Have you noticed that navigating Christmas seems to get tougher every single year? It’s one thing to juggle it all when you’re in your 20s and 30s. But as you enter your 40s and beyond, navigating Christmas goes from being an enjoyable sail to trying to stay afloat during a hurricane!
Before I started to get smart about how to handle the holidays, I was a complete mess:
- I would ALWAYS gain weight over the Christmas period (and it wouldn’t magically disappear in the New Year either!)
- I never had enough energy to play with the kids, go for a walk on the beach or really enjoy my break
- Even when I didn’t drink alcohol, I felt hungover from the food choices, sleep deprivation and stress
- Instead of doing what I wanted to do, I ended up lazing around and napping (but never really felt refreshed)
Sound familiar? If you struggle to keep a lid on your perimenopause symptoms during Christmas, these tips will help you stay cool, calm and capable.
Tips for navigating Christmas to avoid perimenopausal symptoms
Include some downtime for yourself
Let’s face it – as mums, the holidays are rarely about us. We’re so busy planning events, buying food and presents, running the kids around and dealing with extended family… you tend to forget about taking care of yourself.
Now is the time to slot in some downtime for yourself. It could be 10 minutes each day to slowly sip your coffee before the day begins. It could be booking yourself in for an hour massage (so good!) Or it could be asking a girlfriend to watch the kids for a couple of hours so you can relax (and offer to do the same for her in return!)
Get to bed early
Now I realise this won’t be feasible every night of December! But what we want to do is get you to bed early for at least 10-15 nights of the month.
Why is this such a big one? When we are sleep-deprived, the side effects can include:
- Being less resistant to stress
- More cravings for junk and sugary foods due to insulin resistance
- Lower immunity (and a higher risk of getting sick!)
- Impaired gut health and increased inflammation
None of these are issues you want to be dealing with over the festive season. So make sure you get a good 8 hours of shut-eye as frequently as possible.
Pace your alcohol intake
I know – a cheeky glass of wine or bottle of cider goes down so well when the weather is warm! But we want to be smart with alcohol consumption.
Alcohol can irritate the gut, contribute to hormone imbalances and is toxic to the brain. So needless to say, the ideal is to skip the booze completely! But I’m all about being realistic, so here are my top tips for minimising the effects:
- Add a glass of water for every serve of alcohol – this helps to support the liver to process the alcohol and get it out of your body quicker
- Don’t ‘save up’ and binge drink – a large intake at once is far worse for your body and liver! Instead, stick to the guidelines of 4 standard drinks max per day
- Pace your intake rate – ideally, you will have no more than 1-2 standard drinks per hour. So if you stick to the recommended 4 standard drink limit, you’re looking at consuming them over 2-4 hours to reduce the negative side effects
- Save your drink for after you’ve eaten – drinking on an empty stomach speeds up absorption, which means a bigger whammy on the liver. Have your drinks after you’ve had something to eat to reduce the impact
Go for high-quality treats that you enjoy
It can be tempting to just eat and drink everything on offer over Christmas and the New Year. But ask yourself – do you really enjoy all of them, or are you consuming them simply because they are there?
There is a big difference between enjoying a luscious slice of pavlova and demolishing some store-bought party pies that are ok, but nothing to write home about! We all have different foods and drinks that are our go-to choices. For example, you won’t see me walking past a rich chocolate mousse (the real deal please – no avocado mousse in my household! 😆)
The goal is to get clear on your must-have indulgences and stick to those as your soul food choices for the season!
When in your own home, this can be easy to plan for. Make yourself your absolute favourite dish, dessert or drink and enjoy it. But you can also do this when out and socialising – before you add something to your plate or accept a drink, ask yourself if it’s something you’d love to consume.
Oh and also – you don’t have to finish everything on your plate or in your glass. If you’re feeling satiated, or you’re no longer getting joy from consuming something, put it down.
Choose nourishing meals
A lot of us think about the treat meals and cheeky desserts we have when socialising over the holidays. But statistically speaking, you have an opportunity to eat plenty of nutrient-dense meals, even over December!
Assuming you have 3 meals per day, that is 93 meals over December. Even if you have 5 or 6 social occasions that include meals, that still leaves you with over 80 meals that can be nourishing.
My recommendation? Enjoy the heck out of your delicious festive meals guilt-free! They don’t make a huge long-term difference.
Instead, make sure you’re ticking the boxes for your other meals, including:
- High in protein
- Plenty of fibre
- 2-3 serves of veggies or a serve of fruit
- Made of wholefoods
Don’t know where to start when it comes to putting together a balanced meal? Make sure you download a copy of my FREE guide, The Chaos To Calm Balanced Meal Formula.
Navigating Christmas is one thing – but what will you do when the new year rolls around?
You don’t want to spend another year feeling grumpy, exhausted, overwhelmed and barely keeping your head above water. 2022 is your year to return to feeling energised, vibrant and motivated!
Book in for a free discovery call today, and we can explore how I can help you to reboot your body and feel good again.