It’s that time of year again. The end of December heralds a snowball descent from Christmas festive feasting to New Year’s Eve celebrations straight to pineapple tart indulgences during Chinese (Lunar) New Year.
Before you start the season of eating and finding yourself having to remake your new year resolutions several times over, here are some tips which may come in useful (we hope):
1. Eating out? It might be a good time to make exercise plans!
- This season is always awash with tempting buffets and lavish set dinners. So you might need a plan to work off all that feasting!
- You could try some sightseeing down Orchard Road and Bras Basah Road (allegedly to see the Christmas lights and do some last minute shopping).
- Or dance away your calories at Zouk.
- Take a breezy walk along the beach and enjoy “Signs on the Loose” from the Sticker Lady at Siloso Beach, Sentosa (till new year’s day).
- Traipse through the National Musuem to appreciate the William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings (read: botanical drawings of plants).
- Brave the crowd to inhale the fresh smell of pine among the Christmas trees on sale at the plant nurseries at Upper Thomson.
- Ride the Downtown Line for free with several million other people (remember, jostling is a form of exercise) on 7 Dec 2013.
- Go ice-skating on disco nights (Fridays and Saturdays) at Jcube.
- There’s also a leisurely 9km stroll on the evening of 16 Dec 2013 (7pm) under the auspices of Brooks Run Happy (if you have already registered), as well as the annual StandardChartered Marathon on Dec 1st.
- Or entertain your whole family at the Singapore Teddy Bear Show held at the Drama Centre on Christmas Eve. Plenty of reasons not to lounge around.
2. Need help with Christmas dinner? Here are some recipes.
- The British Dietetic Association suggests roasting turkey and offering lots of vegetables, while the UK National Health Service’s tips include substituting the usual stuffing with a orange, cranberry, and roast chestnut stuffing alternative to shave off 90 kCal for every 100g of stuffing!
- Other healthful suggestions include salmon, baked potatoes, salmon-leek-and-potato soup, and a salad with pear-walnut dressing.
- Combined with the elbow grease you use in making the meal, you’ll be well on your way to staying healthy this festive season. But just to make sure, here are some tips!
3. Stressed out by the holidays?
- Getting the family together can be a stressful time: Mayo clinic offers a comprehensive list of practical tips, while the Better Health Channel describes a number of ways to help you get through the holidays.
- This season of celebration can also be a difficult time for some: PBS offers tips for those coping with bereavement, while the Discovery channel has advice for those who find it difficult to get along with family.
- Dr Oz shares his secrets for staying healthy through the season.
- And there are a number of green ways to save on costs for a family get together during this festive season. These include making your own decorations, using recycled magazine paper to wrap presents, and organizing a white elephant party game with friends.
4. Haven’t made your New Year resolutions yet?
- According to the statistics published in a 2012 journal article, as many as 46% of resolutions made for the new year make it past the mid-year mark, while a dismal 8% successfully achieve their resolution. And that is probably related to the way we make our New Year resolutions.
- This year, try making resolutions which are easier to achieve. The American Psychological Association (APA) offers appropriate tips to aspiring resolution makers.
- Both Psychology Today and Time magazine offer insight into what to do (and what not to do).
5. Need to shop! Can’t stop?
- It’s called retail therapy. But for some, it really is therapy. Recent studies indicate that as many as one in three persons in the United States shops to relieve stress (“Retail Therapy: One In Three Recently Stressed Americans Shops To Deal With Anxiety“, Huffington Post, 24 May 2013).
- And more than two thirds of respondents polled in Australia said they found shopping to be an effective stress management strategy (“More stressed people are going to the shops: Australian Psychological Society”, 10 Nov 2013).
- The problem arises when we shop impulsively for things we don’t need but want and get a high from shopping. We may not be an outright shopping addict, but we may want to cut down our non-essential shopping.
- This news article offers sensible advice to achieve this goal, while this blog “The Simple Dollar” offers practical tips.
- To find out if you should be paying attention to these tips, check out this quiz.
- General advice about getting out of debt is available at Moneysense SG.
- Help is also available from Credit Counselling Singapore.