Kate Mac | Festive Season Tips

5 key things to remember this Festive Season

It feels like yesterday I was writing about the festive season and suddenly here we are again! The minute Halloween is over, the lights and tinsel line the aisles of the supermarkets and it’s all systems go on Christmas. It’s absolutely my favourite time of year but healthy habits fall to the waist side, lots of events and planning cause unnecessary stress, holiday planning with families is crazy and buying gifts and having all the right decorations in the house can really hurt the bank account. So, to stay healthy in both mind and body this festive season I wanted to share a few things that have shifted my view this year and will hopefully remind you to enjoy what Christmas is all about.

1. Slow Down & Drown out the Noise

This time last year I was gearing up for the birth of my beautiful 2nd daughter Mia. She came on the 14th of December, so I spent last festive season on the waters and trying to survive events in heels! At the time I thought that was hard but last year was one I’ll remember as so blissful because it was my first with Mia but sadly was also my last with my beautiful Mum. I couldn’t authentically write this article without mentioning that I lost Mum suddenly in July and she was the Christmas Queen. Every year since I can remember by November Mum had already bought all the gifts, wrapped them, and put them in big sacks, decorated the house and ordered all the Christmas lunch food as well as designed some awful matching family Christmas t-shirts. She made it so special, but I can honestly say I don’t think I ever saw her more stressed than she was around this time of year. 

Kate Mac | Festive Season Tips

Stress can impact your mind severely which people underestimate and can lead to unhealthy habits and this is not what Christmas is about. The noise around Christmas and the want for the perfect day can overshadow the real reason we have this holiday which is about being with those you love and giving to those who need it and being thankful for the gifts you can buy and gifts you can receive. We are so incredibly fortunate to live where we live and through the noise and hype around Christmas it becomes stressful and this year, I urge you to take the pressure off the house decorating, the hundreds of gifts and attending every event and just enjoy it.

Use the decorations you have from last year, minimise the number of gifts and make as much time as you can for those you love. Drown out the noise.

2. Food Freedom

The holidays can be a really tough time for those who struggle with their weight. We are surrounded by articles and tips and tricks from the fitness industry telling us how to eat less and keep the kilos off during the festive season but this guilt inducing message really isn’t healthy or doing us any good when we should be enjoying ourselves with our family and friends.

Weight loss and weight gain is a culmination of habits over time and it’s important to emphasise that you don’t lose weight from one exercise class, and you don’t gain it from one big meal. Remember to exercise and eat for enjoyment and if you happen to indulge a little don’t beat yourself up about it! This is what the holiday season is about, and life is too short to overthink it.

I’m not saying eat nothing but chocolate and indulge the whole time, obviously be mindful, try to limit your drinking and certainly make healthier choices where you can but when it comes to the real celebrations around Christmas, remove the guilt and enjoy. If you are conscious of it then little things that can help are – eating a big salad or something healthy and filling before events, avoid the fried canapes, have a water between each alcoholic drink and keep moving on the days you can. This brings me to my next point.

Kate Mac | Festive Season Tips

3. Keep Moving

Keep moving over the summer! We live in the most amazing place with so many outdoor activities, beautiful coastlines and incredible fitness studios so keep up those healthy routines you hopefully already have throughout the year. You might go away so your local gym or hobby might not be available but that means switch it up and try something new which is always great for the brain. Don’t punish yourself if you overindulge but go for a walk outside, clear your head, get in the ocean for a swim or a stand-up paddle board, go for a bike ride, play with your kids at the beach and just be active.

Your routine will be different this time of year with holidays and other commitments so again, take the pressure off keeping up with what you do all year – you won’t be able to hit the gym 5 times a week but you can still make a promise to yourself to move every day.

Kate Mac | Festive Season Tips

4. Gut Health & Balance

This topic is extremely triggering for me and something I am so intensely passionate about now more than ever. My Mums gut health is what failed her. She had an old school mentality and suffered from severe diverticulitis. I want to write a much bigger article on this topic when I am ready but for now, over the festive season please take care of your gut. Limiting your stress around Christmas is a way of doing this along with feeding your gut with the right stuff to balance out any indulgences. The gastrointestinal tract is very sensitive to emotion. Anger, anxiety, sadness, elation – all of these feelings and others can trigger symptoms in the gut which a lot of people don’t realise. So, by going back to my first point of ‘drowning out the noise’ you will help your body and mind this season big time. You also can’t underestimate the power of supplements, especially during the party season and not just for you but for the kids too. An incredible gut health account to follow is @healthwithbec. She’s a Perth girl and a friend of mine who has changed the lives of many who have suffered from gut health issues. 

She got me onto Morlife and it caters for all things. Since Mum passed, I’ve ordered it for my extended family and committed to taking it daily. I take the Complete Gut Restore and Alkalising Greens everyday just quickly with a glass of water and use their protein for my shakes after the gym. I also bought the Greens kids for my daughter which I’m slowly getting into her through secret ways! As party season amps up, I plan to have fun and eat what I like (which are both naughty foods and healthy foods) and restore my gut with supplements too.

5. Give Back

This can mean donating to charities, providing meals for families, or simply helping out a friend who perhaps finds this time of year extremely challenging. Christmas is a happy time for most but also a very triggering time for many who have lost family or can’t afford to really get involved. Never have I felt this more than now. My heart is heavy this year without Mum, but I want to continue her legacy by making it very special in both her ways but also in my own. She was a giver with intense empathy for families in need and was the person so many leant on. I want my daughters to feel that too, so we’ve decided to put a box under our tree for Baileys (my daughters) toys she no longer wishes to hold onto. She can choose which ones she’d like to donate to other kids and will receive some new ones too.

Kate Mac | Festive Season Tips

This is just a little tradition I’d like to keep rolling over the years as well as donating to our choses charity each year. I found a great list of them on the So Perth.

Hawaiian also partners with Foodbank for the Giving Box campaign and people can donate nonperishable food items for those doing it tough this Christmas. You can find the Gold Giving Boxes at Claremont Quarter and other Hawaiian Centres in the community.

Festive Season is truly one of the funnest times of year but a reminder to be mindful of others and mindful of your own health and wellbeing is needed sometimes. Enjoy it and be with those you love!

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