As we near the end of October, dare I say it, our thoughts turn to Christmas.

Are you one of the many who dread it? The planning, the financial implications, the over indulgence, relentless social events, school events, spending time with people we don’t want to because we feel obliged to… Sound familiar?

I simplified Christmas about 15 years ago. It was after listening to a psychologist talk on the radio about the unnecessary stress we put on ourselves during that time of year. His words resonated, so I changed the format. If you’d like to make your Christmases more enjoyable here are my tips.

  1. Only buy presents for those in your household. Try a secret Santa with your closest family members and your friends. This cuts down the amount of presents you are buying AND wrapping!

  2. Only say Yes to the events you really want to go to. I don’t go to anything I don’t want to, it takes something pretty spectacular for me to leave the house on a December night. If you’re not great with saying No, here are a few different ways to do it.

  • I'd rather not.

  • I'm afraid I can't.

  • If only I could!

  • No thanks, I won't be able to make it.

  • Not this time.

  • I wish I was able

  • That sounds fun but I’m not available

  1. Free yourself of the guilt. Literally EVERYONE over indulges at Christmas, enjoy it. The average Christmas Lunch is a whopping 3500 calories. A little extra weight gained over Christmas is normal and something you can address in the New Year along with the rest of the world.

  2. Keep your workout routine as a priority, it also makes you feel less guilty about the booze and chocolate.

  3. This is the most important one. Only spend time with people you want to. How many of you visit family or entertain family you don’t really like? Just because they’re family does not make it mandatory to see them. It’s that sacrificing presence for peace. It’s self care, if you’re not looking after your mental health, no one else will.

In short, learn to say no and do what’s right for you.

Naomi Hawkins Fitness

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