Festive Fatigue – 5 Ways to Beat it!

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Christmas is meant to be the most wonderful time of the year. However, as the festive celebrations increase in length each year, and as the overwhelming crowds of Christmas shoppers become more intense, it’s easy to fall into a state of Christmas fatigue.


Not to worry though, as there are plenty of ways in which to overcome the fatigue and revel in the true Christmas spirit. MOMA have provided their top 5 ways to reduce the effects of festive fatigue so you can fully enjoy Christmas with friends and family.

How does festive fatigue develop?

Festive fatigue comes about from the stress of preparing for Christmas Day, as well as the tradition of overeating when the day comes around. According to a study by the University of Edinburgh, this can bring on a negative mix of hormones, including serotonin, dopamine and cortisol.


The study revealed that special family time produces the happy hormone serotonin. When this serotonin is combined with surges of cortisol reportedly caused by Christmas preparation, the knock on effect can be comfort eating.


The end result of this, as reported in the study results in the production of dopamine, which quickly rises and falls.This curious combination can leave you feeling up at some points during the day, only to crash back down into a state of fatigue later on.

Five ways to fight the Christmas fatigue

You don’t have to put up with the fatigue and there are plenty of ways to combat it. Here are five of the most simple ways of doing so, to really make the most of the fun and festivities.

1. Drink plenty of water

Dehydration can contribute to feeling stressed and eventually result in Christmas fatigue. During the festive period, we tend to enjoy more than the odd tipple here and there, which increases dehydration. As such, it’s important to think about how much water you’re drinking each day, especially after alcohol, to reduce the likelihood of developing the dreaded fatigue.

2. Don’t sit about, make an effort to keep active

It’s so tempting to sit in a comfy armchair by the fire enjoying a classic Christmas film, especially after eating the hefty Christmas meal! However, by taking a mere 10 or 15 minutes to head out for a gentle stroll to blow away the cobwebs, you will instantly feel so much better than if you were to stay cooped up indoors.

3. Start the day with whole grains such as porridge

This will work especially well on Christmas morning! Porridge oats are considered one of the most nutritious breakfasts you can enjoy, due to their low sugar levels and many health benefits.


Because they are a carbohydrate, they are quickly digested and provide an instant energy boost in the morning. Their low sugar content also means that you won’t suffer from a crash later on in the day, and the high levels of fibre will keep you from feeling peckish up until your traditional Christmas dinner! Each of these benefits can help reduce the likelihood of developing Christmas fatigue.


A handful of almonds, chia or pumpkin seeds – to name a few – can give your porridge an added protein boost. The lovely combination of good carbohydrates and protein will leave you feeling ready and raring to tackle the task ahead of preparing Christmas dinner.

4. Catch up on the ZzZs

Make the most of having some time off work over Christmas and enjoy an extra hour or so under the warm shelter of your duvet. Getting enough sleep can help you to feel in tip top condition, ready to enjoy the wonderful day ahead.


A 30-minute power nap sometime during the early afternoon can help your immune system as well as give you that much needed energy boost, to reduce the chances of suffering from festive fatigue.

5. Enjoy yourself

Last of all, don’t overthink everything. Christmas is a time to enjoy some quality relaxation time with those you love most; don’t let stressing about what needs to be done get the better of you. It’s best to accept that nothing is perfect and something is bound to go differently to how you expected, and that’s ok! Preparing yourself for the unexpected will help you to enjoy the day, slips up and all, leaving fatigue and frenzies behind you.


If you have your own ways of dealing with Christmas fatigue, share them with me in the comments below!


About The Author

Following the birth of his son in 2009, Paul was unfit and sluggish. Since then he's been training using a range of exercise techniques and gained some valuable information over the years. Events he has completed to date are Total Warrior, Pier To Pier, Bamburgh 10k, Hamsterley 10k, Blaydon Races, Newcastle Stampede and over 50 parkruns. In 2012 he created his own challenge called the '12 Days of Christmas.' He raised over £1000 for Percy Hedley by running 60 miles to celebrate their 60 years. In 2013 he ran the '12 parkruns of Christmas' with friend Lee Nyland. The pair raised over £1400 for the Tiny Lives Fund.

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