In her last Health Focus column for the year, psychologist and author Margaret Lambert says the festive season is a time of fun and celebration but also a time of excess where many of us are likely to overindulge in eating and drinking with family and friends.
Some of us already have the plan in place that allows us to overdo it over the festive season and get back on our health track in the New Year.
For others, Christmas is a time of sadness and loneliness.
Some families have lost loved ones this year, making this first Christmas and New Year without them the hardest time yet.
It is always a good idea to plan for major occasions. When we plan, things are more manageable – and we are less likely to get caught with unexpected behaviour or emotions.
When we plan, we are more likely to manage ourselves in accordance with our expectations and the way we wish to conduct ourselves.
Without a plan, we are more likely to be buffeted by whatever blows our way, and become caught up in the emotions that may arise.
Whether you are planning your level of indulgence or a potentially difficult time celebrating the festive season, make sure that a good dose of self-tolerance and self-love is included in the plan.
This is especially important, particularly if the plan doesn’t manifest in the way you had planned.
There are no benefits to be gained by being hard on yourself if you find that you lose control.
We can all learn from our experiences – it is often the case that we are more vulnerable than we realise, and when we understand that, we can revise our plan for next time.
Wishing you all a healthy and safe festive season and a happy New Year.