I don’t know about you, but in the run up to Christmas, I find life gets really busy and my diary reaches new levels of craziness. There’s Christmas fairs, school plays, work dos and nearly everyone I know wants to meet for a drink! I am a big believer in resilience and I find it certainly makes a difference at this time of year.

I know that resilience is a real buzz word at the moment, but what exactly is it and how do you build it? For me, I look at it from a holistic point of view. It’s all about working on lots of small things in my life so that when I hit a bump in the road I am in the best position to get over it.

Although my diet is not as strict as when I was running it’s still a really important part of my life. I don’t ban any food, but I know that if I am eating a well-balanced diet my body will repair itself quicker if I get ill, which let’s face it is bound to happen at this time of year! So be mindful that you are drinking enough water and eating enough protein and fruit and vegetables, as well as enjoying a mince pie or two.

Exercise for me isn’t really about staying physically fit, (although obviously, that’s a brilliant bonus), for me, it’s more about my mental health. It’s that me time that allows me time to regroup and work through any problems. It’s heading out for a walk with my dog, or going for a run with a friend and enjoying a coffee after. It’s so important and I make a real effort to schedule it in, especially at this time of year when it can easily get pushed to the back of the to-do list.

With what seems like an endless string of evenings out planned, I really make an effort to make sure I get enough sleep. It’s so important to allow the body time to repair and the mind to recover. Over the last couple of years, I have been so tired at Christmas, that this year I have promised myself to try to say no to some of the invites and really enjoy the ones that I do go to. Learning your limits and being strong enough to say no to things is really important and will make a big difference to your life.

Finally, I urge you to try to focus on finding meaning and purpose in your life. It’s not just about me time, it’s also about working on our relationships & trying to find time to do something for someone else. Engaging in charity work or looking after children or a pet gives an extra meaning to life and further perspective on our problems. None of these things have to be huge changes, but they will really add to our levels of resilience.

Wishing you all a very Merry & Resilient Christmas,

Sally x

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