How to Stay Healthy over Christmas

Many people look forward to the Christmas season, where the birth of Saviour Jesus Christ is celebrated. Visiting relatives and friends and enjoying the break from the general routine can be a welcome opportunity to relax.

 However, for many others, it can be a season of dread. For whatever reason, some have been estranged from their families or friends and will spend this time alone. For others, maybe the busyness of the season leaves them totally exhausted and grumpy.

However, you may spend Christmas and the New year; the season draws us away from our usual routines and habits that keep us on an even keel. Frequent disruptions can leave us feeling unsettled and not particularly jolly!

This is a time that we should not neglect self-care. Neglecting to care for our wellbeing may lead to stopping us from enjoying the festive season, and we don’t want that!

Before, during, and after Christmas and New year, you need to take the time to look after yourself mindfully – even if it’s just in a small way.

As you know, I am a big fan of mindfulness because it brings my mind in sync with my health and wellbeing. For example, mindfulness can play a part because when you enjoy your food and are at peace when you eat, it aids your digestion and assimilation, therefore crucial to your overall health. 

If you are following me, you will know that there is far more to mindfulness than a short blog can contain. This is because I have so much to share. Therefore, I am writing another book on Mindfulness Living, which features issues around mental health. It will be published and made available to you later in 2022 – so keep a lookout for that! 

Here are Important practical Tips to help you stay well and relaxed over the festive season and into the new year.


If you are anything like me, it’s so easy to over-indulge and stop paying attention to what you’re putting in your mouth, how you are eating, or how much you’re’ actually eating. Mindful eating slows us down to appreciate what we’re eating. 

Eat with Focus

Make it your primary focus not to get distracted when eating and ensure you enjoy the meal.

Mindfulness is simply focusing on what you are doing, feeling etc- also a great practice to stop you from overeating. Mindfulness eating is simple- think about your body and stop eating when you feel full – and eat only when you feel hungry, not just because you want to or have to.

We grab a bite or two wherever we can. Without thinking about it, we eat in our cars, at our desks, walking up the street or in front of the telly, and before you know it, we have polished off far more than we should have! We lament at our growing waistline or that sickly feeling that comes with overeating. 

Overeating may become a habit but is not an ideal approach to eating and may cause digestive problems.

To eat mindfully, we need to develop god Well- Habits as I call them. When we develop the habit of eating mindfully, it will come naturally without any deliberate effort. The healthy- habit of tuning in to all the sensations while eating will make eating food a more meaningful experience and healthier for you in the long run. Develop the habit to become aware of your bodily sensations when hungry and the right time to stop feeling that hunger. 

Mindful eating is a habit to be developed to become aware when you feel satisfied and have enough to eat. Practice the following exercise in a place where it is unlikely that you will be interrupted. 

How to Eat Mindfully

  • Find a quiet space and make it enjoyable. 
  • Put your food on excellent dishes.
  • Use good cutlery you enjoy using.
  • Sit down in front of your food and take several deep breaths. 
  • Notice the colour.
  • Notice the shape of the food.
  • Notice the texture – is it appealing to you? 
  • Ask yourself, how does it smell? 
  • Notice how the food makes you feel (excited, reminiscent, happy or anxious -other). 
  • Notice these things as you begin eating. 
  • Slow down, Don’t rush to eat- take it slow.
  • Move your hand slowly toward the cutlery, being mindful of the below steps
  • Begin to eat Mindfully.
  • Watch your hand move the utensil toward your mouth, becoming aware of the smell.
  • Notice how your body reacts to the food near your mouth and notice your teeth chewing the food. 
  • Ask yourself, how is the food positioned in my mouth? Begin chewing slowly. What are the sensations in your mouth, on your tongue? 
  • Notice what tastes you are experiencing -such as salty, sour, and sweet? 
  • When you swallow, become aware of the movement of your throat, and try to become aware of the food entering your stomach. 
  • Ask yourself, can I feel it in my stomach? Is it empty, complete, or somewhere in between? 
  • Notice when your stomach begins to feel complete.

