Christmas doesn't have to be a stress-fest fuelled with stodge. If yours tends to be, read on...

Now if your first thought at reading that title was “Huh! Yeah right, as if Christmas could ever be relaxing…” then perhaps it’s time to think about your perception and attitude determining your reality. Because it does!

When Christmas arrives, we can get used to behaving in certain ways, stuck in some very unhelpful rituals and end up in the same situation each year. So is it any wonder ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ for so many is anything but?!

Southampton personal trainer Gen Preece Boot camp

Fortunately, there is another way of doing Christmas. It takes patience and practice, but like anything it starts with you. I’ve broken it down into two strategies, in order for this Christmas to be your most relaxed and peaceful to date.

My personal trainer clients and Boot camp superstars are now looking forward to a happier and more peaceful Christmas and I'm excited to share exactly how with you too.

  1. Be honest with yourself

If last year/the year before/every Christmas ends up being a stress-fest, why would you kid yourself that this year will be different?!

Start with being honest with yourself about what you truly do or do not have the capacity for. Life is short and it’s ok to say no. Especially to people that are toxic.

If on reflection, the problem turned out to be giving yourself way too much to do (this is why it helps to be REALLY honest) then it might help to remember the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result!

So you can therefore choose to do something different this year; perhaps utilising the people around you to share the workload.

2. Plan

It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed at Christmas; our most common response being to head to the fridge/cupboards

We’ve previously covered how to avoid toxic ‘treats’ (and are still collecting donations for our Un-needed Christmas Food Amnesty if you’d like to contribute!) so now it’s time to get organised.

Write a Christmas to-do list, then rearrange the tasks in order of priority. Schedule them into your diary, fitting them in around your dedicated time for physical activity.

And DON’T let your physical activity take a backseat over Christmas as it’ll be a more valuable stress-reliever and coping mechanism than you realise.

REMEMBER: we always ALWAYS have a choice in how we choose to respond in every situation, something myself, my personal training clients and Boot camp attendees never used to believe was true.

So I wish you the happy and peaceful Christmas you deserve and now have the ability to make happen! 

Gen x

Southampton personal trainer Gen Preece Boot camp