Love it or hate it, the festive season is almost upon us, and (because I love it), I am already feeling the tingly happy vibes of warmer days, longer evenings and many more social events. It can be quite easy to go a bit overboard and end the ‘holidays’ feeling like you need a holiday. Here’s some party tricks that may help with that!
Turn Wine into Water – That would be a marvellous party trick (or maybe a party-pooper, depending – just thought the heading would get your attention). When you’re out and you want to enjoy a glass or two of wine, make sure that for every glass of wine, you also drink a glass of water. This will help keep you hydrated, (and stop too many passionate debates), and ease any headaches the next morning.
Exercise – I really struggle with my yoga / gym / running routine at this time of year, as social engagements all seem to fill up the spare time I set aside for this. To try and get some semblance of exercise in the mix, parking a little bit away from where you need to be, will help get a few extra steps in for you. Making sure to hit the dance-floor at parties is not only fun, but also a way to keep moving. Otherwise, diarise times that you can train, and then it will be easier to not let too many parties override exercise time. You can always go out afterwards (unless it’s hot yoga, then maybe running makeup and mincing hair is best taken home for some ‘me-time’!)
Eat before you go out – I do this a lot of the time, no lie. For me, it mostly has to do with having a massive appetite from all the exercise I do, but it is very useful for many reasons. Some places cater very small portions, and I don’t want to scare hosts (or finish what they may be closely guarding as leftovers for the next day). For the festive-season, it helps ensure you don’t inhale the buffet table, or all the birthday cakes and unhealthy stuff if you arrive drop-dead-hungry. It also helps make sure you are getting the healthy food you need, so that you can cheat a bit when you go out. You don’t need to eat a full meal before you go out – just a light snack will do!
Don’t shop hungry – This will not only help save you some cash, and stop you from filling a trolley with kilograms of ice-cream and crisps, but it extends to non-food shopping too. I know I somehow lose my mind, and my rational sensibility when I am hungry in a mall. If I eat first, I stick to my list, and am less likely to be tempted with things I don’t need. (I am also less grumpy in crowds) Give it a try and see if it works for you too, especially before the year-end gift-shopping run.
Safe in the sun – It’s just as important to be safe in the sun, as it is to be safe on the roads during the holidays. There’s nothing wrong with a very important dose of Vitamin D, and who doesn’t like the fact that we can spend more time outdoors in summer – but the sun is one of those ‘in moderation’ things… Never leave home without a hat, sunblock and even a shawl to drape over your shoulders. If you’re worried you won’t get enough vitamin D, hop on down to a health-store. You can buy patches now. How cool is that!
If you’re working through, make it fun – Holiday time is not break-time for everyone. Lots of places stay open to entertain the holidayers. If you’re one of those people working through, make it fun. Enjoy the empty roads where there used to be traffic, pack some special treats for your lunches, and feel the holiday vibes around you. If you’re not working through, be sure to spread some cheer to those you see working. Smile or joke with your waiter, or the cashier. Be patient in the queues, and be sensitive to the tiredness and strain in the faces of those that may be missing loved ones while working double-shifts.
Meaningful time with loved ones – If you’re lucky enough to be geographically near loved ones, then make sure between all the longer hours and rushing around, that you take some time out to be with them. It’s the best gift that you can give yourself, and them – the gift of time. And anyway, what’s nicer than giving thanks and celebrating with each and every person that has been your support system throughout the year?
Reflect – The change of the calendar year is a great time to take stock, reflect and pat yourself on the back. Use the time to reflect and remember all the good things that have happened in the year for you, and all the things you have achieved – and then think of some goals you’d like to achieve for the new year. Give thanks through this process as thoughts and memories pop up.
Last but not least – Rest and relax. You’ve worked hard this year, and you deserve it!