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Who needs a Christmas survival guide?

All of us! Despite the fact that while the traditional party season has begun, everything is getting cancelled. A couple of weeks ago it was all looking very jolly and bubbly, and now it is all being crossed off in the diary which is so sad and frustrating.

It has been yet another challenging year in so many ways and now that the most fun time of the last twelve months has arrived, it is difficult to feel excited and thrilled because so many of the hugely pleasurable activities which used to be available to us during the festive season are restricted. Certainly not as much as last year, thank goodness, but still very far from what we used to do and enjoy.

And therein lies the need for a Christmas Survival Guide! Definitely not the customary one I used to share several years ago, simply one adapted to our current situation and the likelihood that, since Christmas food and drink are pretty much all that is left to us in the way of festivities, we are far more likely to over-indulge, to pamper ourselves, to treat ourselves to an excess of everything in order to make up for the deficit of pleasure and entertainment – more turkey, more goose, more ham, more chipolatas, more stuffing and bread sauce; more mince pies, more Christmas pudding, more brandy butter, more champagne and port. And while that may all feel satisfying and gratifying and cheering at the time, it will bring consequences in the form of extra pounds on your hips, an overloaded liver, a digestive system under pressure, a heavy head and a foggy brain!

We may tell us ourselves that it is worth it, and in so many ways YES it is, but we can take some very easy steps to make recovery in the New Year that much easier.

So here are a few tips to help us all enjoy the festive season and sail into the New Year with energy, enthusiasm and looking like a million dollars.

1. Enjoy yourself! That is absolutely top of the list. Don’t under any circumstances decide to go on a diet BUT, set yourself a “maintenance goal” instead as this will give you the freedom to celebrate without any feelings of deprivation or yearnings for rebelliousness

2. Plan your menus ahead of the holidays so that you are sure to stock up on healthy choices as well as festive ones. That way you will have something delicious and natural to fall back on as and when you can’t face another mince pie

3. Choose your alcoholic poison carefully. Avoid creamy or sweet drinks, and try to drink with food in order to avoid the impact of the sugars from any alcoholic beverages on your blood stream

4. Make the effort to incorporate your usual amount of exercise into your day during the holidays – a brisk, energising walk is perfect and can make an enormous difference to your wellbeing

5. Drink plenty of pure water. This will encourage you not to overeat and it will also help you to feel so much better the next day. At least eight glasses a day! Even more perhaps as alcohol is dehydrating and the champagne will dry you out like nothing else

6. Watch your portion sizes, particularly anything containing simple carbohydrates – perhaps two rather than three deliciously crisp roast potatoes and just a modest slice of Christmas pudding

But above all, have plenty of much deserved fun, rejoice, celebrate, and get ready for a very different new year.

And just a reminder to join my free Facebook group, Let’s Age Dynamically. It is a private, safe environment for all of us, men and women, well into MidLife&Beyond where we can talk about any health challenges which are facing us as we grow older and learn to age dynamically and by design, rather than passively and by default. This is the link: and I look forward to seeing you there.

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