It’s a dark, cold morning in early January.
The wind is howling outside, you can tell it’s going to be bitter. As you’re getting ready for work, you take a look in the mirror and sigh deeply. Why is Christmas food so rich? Did you really need that third portion of leftovers the day after?
No more, you tell yourself. This is the year that you stop eating sugar. Ditch carbs. Quit drinking. Go to the gym 5 times a week and run the local half marathon. Gone forever will be the person that binged last Christmas. A lean, shiny new you is set to emerge. A rippling demi-god that will serve as an example to all lesser mortals!
Sure! Message us at the end of February if you’re sticking to all of your ‘last year you’ shaming resolutions.
This year, we’re taking a different approach.
The fact is, a modern Christmas is a time for food, family and socialising. A lot of us use this time to decompress, often after a very stressful run-up to the holiday season. It’s natural, then, that we perhaps overindulge a bit on Christmas day versus our usual Monday – so why do we ritually punish ourselves in January?
“We aren’t regularly failing ourselves, we’re enjoying the variety of a balanced lifestyle.”
A detox. A cleanse. A purge of all the ‘toxins’ – as if suddenly our body is dealing with lots of evil poisons that it doesn’t see on a daily basis anyway.
Embrace the indulgence! Yes, you ate more over Christmas. You had a couple of (big) glasses of sherry with your Nan. And…
You had a good time!
We need to accept reality
If we accept that we enjoyed ourselves last month, and that there will be birthdays, work parties and special occasions in the future where we’ll do the same thing, then we can take a more positive outlook. We aren’t regularly failing ourselves, we’re enjoying the variety of a balanced lifestyle.
“It’s your ability to make mindful choices about what your mind and body need that will have the biggest effect on your mental and physical wellbeing.”
Once you accept that, you can understand what makes you feel good and incorporate it into your everyday life. Maybe seeing more of your wider family helps de-stress you? Perhaps a big greasy burger or an extra squishy chocolate brownie is the best way to get over a bad day?
At the same time, if you’re out shopping and your cart is a sea of beige foods, you could switch items out for some nice colourful vegetables, knowing that you’ll feel better and have more energy as a result.
It’s your ability to make mindful choices about what your mind and body need that will have the biggest effect on your mental and physical wellbeing. The more mindful choices you make, the more natural it becomes in your daily routine.
All of a sudden, you’re reaching for the kale, not the potato croquettes, the greek yoghurt instead of the double cream. A walk to the shops via a quick natter and a biscuit at nan’s house feels so much better than driving there did, right?
A consistently mindful approach to daily life will hopefully be more useful to our general health and happiness than would a binge in December and a fast in January!
This month, we’re talking about building on the healthy you for the New Year.
Not big body draining ‘detoxes’, but little wellness tips and thoughts that will help us all to grow. Look out for our next blog on moving away from the ‘detox mentality’ and focussing instead on supporting your liver and kidneys for a healthy, happy you.