Resisting my habits this Christmas

christmas-owl

Hypnotherapy and Psycho-therapeutic counselling, REBT, and NLP Transformation Coach based in Marlow, Bucks.

Resisting my habits is usually quite difficult anyway, but around Christmas, with all the temptations, it’s even more so.

Throughout the years, resisting my habits take a lot of my energy. Habits around food, on my own and at social event. Habits around drinking, at parties, at home in front of the TV, or after a stressful day at work. Habit around the house, when cleaning and doing chores, and slouching in front of the TV. Habits around shopping, buying presents, buying food, buying things that I do not need and buying more than one of the same item. Habits around stress, leaving things to the last minutes, being late to an appointment, being late and driving erratically. And habits around medications, taking paracetamol when hungover, when in minor pain, when suffering PMS, when not drinking enough water, and at the onset of a headache.

Here are some helpful facts around different types of habits.

turkey  Habits around food

Weight management is a continuous process, which I constantly and persistently check throughout the day. Just like you, I know what is best to eat, I know what to avoid and I know about the important of regular exercise. Knowing your BMI can be helpful to knowing your ideal weight for your height. Knowing this shows that when weight fluctuates, and they do! The threshold limits of a BMI shows me when I reached my weight limit for my height. Plus, my clothes are tight and I can’t zip up my favourite dress!

Unhealthy habit around food includes; over/under eating, eating alone (secret eaters), eating in company (finishing your plate, and finishing others plate), eating irregularly (missing, skipping meals), eating poor diet (eating lots of fatty food, meat, and sugar), eating in front of TV/studying/relaxing/in bed (eating when not at meal time) and emotional eating (eating during and after a stressful event).

Remember how we starve ourselves before Christmas, so that we can eat on Christmas day! Your stomach size shrink when you skip/missed a meal, and it expands to hold 4 Lt of food. When you eat a large meal, your eyes are bigger than your stomach! Your brain takes around 20 minutes, to tell your stomach that you are full! But, you know all these facts.

In some culture, especially, Thai culture, meal time is a social gathering and the family gets together to enjoy food and eating in company. But wastage is seen as unforgiving, so no wastage is allowed. All the food must be consumed, even if it is on someone else’s plate! I don’t know anyone that allow food to go to waste.

Did you know that sugar is addictive? Did you know that fat is addictive? Why do you think they tastes so good? Our brain loves sugar and fat, so it fueled our emotions. Our moods is linked to food.

Eating when it is not meal time and down time is habitual, a ritual of relaxation, chilling, and winding down whilst nibbling at snacks. It is poorly managed and through repetition of eating behaviour, this eating habit is reinforced. You know how to stop this unhealthy eating habit. You know how to eat healthily. Why not make a small change today?

mulled-wine  Habits around drinks

Drinking alcohol is problematic in excessive quantity. Excessive quantity is consumption that make you feel blurry, drunk, and intoxicated. Following by vomiting and/or a very bad hungover, the morning after. Drinking and alcohol addiction, in the UK statistically has the highest criminal rate. Safe alcohol consumption differs between men and women. Alcohol damages brain functions, and cause a person to lose their inhibitions. As we are entice by alcohol’s welcoming nature of euphoria, but not without a price!

Alcohol is a short term rewards, not a full time self-destruction. Depending on a situation, but I can have a glass of wine and call it quits for the night. I can leave my alcoholic drinks unfinished. But, on some occasions, I have ‘let my hair down’ and go crazy. And not without a price! The hungover the following morning disabled me all day, that it wasn’t worth it,  as alcohol shrinks the brain, causing a massive headache.

Drinking alcohol after a stressful work day is a reward for getting over the stress. But, as alcohol is a depressant, the reward is short lived.

swirling-tree  Habits around the home

Keeping the house clean is a chores that needed doing, I personally like pottering around, taking all day to do cleaning. I don’t put time frame around cleaning, as this become a chores. Seeking to potter about enable me to enjoy doing chores. But, then again, I also rearrange my furniture and sort out my clothing at the same time. I move pictures and ornaments and places them in different location. It de-stresses me pottering around the house. This annoys my husband greatly who rushes to complete the housework. Rushes around with the hoover at 100 miles an hour! What was de-stressing soon become stressful. Cleaning is often a habit that can be problematic for OCD sufferers and compulsive helpers. Cleaning habits concern the primacy of control.

