Working in retail as I do and have done for the past ten years, it is expected that December can get a little nutty. Yes, even in a shoe store which you wouldn’t think is traditional Christmas fare, but we do get a lot of people shopping for gifts (thank you customers!).
Being extra-busy in December means I have to be organised and keep my calm. I cannot freak out too much about not having my housework days and be content that the house is tidy. I need to organise meals ahead of time so we don’t resort to takeaways that make you feel like crap. I have to have my Christmas gifts purchased and wrapped so I don’t have a meltdown on Christmas Eve when we’ve just arrived home from work and SURPRISE! Christmas is the next day.
Currently when we get home after the store has closed, it is all I can do to put on a load of washing and make dinner. I’m just keeping up with the basics and am ok with that. My half hour of reading with a flute of bubbly (non-alcoholic for me thanks) before we eat dinner is my haven of rest and calm.
I think it is because I have been working on establishing a good routine that I have handled December reasonably well. My daily walks that I actually look forward to because of my iPod Shuffle have continued, and only dropped off this week because we are working longer hours. I can’t wait for Christmas day though, so I can go for a nice stroll before breakfast.
I don’t think we’ve eaten one purchased meal at all this month which is a minor miracle in itself. Instead, starting off the day with fresh fruit, good yoghurt and raw nuts, having our fridge at work stocked with salad vegetables, nice dressings, hard-boiled eggs, leftover roast chicken and back-up cans of tuna for a yummy and filling lunch, and then home for a light and delicious dinner with loads of steamed fresh vegetables.
Eating good stuff makes you feel so much better than eating what I used to consider treat foods. In September I was diagnosed with celiac disease and so have been eating gluten-free since then which immediately cuts out a lot of pre-prepared foods. This has made me more aware of what I put into my body and what the results are, as in how I feel after I’ve eaten something.
I had a biopsy to confirm my celiac status and it was a gastroscopy where they put a delightfully long tube into your mouth. I could see my insides on a tv in the hospital room, those lovely clean and pink tubes and it made me not want to pollute them with plasticky faux foods. I know I tend to forget what I’ve eaten as soon as I put it in my mouth. I would never consider what effect it was having on my body other than a nice taste. Well I’ve had my eyes opened now!
I’m not saying my diet is perfect and I still love to eat something delicious and rich, but it comprises a smaller part of my diet now, and my treats are higher-quality for the most part.
Another part of my normal routine are my favourite sleeping hours - 10pm to 6am, and I have kept these up too. This has helped enormously in keeping me happy and sane, and I am sleeping like a log because our days are so full, which is wonderful. Not being able to fall or stay asleep at night is the pits, and I credit my daily exercise in helping with this, and not gutsing myelf with sweet treats at night (sugar hypes you up as any parent will tell you).
Minimal tv is another big thing for me. At the moment I watch about half an hour in the evening, preferring to spend the rest of my time with a book or magazine, or listening to an audiobook when getting ready for bed, or getting ready in the morning.
This morning I was listening to this great interview with Brian Tracy. Brian suggests taking a minute each day to write out your top ten goals in present tense. Each day do this and over the time some goals will change, some will remain on the list, and it keeps at the forefront of your mind what you want to focus on. I think this is a great idea and today I will get a jump-start on the New Year by commencing this habit.
I’d like to take this opportunity to wish a lovely Christmas – may it be peaceful, relaxing and fun. And I will see you next year!