We love this time of year, the promise of festive times and new beginnings; plus here in the Southern Hemisphere the holiday season also means surf, sun and endless ‘kini-clad days. We shed our winter coats along with any heaviness of the year and take on a lightness of being (and body). That is until December 25 lulls us into a week long food coma. Let’s face it, Christmas Day forecast (for many) is MORE – family friction and food-babies THAN – “Fa-la-la-la-la”. But it doesn’t have to be. If being overstuffed and irritable isn’t your idea of fresh, simply resolve to do things differently this year.

Yep, it’s that simple. We’ve put together a little Holiday Thrive Guide – a swag of tips, trick and holiday hacks that will upgrade the silly season into a majorly high vibe holiday.

HARD CORE CHRISTMAS EVE

Ending the day with abba-dabbas has become a pre-Christmas ritual. You know that feeling after an all-in ab workout, when you’re so sore it hurts to laugh and your tummy muscles feel tight and taut? There’s something about having sore abs that invites portion prowess. It keeps us in touch with our CORE strength = the gateway to the Solar Plexus – which is the energetic seat of self-confidence and determination. Where willpower is effortless, more like a natural instinct than a forced white-knuckled affair.

So before Santa makes his rounds, put your core muscles through their paces. Maybe even give our Fire-Starter Ab Workout a go! That lingering awesome “ouch” in your abs will keep you on point and serve as a subtle reminder to fly under the overstuffed radar.

RISE AND SHINE

Get your fitness-fix on Christmas Day. Dive in, first thing, before the festivities, food and excuses are in full swing. If you can sneak out on Christmas morning at first light, lace up your runners and head off (one foot in front of the other) down de-saturated streets. It’s one of the only days of the year that you’ll find hyperactive intersections totally still. It’s eerily beautiful. And a simple antidote to the ‘bahumbug’ feelings that can creep in. Why it’s golden? Exercise sets the psychological tone for the day. It soaks your cells with endorphins and energy, which means feeling alert, energised and upbeat. As a flow on effect, your choices (hello holiday buffet) naturally align this higher vibration. You’ll feel more satisfied across the board – in life and…lunch.

GUILT BE GONE

Have a family feast planned? Heading out for Chrissy cocktails? ¬†Honour your sacral chakra and take Guilt off the guest list. Here’s the thing. If you feel guilty about eating that figgy pudding (or a glass of bubbly), you do not fully enjoy it. You do not fully enjoy it because you do not fully experience it. Part of you is elsewhere, frozen off from the experience – hanging out in the control centres of your mind. And so…you miss the moment and consequently take no satisfaction. Which leaves you wanting MORE. Compulsive behaviour is instinctive – we’re compelled to keep chasing, to keep repeating the activity because our ability to soak up the satisfaction of the activity is blocked by guilt. So kick your feet up, relax back into presence so you can truly savour and soak up whatever you’re choosing to indulge in. And enjoy satisfied.

MERRY MEDITATOR

If you spend much time with us in the world of Wabi-Sabi, you know we’re die-hard meditators. And the festive season is as good a time as any to kick off a daily meditation practice. Why? Meditation takes the edge off better than any drug, drink and dessert we’ve ever encountered. When you meditate, the rest of your day is infused with the clarity and energy of elevated consciousness. You’re more clear, more focused, more present. You react less and listen more. So when a family feud begins to flare up, you’ll find that you’re less likely to jump to conclusions or take things personally. You’ll see things through a zen-lens. Which means more peace, more joy, more compassion, more LOVE. And that’s what the holidays are really about right? If you’re keen to join the ranks of Merry Meditators, take your pick from our free guided meditations.

DRAW A LINE IN THE SAND

Are you a constant grazer? With a plethora of dips, chips, and nibble bits around at the holidays, it happens to the best of us. Consider using a meal-ender as a gentle way to mark the finish line and divert your attention from incessant and unnecessary plate picking. Think breathe mint, a cup of tea, a fresh lick of lipgloss. Use them to signal the end of the meal and leave a clean, fresh taste in your mouth.

FITNESS WITH THE FAM BAM

“That workout was a terrible idea!” said no one. Ever. Be that person. The one that peels the couch potatoes off the floor and insists, we’re all in! You’ll get a few psychic daggers and for a wrinkle in time be the most annoying person in the room. But they’ll thank you for it later (at least in their own sweaty, silently-smiling kind of way). Here in Aus that could mean footy or frisbee on the beach, backyard cricket, or a stroll and swim. For our Northern neighbours, how about a Christmas light stroll (check the paper for the best decked neighbourhoods), a sledding or snowshoeing mission or even yoga by the fireplace. The possibilities are limitless. May we suggest a Wabi-Sabi Workout with the fam? Take your pick here.

THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS

Why not start a new family tradition? Our suggestion? A gratitude ritual. It doesn’t need to be woo-woo or fancy. No need to bust out the crystals and smudge sticks if Nana will get a fright. It can be simple. A candle-lit conversation around the dinner table. A red-wine-in-hand rowdy remembrance of favourite moments of the past year. Handwritten bullet points scribbled down before you collectively dive into the stash of prezzies beneath the tree. Or even sitting together at brunch, sharing bits and pieces from this Thanksgiving Reader created by Seth Godin. (Yeah, we know it’s technically a Thanksgiving Reader, but it’s just as relevant for Christmas, Hannakuh, Kwanza, New Years Eve…or whatever you choose to celebrate.) Getting grateful creates an opportunity to take stock of all the many blessings in our lives, invites in more of what we want to create in our lives and and has been proven to be the number one happiness habit.

DIGITAL DETOX + DIVE INTO PRESENCE

Try switching off your devices for a day – or at least an hour – and spend some QT with the people that are right there with you. Better yet, get your family in on the act and give colouring for mindfulness a go. Grab some coloured pencils, print off our Good Vibes Mandala Colouring Page (three cheers for Amy Louise Southorn!) and gather the gang around the kitchen table. It’s a fun ploy to get even the most sceptical person to plug into presence. In short: Colouring builds focus and concentration; it’s rehab for the multi-tasking mind, allowing us to take a swan dive into presence; the repetitive, quiet, gentle action of colouring has a calming effect on the nervous system and creates a sense of peace, while erasing stress and anxiety and allowing you to reset negative thought patterns. By getting off of our digital devices and single tasking with actual paper and writing utensils (shock, horror!) we’re giving our brains a much needed analog break from the constant game of pixel pin-ball we play all day. Pick up your free printable here.

There you have it! Some of our tips for not just surviving, but actually thriving this holiday season. Whether you tuck some of these tips in your Christmas kit or throw them all out the kitchen window what really matters is staying in loving presence – with your family, with your friends and absolutely, wholeheartedly with yourself. Feel into what makes you happy, what makes you feel good (and not just in the moment with searing side effects). Relax, smile into the imperfections and enjoy.