Essential Tips for Surviving the Christmas Holiday Season
It's the most wonderful time of the year!
Or so they say. Whatever your situation, you might agree that Christmas can be one of the hardest and most stressful times of the year. If you do then I'm sure, like me, you're always open to lightening the load, however that might be. The feeling of support and camaraderie is what does it for me and helps me through stressful moments. I need ports of call, whatever and wherever they might be as my mind can be so foggy with to-do lists (note the plural, I'm sure you also have many), I sometimes don't see the wood for the (Christmas) trees. ;-)
We all need some words of wisdom from time to time
For this Christmas-themed blog, I've turned to some of the fantastic and inspirational women I've encountered over the last year while building my freelance business. Freelancing and the digital world can be quite lonely sometimes, one of the biggest lessons I've learnt is that there is a supportive community out there and you need to get involved just as you would and should in IRL. No man is an island (it's Christmas, cheesy cliches are excused) and these women have enhanced my life whether they know it or not, so I figured who better to call on for tips and advice.
Women Supporting Women
This list (in no particular order) is full to the brim with Christmas-themed words of wisdom, tips, ideas and stories that just might be the little bit of saving grace to stop you from tipping over the edge and into Christmas meltdown.
Before moving to the Dorset countryside we would come up from London to spend Christmas and New Years with the in-laws. This can be a rather long week... that lull between the highs of Christmas and NYE can be looonnng when people are thrown together in a compact space.
I always try to escape on a mini staycation (last year we explored beautiful Lyme Regis!) and by making it a Christmas present to ourselves - it's not such a burden on our Christmas budget!
Please sign up for launch updates on my new project at greatthingstodo.co.uk
Chrystall is an Aussie expat foodie who calls the Dorset countryside home after escaping the London rat-race. After running food blog The Goodden Life, Chrystall is working on a new project with her husband, Nico called Great Things to Do, focussing on food, travel and photography, it's launching in 2018.
My Transformation For Women business helps stressed mums regain their calm, enjoy their kids more and get more done. I'm currently writing a book called Frazzled to Fabulous in 5 Minutes a Day. I'm an EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) trainer and practitioner and am married with one daughter and live in Hertfordshire. In my spare time, I sing with Rock Choir and take part in the occasional flash mob.
A tip for surviving the inevitable Christmas chocolate binge. As it’s the sweetness and the sensation of the fat in the chocolate dissolving on your tongue you’ll crave this Crimbo, why not try a savoury alternative that will have a similar effect: cheese! (Tis, after all, the season to be jolly!!) The fattiness in the cheese should give you the satisfaction you’re looking for and the lack of sugar will help you disassociate hunger cravings with sweet food, kickstarting that new year healthy eating stint without even realising.
Set up a special Christmas Day WhatsApp group with your fellow mum friends so that you have a safe space to vent any frustrations, big or small! If your kids / family / in-laws are driving you crazy, it's always helpful to share with understanding friends who are probably feeling the exact same way
I'm Natalie, mama to Ethan and wifey to Tom. I'm a writer and lifestyle blogger from leafy Hertfordshire. Mums Off Duty is a lifestyle blog for busy mums, aiming to inspire mums to take some much needed time out, to feel confident and happy, and to do more of the stuff they love. We share lifestyle tips and inspiration on a range of topics including wellbeing, fitness, nutrition, and work-life balance.
Shop at your local farm shop. The veg is fresh, low food miles, sometimes cheaper than supermarkets and you can pick up bread, mince pies, milk, meat, gin etc - you might be surprised. And for all the boring stuff, book an online delivery. A supermarket is no fun in late December. You'll save the delivery cost by not buying the random things you didn't need.
Freelance food writer and journalist for The Herts Advertiser, WH Times, Nourish, Penguin and Bloomsbury. I have two daughters (15 and 11) and live in St Albans. I co-wrote Packed with Michelle Lake, a nutritional therapist, published this year. Our book Packed is about easy, healthy, quick lunches for adults. If you are not eating what you need because you are busy, this might give you some new ideas. Immune-boosting soup, for example, is great for winter. You can connect with Becky on Twitter and Instagram.
Many of us love to use Christmas as an acceptable reason to be popping fizz at 10am... and why not! If you’ve got lots of guests and undoubtedly little fridge space, put a bucket or drinks bucket of cold water outside (with ice if you have it) outside the back door and fill it with beers, wine, mixers to keep the merriment flowing, and chilled, without taking up valuable fridge space. This reminds me of my Dad keeping everyone topped up and poking his head out the door to get my a Grandad a fresh beer!
