. So here’s my guide to making it through the festive season healthily, happily and productively.

As anyone who has heard me talk will know I am a big believer in being prepared and planning ahead. Everything feels more manageable when you know what you have to do. Our workload doesn’t reduce just because it’s the holidays, yet with work Christmas parties, nativity shows to attend and Christmas shopping to do it’s really important to manage your time properly. Make a to-do list with all the important things that need to be done before 25th December and try to get things done first thing in the morning, before you get. It’s also really important if you are taking time off that everyone in your business knows when you are away and that you have arranged appropriate cover, this way you can properly relax and enjoy your time off; no one wants to be checking emails on Christmas day!

People always tell me that they find their exercise routine slips in December. It can be hard to get up for that morning spin class the morning after the work drinks, but you will definitely find that getting some form of exercise over the month will help raise your energy levels and make you sleep better at night. Again it’s all about getting organised. Check out when there’s a rain-free day forecast and schedule in a run, or rather than meeting a friend in the bar straight from work why not go to a class together and then go for dinner after. You will enjoy those mince pies all the more if you have done a bit of exercise! I know that the dark days and the cold weather can be off-putting, but remember there’s no such thing as bad weather only bad clothes.

Finally, if you have been making healthy choices all through the year, try not to stop just because it’s Christmas. With all the socialising that comes at this time of year meal times can become all-over-the-place, so try to eat at regular intervals and always start the day with a healthy breakfast like a green smoothie or a bowl of porridge. With party season in full swing there’s canapés at every corner. Try not to graze on these as they are often really high in fat. Instead eat a healthy meal before you go to a party so you don’t arrive starving and eat too many. This will also help you to not get too drunk! Talking of which I love a Christmas tipple but have learnt that fizzy drinks can make you feel drunk faster, so instead of a rum & coke try a vodka orange or a red wine instead.

Have an amazing Christmas and New Year!

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