So here we go again, the merry-g0-round that is December! The pressure to keep up with your FB friends. Who has the biggest pile of presents under the biggest tree? How can you afford that expensive night out that your ever so slightly more affluent boss has kindly picked the venue for? (It’ll be ok, we can eat ice-cubes for the rest of the month right?!)  If we don’t keep up with those end of year deadlines, will we even be there to be invited next year?? And seriously, how many ads for over priced tat that pops out of eggs, costs you the price of a mortgage in batteries and you have to fight your granny for, can there be on EVERY CHANNEL!! but sure, good old Santa and his magical elves can make anything right??!

It’s Northern Ireland so the weather is just a bit more “meh” than usual. The Glenshane pass is probably the only place that’ll ever see a proper white Christmas and the 4 cars that always get stuck in it wont be enjoying it anyway. Hmmm,  a 2 hour drive to build a snowman….nope! That’s never going to happen! And that’s when it begins……that first big tub of festive goodies arrives. Feeling tired, emotional, stressed and sluggish we dive right in. Before we know it only the strawberry creams (bleugh!) or the coffee ones that no one likes are intermingled with the left over sparkly wrappers. We even give those ones a nibble just incase we might have changed our tastes. Yes? Go on, I know I’m not the only one!! So now we are on a sugar high, a bag of chocolate coins mysteriously disappears from little Jimmy’s stocking, it’s a downward spiral. So, with this month of feeling sluggish and being massively over indulgent (I’m sorry to report that Christmas doesn’t magically spike your metabolism! I know, who’d have thought, right?!) what is the end result? A miserable January stood looking at all the aisles of exercise equipment you’ve no idea what to do with, (“you shake what with that??”) shamefully trying to tuck in that squishy bit of gut casually sitting there, over the waist band of your jeans, feeling like crap and wishing you had started your New Year’s resolution last September and we wouldn’t be in this mess right now! Yikes!!!!! Stop!!!

So what can we do? First up, slow the flip down!!! You have lost yourself in all this faff and you need to find a way out. You need time for you. These things seem important now, but in 4 weeks times when all the hype has died down you will be left picking up the pieces you wish you had never created. Your priorities from any other month haven’t changed. Feeding yourself and family and keeping a roof over your heads, those things are important. Fighting over the lastest “must have” isn’t! We talk about Christmas being “for the kids” but what about for you? Should you have to be unhappy? No, you shouldn’t. You are too important!

Secondly, find some ME time. (And I don’t mean 10mins locked in the bathroom getting up to date with your facebook notifications! 😉  ) I have recently created an on line challenge with the hope of helping others find this wee slot of time in their days just to take time out and be active. Everyone has to do at least 10 mins every day of December and I am already so impressed with all the efforts put in, it’s heart warming! If even one person can use this to make it through Christmas unscathed then I am happy.  My point? Support and planning are two of the key elements! Grab a friend and go for a walk or jog. Or go on your own. I get my best thinking and organising in my head done, when I run alone!   Plan that time in, it is YOUR time! Take in the fresh air, look around and enjoy being right there, right then, soaking in that exact moment. Come and have a free go at one of our outdoor bootcamps, the support you will find there is unreal! So what happens when it rains? You stick on your coat and you go anyway! It’s free! The fresh air is free! The sense of achievement is free! The view is free!! It will impossible at times but there nearly always somewhere you can glean 10 mins from. 5 mins less on the computer and 5 mins quicker making the packed lunches for tomorrow? Get up 10mins earlier in the morning and have a potter around the block. Run around the park for 10mins with the kids. It’s there, you just have to want it enough to find it!

 

Don’t get lost this December, always remember that you are important and that you matter!