Tis the season to be jolly – if that’s true, why do so many of us find that we are totally stressed out when it comes to the holiday season?

Here are top five most common holiday season stressors for fitness folk, and what to do about them.

Author: Christopher Paul Jones, aka The Breakthrough Expert, is a therapist based in Harley Street who specialises in helping people let go of their fears, anxieties and even their phobias; from a fear of public speaking to anxieties around work, Christopher has helped 100s of people ‘let go’ and get their lives back. http://christopherpauljones.net/


1.Lack of relationship. Christmas can be lonely.

One of the first, and biggest fears that people often have at Christmas, is the fear of being lonely.

Many people find themselves single at Christmas, and if this has ever happened to you, have you noticed, that maybe you were perfectly fine being single in March.

But when it comes to December, you start to notice people as ‘couples’, cozying up by that log fire, and you start to wonder why you are single?


holiday stress for fitness and how to fix


Forget that – I know there’s at the gym who loves a holiday lift as much as you do. Get your bromance going and plan a schedule to lift over the holiday season.

It’s a great time to do it too since you’ll have most gyms to yourself.

Nothing like a bro-hug and a slap on the butt to celebrate breaking a personal record. Keep your cozy cuddles by the fire; we’ve got our gains.


2. The office party. You did what?

There’s always that one office story, where so and so kissed so and so… it’s too easily done when too much alcohol is flowing.

If you find yourself stressing about what you might do and who you might do it with, make a promise to yourself not to drink so much that you lose control of things.

It’s a double-whammy. You’ve saved yourself some calories and the embarrassment of waking up next to somebody (or something?) you weren’t expecting to.


3. The weight factor. Who ate all the pudding?

You spent all of November on a diet, and then December arrives, and before you know it, you feel like you have eaten a month’s worth of food in one sitting. Part of our brain tells us that we should treat ourselves because it’s Christmas.

One way to tackle this is to plan your menu BEFORE Christmas and allow yourself a certain number of treats per day. Then, stick to that. Before you start saying ‘I can’t…’ have a talk with yourself in the mirror.

Are you really saying that you have no self-control here? If that is the case, then maybe you need to look at what your issues are with food and seek some help to resolve them?


holiday stress for fitness and how to fix


4. Once Christmas is over – what am I doing with my life again?

There’s something about the festive season, and the approaching New Year, that encourages us to sit back and take stock of things. What exactly am I doing with my life? Seeing friends and family can really trigger this.

Often, you haven’t seen these people for ages, and they ask you ‘what have you been up to? What are you doing now?’.

Are you still having fun doing that same bro-split you’ve been doing for the past 2 years?

This year, have a look at your life and assess things before we arrive at Christmas. You know that this conversation is coming – so turn up to family gatherings this year with your answer ready; ‘well funny you should ask that because actually I am…’

Take up a different sport and add another string to your fitness bow. I’m sure your family will appreciate hearing about your new hobby instead of hearing about that time you curled 60kg (all with your back) for the umpteenth time.


5. How will I survive in January?

Having spent way more than is realistic, when January arrives we have no idea how we will manage things when it comes to money. If this is a worry for you, then follow some of the steps above: plan your menu and reduce your food and alcohol bill.

Refuse to keep up with the Jones’ and reduce what you spend; batch cook things such as soup and meals and store them in the freezer.

A bit of meal prep will not only help keep a lid on your wallet, but also save you having to use that dreaded next notch on your belt this holiday season.