Go for a Mindful Walk

Over Christmas, after a few days, cabin fever begins to set in We react to being cooped up with the same people– and you end up in a mindless slump watching repeats of old movies and eating and drinking far too much- No thanks.

Walking meditation involves deliberately thinking about and doing a series of actions that you usually do automatically. At first, thinking about these steps may feel awkward, even ridiculous. But, even if you feel a little silly, try to observe at least these four essential components of each step: 

1- the lifting of one foot. 

2- the moving of the foot a bit forward of where you’re standing. 

3- the placing of the foot on the floor, heal first. 

4- the shifting of the body’s weight onto the forward leg as the back heel lifts while the toes of that foot remain touching the floor or the ground. Then the cycle continues…

5- lift your back foot totally off the ground. 

6- observe the back foot as it swings forward and lowers. 

7- observe the back foot as it contacts the ground, heel first. 

8- feel the weight shift onto that foot as the body moves forward.

It may be icy outside- or it really depends on where in the world you are but try to get outdoors. If you can walk in a forest, nature reserve, or the beach- let the wind blow through your hair! If this is not possible, take a leisurely walk around a local park which is enough to clear your mind and blow away the cobwebs.

Continue to eat the meal this way, noticing as many sensations as you can.

Let me know How you stay healthy over Christmas? I would love to hear your story – so please leave your comments.

 If you feel you would like further support, please contact me. Details of How to get in touch with me are found in the top menu above.

Bye for now- and remember live life in Hope, Faith & Love!

Virtual Hugs

Paula Xx💕

😀So many people want their faith and church to grow. The problem is to figure out where to begin. This site is about helping people do just that. It’s for anyone concerned about why the church is declining and what they can do about it. It’s for people who feel stuck in their faith and long for a breakthrough. It’s for people exploring Christianity and wants to know what it’s all about – apart from what they see in the media. If that’s you – please consider subscribing.

Subscribe to my YOUTUBE CHANNEL, it’s free!

 VIDEOS Relating to LIFESTYLE every WEDNESDAY, and join me on every FAITH FRIDAY when we chat about our faith.

CHAT WITH ME!

📸 Instagram: paularoseparish2020.

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/paula.roseparish.5/

PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/proseparish/_created/

LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paula-rose-parish-6320a6181/

Listen to PAULA’S BLOG PODCASTS https://anchor.fm/paula-rose-parish

THE Mindfulness Master Class Course is found at www.moonrosemindfulness.com

Send me Mail

Email: paularoseparish@gmail.com

 Feel free to contact me if you need support or share any thoughts you may have – we are on this journey together through life.

 I look forward to your next visit here and remember. 

👱‍♀️

6 Tips for staying sane at  Christmas 

The United Kingdom Mental Health Foundation reports that 54% of UK adults are worried about their mental health or someone they know this Christmas. As we approach Christmas, significant numbers of people are expressing their concern for the mental health of relatives (38%), friends (31%), partners/spouses (27%), and children (28%).  

Psychological Health Care, based in Australia, reports that a third of Australiansreport that their relationships are negatively affected by Christmas due to work-life balance issues and financial concerns.  

According to a new Pew Research Center survey, only 46% of Americans say they celebrate Christmas as primarily a religious rather than a cultural holiday. 

Christmas is often thought to be a season of peace and good cheer; however, the opposite is true for many. 

 I live in the United Kingdom, where the suicide rate, domestic abuse, family estrangement, and job losses are at their peak during the Christmas season. So instead of celebrating the birth of the saviour Jesus Christ (Christ- Christ-mascelebration), with joy, thousands are facing an uncertain future.   The expectations of having to celebrate Christmas whether one wants to or not can be enormous. As a result, researchers point out that The role of Christianity in Christmas is at an all-time low. 

