Self Helping During The Holidays.

There is so much fun stuff going on in the last week of December, don’t you think?

Christmas for one thing. With all the unnecessary mocking and hating I do on wintertimes, I have always loved Christmas. ‘Voluntarily’ going to church with my parents and pointing out the people feeling asleep during the sermon to my brother. Wearing something sparkly or festive because otherwise my grandmother is going to give me a hard time about not looking ‘ladylike’. Eating more food than I previously thought fit in me and almost passing out on the couch before 8 because of the severe food coma. Spending quality time with my family members, watching my cousins pound my iPad in an attempt to get 3 stars in Angry Birds. Love it.

And then there is New Year’s Eve! My last two New Years have been quite magical. There was a lot of techno and Manfriend midnight kissing involved. I’m guessing we’re doing that again this year; it’s like a modern tradition with the ‘fun’ in dysfunctional.

So during this final week of 2012, with all this social stuff, food extravaganza and preparation stress, it’s really easy to let slide -or you know, completely abandon- your own needs and things you like to do.

For me, that is a really bad idea any time of the year, but especially now. I get…unpleasant when I don’t feel good, which doesn’t help the Chrismassy and festive mood. So, I do my best to make myself feel good, by taking care of myself and taking some prevention measures.

  • Exercise. Not only does it make me feel great and relaxed, it revs up my metabolism and makes me want to eat cleaner (meaning I’ll skip the second third round of dessert). Although December 2012 can definitely go down as the worst yoga class attendance month this year, I don’t skip the workouts on the 24th, 25th and 26th. Before yoga I used to go on a 5-7 km run in the morning on the Christmas days. I find it really makes me relaxed and especially for people who worry about weight and food it’s a good strategy to not stress so much about it.
  • Up The Greens. When it comes to Christmas I have a very simple plan: I eat really healthy…right up until the point that I don’t! So on the day(s) before and Christmas morning, I up my intake of green juice, superfood smoothies, salads and fresh fruit. By doing this, I have gotten in all necessary nutrients and feel like I have some ‘wiggle room’. Consequently, I am completely okay with whatever rich and creamy dish I am going to devour by the time I sit down at the dining room table.
  • Spend some time alone.  I love being with people, but I need to be alone. I become withdrawn, closed off and downright unpleasant if I can’t have a few moments to myself. Basically if I want to function like a normal person, I have to be left alone a couple of hours a day so I can recharge and be my normal pleasant self again when I’m with people. Knowing this, I get up a little earlier to spend some time alone behind my laptop or on my yoga mat, and I bring a book and notepad so I can escape for half an hour for reading and writing during the day if necessary.
  • No alcohol for me. Sorry to be a bore, but I don’t drink at Christmas. Apart from the rare glass of white wine, I have always spent Christmas sober: I really enjoy my Christmas family dinner without alcohol — It helps none of my family members drive me to drinking. I save alcohol for parties where I can make a fool of myself, thank you very much. No alcohol means drinking water, which is healthy. No alcohol also helps me getting right back into my usual groove after Christmas as I don’t suffer any after effects.

And that, dear boys and girls, is how The Self Help Hipster stays sane during The Holidays. How about you? Tips on dealing with relatives, feeder-grandmothers (“Come on sweetie, eat another turkey leg! You need to grow!”) and all that?

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  1. What, no drinking at Christmas???? I am somewhat of a drunk and I really can’t imagine christmas dinner without all the tasty wines! On further notice, I try to stay calm when I have to prepare the lamb or chocolate cheesecake and not to stress out. And I eat, a lot, that’s about it. I love christmas!
    Have a lovely christmas, SHH!

  2. Christmas will be very boring here. Just had a christmas Eve dinner and yeah… what should I say. The people I was with were somewhat immature.
    There won’t be family or loved ones to celebrate it with, they are all far away :'( I will teach a bit and than get in bed, watch a movie and eats lots of chocolate.

    New Year’s I’ll be in Beijing, partying, but staying sober!

  3. Hetzelfde met sporten en gezond eten. Daarnaast zorg ik dat mijn huis opgeruimd en gepoetst is, zodat ik steeds fijn thuis kan komen.

  4. I try to exercise during Christmas as well. I just woke up just to be alone for a few minutes and will take a shower soon in order to be ready to take a 2 hour walk (on my own. I spoke too many people at work lately, so I need to be alone as I am most of the time when I am in Maarssen). It makes me feel much better and healthier and makes me a little bit less guilty for all the great (bad and some unhealthy) food I get tonight. This is the only day that I have a day off from work. Tommorrow I am working all day and I am glad about it. I am not much of a Christmas person (everybody tries to be ‘happy’ and ‘fun’ which is counterproductive and people start to be grumpy and stuff like that. I hate that. X-mas is overrated). So tomorrow I will work all day and spend the day with the old people who stay at home or not having any family coming over. Hopefully making the second X-mas day more Chrismassy for them. When I finished work, I will go to Sunday’s with my sister just to relax a few minutes on a sunbed and to soak up some vitamin D.
    Your Christmas rituals sounds really good and logical! Except for the green juices, I sort of have the same rituals as you have 🙂 Too bad I don’t have a juicer to make green juices (I never know what to add, btw haha) or a blender at my parents’ place. Have a nice Christmas!

  5. Oh ja, die laatste zin… Dat doet mijn oma normaal gesproken altijd, behalve dit jaar! En ik geloof dat ze er dit jaar wel een keer reden toe had. 🙂
    Mijn strategie voor de feestdagen is een hele slechte: mezelf uitzetten en de tijd uitzitten. Yeah, I know.

  6. Love the tips to keep sane over the holidays. Alone time is a big one for me…I can only take so much socializing. I was able to slip away to a yoga class which was nice. Hope you had a good Christmas. I wanted to let you know that after religiously reading your blog (and blogs, in general) for well over a year, you have inspired me to start my own, it’s about damn time!! No more lurking, it’s time to make my presence known on the internet haha. Happy New Year as well!
    Sonia xx