Kate developed a love of food (and wine!) over her years of holidaying in Italy. She created Cooking and Carafes to share her culinary creations that are simple to make, authentic and have an Italian twist (most of the time). Kate believes in eating a healthy, balanced diet and always turns to inspiration from the Mediterranean for recipe ideas. Connect with Cooking and Carafes on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
7. Kate Griffiths - Whole Self Leadership
Quit saying I should/ I must do. Stop and pause so that you can tune into the inner wise woman and start following your intuition.
This year me, my hubby and my gorgeous girls will be the other side of the Atlantic for Xmas which is an excellent excuse not to participate in the whole Christmas frenzy and par it all right back. No wonder people call me the head declutterer but really the greatest present you can give your children is your time. If you want to get 2018 off to a great start then why not ask for the gift of some one 2 one sessions with me or gift it to yourself you know you deserve. Alternatively book into my next colour workshop which in the words of a recent participant is "a truly life changing experience, gentle path of self-exploration and finding the way to your true self". Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Hi, I’m Debbie. I’m thirty-five and I’m from the North East of England. I’m a full time freelance writer and author and I blog at My Random Musings where you will find lots of handy tips for writers and bloggers plus book reviews, my own fiction, motivational posts to help you chase your dream, giveaways and more. Do pop by and say hello. I'm also on Twittter and Instagram.
Go outside! It’s so tempting to be a couch potato parked in front of the telly over the Christmas holidays and there’s definitely a place for that. But get outside everyday for a run, cycle ride or brisk walk. It will help your digestion, boost your mood by elevating endorphins and reduce any tensions that can arise when all the family is cooped up indoors together.
Michelle Lake, runs Mission Nutrition, a nutritional therapy consultancy based in St Albans. Good food is Michelle’s passion: writing and talking about it, sourcing it, preparing it – and of course – eating it. She finds it incredibly rewarding to help people take control of their own diet and see their energy, motivation and wellbeing levels soar.
A healthy diet isn’t about denial, it’s about eating plenty of good stuff so the odd indulgence doesn’t matter. Michelle, recently co-authored Packed, a recipe book with over 90 ideas for grown-up packed lunches, salads, snacks and more. She lives in St Albans with her husband and two teenage children. Read Michelle's Ten Tips for a Happy Healthy Christmas.
Michelle currently has a special offer - £5 off when you book a nutrition consultation for 2018 before the end of December 2017. Just quote “What’s Eating Her”. Call Michelle 01727 893042 or email.
If you find yourself stuck for a last minute gift this holiday season, and you don’t even have a spare bottle of wine to whack a pretty label on, check out your pantry and make something yourself. You can make a lovely Coffee and Honey Body Scrub using 1/2 cup finely ground coffee, 1/4 cup brown or muscovado sugar, 3 Tablespoons raw honey and 2 Tablespoons coconut oil. Melt coconut oil, then combine with all ingredients. Scoop into a sterilised jar, with lid and ribbon. Makes enough for 2 to 3 uses.
I’m Bec Pollock. My family have been urban homesteading since 2009 in Canberra, Australia. I grow heirloom vegetables. I love being out in the garden, hanging out with our chooks and bees.
I get to be creative in the kitchen with baskets full of fresh, organic produce, making delicious meals, and natural products for my home and family. Growing Home supports busy folk like you, who want to create an edible garden, and learn how to grow, raise, cook and preserve your own fresh produce. You want to have affordable organic produce, know what is in your food, and make healthy and delicious meals using freshly harvested, seasonal ingredients. Connect with me on Instagram and Facebook.
Hello, my name is Rachael and I live by the beach in sunny Papamoa, New Zealand with my hubby and two boys Flynn who's 4 and 2 year old Max. I'm passionate about cooking fresh, wholesome and budget-friendly food, plus I like to reduce waste and try to live as sustainably as possible.
Wow, what a list! I hope you've gathered some inspiration or advice. I also welcome you to share your own tips in the comments section below.
All that's left to say is, Merry Christmas and a happy new year to everyone, and a huge thanks to my lovely ladies above. Oh, and I nearly forgot my own words of wisdom, well, it's not like I can top any of these, but I will however just add, it's one day people, and I hope yours is filled with happiness and peace. ;-)
P.S. Every year I forget the chesnuts, for the last three years running I've found myself roasting them and peeling them by hand on Christmas eve. Now this all fine if you have the time. I'm telling you though, it's painful when you get a piece of that shell stuck under a fingernail! This year I bought a packet of peeled and ready-to-use chesnuts back in November.