Most have taken the ‘Christ out of Christmas and celebrate it as a regular holiday. I wonder when we devoid the original value of a long-held tradition of being Jesus Christ Birthday, we go down the rabbit-hole of secularism that widely holds to the ‘me’ culture. If we are honest, we have fallen into that hole at times!  

 The ‘me’ ideal promotes one’s desires above all others. Whereas the Christian ideal is to put others above oneself.  

 I include believing Christians in this following statement- have we lost the practical teachings of Christ to conform with the status quo? We have no wonder that even believers end their own lives, abuse, or divorce those they promised to love and protect.  

However, if you celebrate the Christmas season or don’t, you must care for yourself and those you love. 

So, here are a few tips for your consideration. 

  1. Have Realistic Expectations 

Christmas can become highly stressful when your grand plans float adrift. When things don’t go the way you intended, tension between people can ensue. Instead of promising yourself that this year will be the biggest, brightest, and best Christmas ever, permit yourself to have a less-than-perfect Christmas. Accept that you live in the real world where things do go wrong- and this is normal!  

  1. Have a Back-Up Plan 

Because things may not go as planned, having a plan B in your back pocket is wise. For example- have a pre-cooked meat joint or vegetarian option in the freezer that you can quickly defrost if you need it. The same goes for desserts or other foods.  

  1. Plan Ahead 

Some people hold to the that Christmas Eve is their primary celebratory day. It has been my family tradition that the primary day is Christmas day. These days, I visit my family for Christmas; however, when they visited me, I cooked as much food as I could the day before. I would arrange the house to accommodate extra people and set the table a day or two before. Pre- preparation allowed me to be more restful on Christmas day so I could enjoy the company of friends and family. 

  1. Avoid Debt or Overspending.  

It is wise to Set a Budget and Stick to it! My family and I agreed that we would not spend over a certain amount of money on each other. We also exchange our wish lists 4 – 6 weeks before Christmas day, which is helpful because it allows us to stay well within our budget. Also, the wish list helps because we end up buying gifts that are actually needed or wanted. There is nothing more disappointing for many people than giving a gift that will be returned or re-gifted.  

  1. Take Some Time Out 

Ensure you take some time for yourself every day to get away from the busyness. Getting outside for a walk in the fresh air, exercising no matter how light, is a great way to boost your hormones, such as serotonin, which positively affects your mood. Equally, spending some quiet time elevates your mind from the pressures of constantly engaging with people.  

  1. Relax & Enjoy Yourself! 

This tip does not need any explanation 

 – Happy Christmas! 

What strategies do you employ to cope with the Christmas season? Let me know- and If this article was helpful to you, please let me know. I would love to hear from you.  

Thank you for visiting me here and being part of this community! 

This Blog is growing and developing, so keep an eye out for updates.  If you want my article to come right, you’re in your inbox- follow and subscribe! Check out my menu bar above; there, you’ll find the online courses about mindfulness masterclass that will help you begin your mindfulness journey. 

EXPLORE THIS SITE for videos & blogs about faith, health, and wellbeing.  

   If this post were helpful to you, I would love to hear your story – so please leave your comments. 

  Feel free to contact me if you need support or share any thoughts you may have – we are on this journey together through life. 

 I look forward to your next visit here and remember.  

Your Best Life is Yet to Come!  

  

Surviving the Silly Season, 12 Tips for a Mentally Healthy Christmas

  

Paula is an Ordained Minister, Blogger, Podcaster, Course Creator, Published Author and has a Master of Arts in Counselling and many other qualifications and a lifetime so, I have heaps to share with you.  

CHAT WITH ME 📸 Instagram: paularoseparish2020. 

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvdQ4NPTNfXSnwd3pimPh0gFACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/paula.roseparish.5/  

PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/proseparish/_created/  

LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paula-rose-parish-6320a6181/ Listen to PAULA’S BLOG PODCASTS https://anchor.fm/paula-rose-parish  

THE Mindfulness Master Class Course is found at www.moonrosemindfulness.com