Gemma McCaw’s perfect family Christmas

Gemma McCaw's advice on spending Christmas with loved ones.

Former Black Sticks captain Gemma McCaw has made a career out of being fit and healthy, so she knows a thing or two about wellness. Each week Gemma shares her tips on how to live healthier, from getting started on your fitness to how to increase your water intake. This week she gives her advice on how to have the best possible Christmas with your loved ones.

It can be easy to get stressed out at this festive time – family might be coming to stay, budgets are tight and the kids are off school! But try to take a step back and reflect on all the positives.

Think about the year that’s gone and all you’ve achieved. Look around you and be thankful for friends, family and loved ones.

Most of all, enjoy the sunshine and special celebrations – and embrace the fact that it’s finally time to relax!

Be grateful

Amid the chaos and excitement of preparing for Christmas, try to take a moment to be grateful for all you have. Practising gratitude has huge benefits – it can put life into perspective and make us feel much happier.

Some people even keep a gratitude journal, where they write down three positive things as they happen each day. This means we get into the habit of noticing the good in life, rather than focusing on the negatives.

Look out for anyone who might be lonely

While most of us are surrounded by loved ones at this time of year, Christmas can be lonely for some. Spare a thought for neighbours or elderly relatives who may be on their own.

Pop in on Christmas morning or perhaps drop off a plate of food. Even better, can you make room at your table for an extra? The more the merrier, I say!

Take care of yourself

It’s easy to overindulge during the silly season, but being mindful of what we’re eating and drinking will help keep things in check.

Yes, we all love a treat – and there’s nothing wrong with that – but just watch how much alcohol and processed food you’re having, and try to have a good balance.

Our Black Sticks nutritionist once said to us, “Christmas is only one day of the year.” Let’s hit 2018 with a spring in our step!

Keep your gifts simple

Christmas doesn’t have to be expensive. Homemade gifts are just as special, if not more so, than bought ones because they show you’ve put in time and effort for someone.

How about getting the kids involved and whipping up some baking? Handmade fudge looks lovely in a vintage jar tied with a ribbon. Or make fun, budget-friendly cards and decorations.

Another lovely idea is giving relatives a framed family photo. Remember that the best gift you can give someone is your time.

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