These people do not like mess in the home. The hoover is out as soon as dinner time is over. The polish is out as soon as the table is cleared. These obsessive cleaners do not like dirt or mess! Everything around the house has to be cleaned. Just how clean is clean? How obsessive of me.

Couch potato is a pass time that I most enjoyed in the evening after dinner/supper. It is a down time and it is winding down time. The problem is sometime, this down time is stretched to earlier during the day and later into the evening and into the witching hour. And with persistent, this relaxing time becomes too comfortable to want to make effort to move and soon, we become lazy. Becoming inflexible, static and soon our imprint stays on the sofa.

figurines-of-two-santa-claus-and-shopping-cart  Habits around shopping and spending

Spending habit and shopaholic are serious habit that must not be under-estimated. It is just as addictive and secretive as eating habit. It is linked to attachment and object possession. Shopping this way lead to financial destruction and debt problems. Spending without thinking of whether you want or need to the goods can lead to accumulation of belongings. When your house is full of stuff, and you find it difficult to let go, you become a hoarder. Hoarding disorder is a problem in later life, as people find it difficult to depart with their possession.

Spending habit is a problem when you have no disposal fund and yet still spending on credit, in a form of store credit and credit cards. Spending habit is a problem when you have to have new item of clothing, need to have that new dress, need to  have the latest iphone, or need to have the latest console game. Spending this way is about the need to be the first with the possession, be the first to have the latest product, and be the first to be popular and be the first to be admired. Be the first to run up your debt too, if you don’t be careful.

Shopping habit also extend to purchase of services; with an intention to use. For example; joining the gym or sport club and attended only a few times. Belong to a social club and hardly attend. Or is a member of cinema club, and not been to see any films.

santa-in-police-lineup  Habits around anxiety and stress

It is stressful getting organised for Christmas and New Year if you’re hosting and cooking for large group of family and friends. Anxieties rises high this time of year when the working days are shorted and you are expected to still get all your work done, losing up to a week between Christmas and New Year. Anxieties rises when family comes together. It is really a season to be jolly, when you hate your sister’s partner, and he spoil Christmas for the rest of the family for being obnoxious? Is it really a happy occasion, when you have to visit family members that you don’t want to see the rest of the year, but have to make effort to see them on Christmas day! It is a happy holiday when you spend your day off in company of distasteful people? Being pleasant and civil to family members, eluded by family secrets never to be told, but secretly everyone know but choose the code of silence.

Christmas and New Year make me anxious, not sure about you. I find it difficult visiting everyone and the logistics of the journey is somewhat tight as I rushed from one place to the next, like visiting services on motorways. That’s not relaxing!

I’m anxious about eating too much and sabotage my trim waist line and put on weight, too quickly and over indulging myself. Worrying about dieting before Christmas day so that I can eat more on Christmas day! Exercise pre-Christmas and post-Christmas, who does that? You are not the only one! Good luck resist feeling anxious or stressed over Christmas.

pills-2  Habit around medicines

Sometimes, it all gets too much and the only thing that seem to work is a couple of paracetamol. Popping a couple of these babies seem to fix everything from a hangover to a headache. It is better than suffering surely? It is easy and quick. Who like pain?

Unless, you pop pills so often that 2 of these babies don’t seem to work, and you find popping two more in 3-4 hours. Or you take medicines as soon as you have a tickly cough. Rub anti-inflammatory on your sore as soon as you feel a throb. Perhaps take a shot of flu jab on the October 1st in preparation for winter.

Maybe hypochondriac is a word you recognize. But, is there anything wrong with being prepare for a symptom? Sometime, variety is the spice of life. Allowing your body to experience pain, so that you can increase your pain threshold is helpful. Try to resit and allow your body to do what it does best and fight those internal nasties with it’s own anti-bodies.

Perhaps you have other habits around Christmas that you like to share?