At this time of year celebrations are aplenty. There is no shortage of Christmas parties amongst family and work colleagues, followed by the ringing in of the New Year. This time of celebration is often one of indulgence and people often allow themselves a few kilograms to come and go as part of what is seen as a normal rite of passage.
It is an interesting concept to ponder – a time of year where gaining weight, eating too much and ‘over-indulging’ is considered the norm. Why is this?
It might seem so normal that my questioning it seems bizarre, but from my perspective it is bizarre that we would for one day intentionally do something that is not supporting or harming to our bodies, let alone a whole holiday season. Does this not seem bizarre to you?
To me this situation begs several questions:
- Why is it that we feel ok about drinking so much alcohol, especially over this time?
- Why is it that overeating is considered normal at this time?
- Why is it in a world where we are all increasingly afraid of the illness and disease statistics, that we allow a holiday season to contribute to it in this way?
The intention here is not to sound Grinch-like, but to highlight the realities of the world we are currently living in. I am so passionate about seeing those around me not suffer from ill-health and disease, that these questions need to be asked if we are to truly arrest the behaviours that are leading us up a very expensive, and exhaustive path with our health-care.
It may be argued that these times and choices are only temporary, and don’t have a lasting effect on our health, but do we know this for sure? As we know damage builds up cumulatively in our bodies, and as we get older recovering from the damage can be slower or not as complete. This recurring damage is how things like cancers, osteoarthritis and type 2 diabetes can develop.
If the way we are commonly celebrating these events is causing us damage, then perhaps we need to look at other ways to celebrate. If we considered having a ‘dry’ Christmas there could be less emotion, conflict, complication and certainly hangovers as a result. The same goes for New Years Eve. Imagine no one crying in a toilet on New Years – from alcohol intoxication at least!
The holiday season is a most beautiful time that can be spent connecting with family and friends – and celebrating a year that has been, and the one to come. There is so much joy that can be experienced just in these interactions alone, that any other substances are not truly needed to sustain it. If they are felt to be needed, and there isn’t this joy, then seeking support for other ways to manage would be a good idea (for example a friend, counsellor or your GP).
As human beings, it would appear that we have adopted some versions of celebration that are not in accord with what our body would truly like. It is our choice ultimately as to the style of celebration we choose. The option is there to choose one where our body feels listened to and is able to continue to truly celebrate, with our health and vitality, accordingly.
4 Comments Add yours
Beautifull whats here delivered Amelia.
The most of us (did) use these Rituals of indulgence on the holidays. And most of us think it’s a good thing to do and that we/they deserve this. In truth we / they wanna escape from the hardness and loveliness, from the self abuse we did to us on the whole year! A time out from the self abuse…
So why not start with true self care? To stop the self abuse and to connect and re- connect with the true inner tenderness, the inner most, the inner beauty! From there true caring and wellbeing will start.with love and care
I think the question you posed is a very good one to ask. There are many things in the world that if you look at it simply do not make sense and the way we celebrate at Christmass and New Years Eve is one of them. I can feel how unloving we as a humanity are to not let ourselves see that overeating and drinking alcohol actually is not really a celebration of ourselves but more an intoxification. I love how you offered here an alternative to try celebrate being together as a family without overeating and drinking lots of alcohol. Thank you for sharing Amelia.
Great blog Dr Amelia, I have certainly experienced in the past indulging time around the Christmas period especially in France where food is great part of the culture. My body would suffer a lot and the worst was that as soon as we recovered we would do it again for the New year celebration.
I used to believe for most of my life that I could not have a good time without alcohol. I have discovered that this was a total illusion and I now enjoy Christmas far more than I used to with no alcohol whatsoever.