Hi ladies. Yes, this one is for you.
Last week the gentlemen had their Christmas suit post. This week it is all about the ladies.
As some may know, in a few week’s time it is Christmas, and prior to Christmas are the Christmas staff parties. We are all going to indulge and drink a bit more and eat a bit more and basic maths suggesting with more calories in and less activity performed, that we are bound to pick up a few pounds over the festive season. And that’s ok.
But before we get to the indulging, I know that there are also a few of you who want to look good for your Christmas party.
Ladies: you want to look good in a dress.
So ladies, you want to look good in a dress for the Christmas party, right? The gym this time of the year is fervent with activity, with men and women working hard, with personal trainers putting them through their paces. Granted, some men and women are there to generally improve their health and strength, but many are there to look good for their Christmas.
How do I know this? Well I used to be a fitness instructor.
My busiest times of the year used to be leading up to Summer, toward the end of the year and right after New Years.
So now people are in their droves working up a sweat. And I don’t want to take anything away from the personal trainers. I think they do a fantastic job. But today I would like to suggest something different, something that doesn’t involve looking good in a dress.
I want to suggest the notion of feeling good in a dress.
You heard right. Looking past the appearances, let us take a look beneath the surface.
What are you doing this Christmas to feel better within yourself? Imagine your dress as the entire of yourself: the whole of you, the mind and body of you. Would the ideal build of the ideal dress be someone who is more confident, someone who is going to ask for that promotion, someone who is going to ask that person out, someone who is going to make that positive change and take that big leap of faith?
We are running around wanting to look good, be it for the Christmas party, be it for the summer holidays, and we sometimes forget about what matters more, that which is below the surface.
When you get to the party, standing there sipping a drink from the bar, imagine yourself. Imagine not how you will look like, but how you will FEEL like.
- Will you feel like a better mother?
- Will you feel like a better sister?
- Will you feel like a better lover?
- Will you feel like a fitter and physically healthier female?
- Will you feel like a fitter and mentally healthier female?
And how will you get there?
Well there is no one clear answer, but I guess a good place to start would be with you. Look at looking after yourself first. After all, how are you going to look after others if you are not looking after yourself? Look at your diet. Are you eating the best you can, with what you can afford of course? It is all working to within your means.
Are you looking after your body? Are you moving? Are you walking? Are you exercising? What do you like to do to stay active? Do you like to dance? Dance then! Do you like to walk? Go for a walk! Do what you enjoy. If you do something you enjoy, you will more likely keep to it.
If others are being unreasonable and making unreasonable demands of you, are you being honest with the expectations and able to say no? Sometimes we burden and overload ourselves with too much because we are afraid to say no. Stress can manifest itself in various ways, to depression and anxiety. If it becomes too much, say no.
Don’t be afraid either to be truly honest with yourself about your wants, your needs, your sexuality, your fears, your dreams. It may be scary to be honest, but at least you will be true to who you are, and through that you will develop a stronger sense of self and character.
Some suggestions though:
- Stop comparing yourself to all the models in magazines and on social media. It is all photoshop. Rather, focus on the uniqueness of you. You are beautiful. You are beautiful big or small, short or tall, freckles or with a birthmark, short or long hair (or even no hair). You are beautiful just the way you are. Comparing yourself to impossible and unrealistic depictions and versions of beauty is not good for your sense of self or mental wellbeing.
- As I suggested to the gentlemen last week, be a role model, to your partner, to your children, to your employees, to your employers. Be the role model who you would like to have. Be calm, be nurturing, be understanding.
- Be an advocate for those who do not have a voice. Stand up for those who are not able to stand up for themselves.
- Use your strength for good. Don’t break: build. Build lives, build houses, build relationships.
I do understand that there will be those of you who have come here for some actual advice on how to look and feel good for the Christmas party, and I don’t want to feel like a tricked you. That would be unfair. So let me impart a few tips on also how to look good for the big day.
1. Drink water before meals. We sometimes confuse hunger for thirst. Especially with the cold weather when we may be supplementing ourselves with cups of tea, don’t forget to have a few glasses of water too. A glass of water when you are hungry may actually help to satiate your appetite. But please, if you are genuinely hungry, please eat something substantial and something healthy.
2. Eat at the table. Talk about your day. Eating at the table helps us to engage and to be actively conscious of the eating process. We become more aware of what we are eating and how much we are eating. Eating in front of the TV sometimes causes us to zone out and before we know it we have shovelled down a big bag of crisps and feel awful.
3. Get rest. Sleeping helps us to recover physically, and helps our minds to process things. Not having enough rest may have an effect on our physical and mental wellbeing. And if you are exercising, not having enough sleep will have an effect on how quickly you recover.
4. Get active. As I suggested above, find something which you like. The gym isn’t for everyone. If you like to go for a brisk walk, do that. Find something you enjoy, do it 2-3 times a week, and you are half way there. 😉
If you can do that, then I think you will be ok.
Remember, this Christmas it is not about looking the best: its about feeling the best.
Look after yourself in the run up to Christmas.
In summary, looking good this Christmas is not just about looking good, its about feeling good too. Do the things that will help you to become a better version of you. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and talk to someone. Don’t be afraid to say no, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Look after yourself. Be the role model who you would like to have to look up to.
I hope you have found the blog of some help. Remember: it’s a journey. It will take time. Have patience in the process. You will get there. Until then, stay happy, stay healthy, and have a lovely weekend wherever you are on the planet.
And remember: love yourself.
A bit about the author:
I am a guy who is (nearly) 40, who is sharing a journey of weight management and wellbeing.I am also a mental health professional with a wealth of years of experience in supporting individuals who have challenging mental illnesses and personality disorders.
Prior to my current professional role, I spent several years supporting members of the community as a fitness professional, assisting individuals with weight loss and health improvement programmes.
I completed a PGDip in Mental Health Nursing in 2013, and an MSc in Advanced Practice in 2016 in which I looked at improving nurses’ level of engagement with patients with challenging personality disorders.
In 2018 I successfully undertook a Clinical reasoning in Physical Assessments course with the view to start studying toward becoming an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in late 2019.
In 2015 I also undertook a Mentorship for practice (BSc Hons) course and have been supporting future nurses with their training and development. I have also recently supported a Healthcare Assistant Staff toward training in and successfully passing and achieving a Foundation Degree in Mental Health Nursing.
In my current role I am a person looking to support the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the individual. As part of my role within the health services in supporting individuals with mental health care needs, I am also currently looking to develop myself as a Wellness Coach, to support the individual with weekly wellness blogs, with the view to support individuals on a 1:1 basis as well as holding motivational lectures and seminars.