Ohne Reue durch die Weihnachtszeit

No regrets through the Christmas season

It's slowly getting colder and before the year draws to a close, the Christmas season awaits us.

The town centers and gardens are ablaze with the Christmas lights and you can enjoy warm punch and Christmas baked goods.

Christmas is considered the festival of love and spending this wonderful time with your loved ones in harmony and in peace is a special pleasure and even healing.

We know from studies that time with our relatives and friends , nice parties and atmospheric celebrations with the family have a positive effect on us humans.

These scientific articles show that healthy social interactions improve our mental and physical well-being .

Understandable - I would say.

With coffee and cake, roast meat and wine, pleasant conversations and also when unwrapping gifts, it is easier to "let your soul dangle".

We worry less and don't have as many negative thoughts due to the pleasant time. It is not for nothing that many people consider Christmas to be the loveliest time of the year.


Due to the crisis we are going through around the world, not everything is of course as usual. We will have to celebrate Christmas this year for the second time under very special conditions. That's why I'm trying to go through this time even more mindfully and consciously.

The storm before the calm

But does Christmas mean rest and relaxation for all of us?

Or is this high point of the year a very nerve-wracking and strenuous time for many? Just before Christmas, we are running from shop to shop, sometimes under great time pressure, with a long list of tasks to find something suitable for our loved ones. Although we know very well that we shouldn't necessarily be materialistic when it comes to giving presents at Christmas.

Understandably, we ignore some valuable tips, such as getting suitable gifts in passing during the year. Who wants to think about winter and Christmas in midsummer? We are, hopefully consciously, under the spell of the sun and the warm weather.

So the exhausting hunt for gifts repeats itself year after year.

I've wondered for many years if I would get more benefit from the holiday season if I just let go of those great efforts before it.

So just celebrate the rest, the relaxation, the get-together and the good food, but without rushing and stress beforehand.

A little cherry picking, you might say.

Of course it took a few years and I had to find alternatives. If you come empty-handed, you end up with the relatives in the tights department.

But no, kidding aside. More and more people are going through this development in my environment and we have therefore agreed on an “adults don’t give adults anything” principle. Hardly anyone sticks to that. The guilty conscience then plagues you.


In order to be able to make peace with the inner spirit of giving, the good old "Engerl-Bengerl game", also known as "Gnomes", would make sense.


Everyone who should and wants to get something writes their name on a piece of paper and throws it in a box. Then the names are drawn and you only give something to this one person. This makes it manageable, personal and even eco-friendly.

A tough test for body and health

With a round belly we sit on the couch and look for space in the pit of our stomach for one “last” biscuit. The food is just too delicious and we simply prefer to feast in a pleasant atmosphere.

I think I can say that many of us are familiar with this phenomenon and have already experienced it firsthand.

December and especially the Christmas holidays are a tough test for our weaker self , but also for our health. Often comes the stress of preparing for Christmas , the stress of overeating, and then the stress of shedding those extra pounds. Not to mention the extra rolls due to the lockdown.

Due to the pandemic & co. in 2020, Austrians gained an extra 6kg on average. A not very relaxed start to the new year.
Needless to say, going to the gym under duress also means stress. Because not everyone claps their hands with joy when they are allowed to monotonously move irons up and down in a gym.

"Those who want to be happy all the time, must change frequently!" - at least that's what Confucius thought. For us this means nothing other than if we go into the Christmas season unchanged and with the same attitude this year, then everything just repeats itself again. We get annoyed about the unpleasant stress in the time before the festival and the excessive gluttony during it. And again this year the lockdown and other restrictions will make it twice as difficult for us.

Why not come up with a little personal strategy ahead of time to minimize stress and keep the pounds in the cookie jar?

Don't get me wrong, feasting must still be allowed and is also mandatory for me during this time. It's an important reason why Christmas is (for me) so popular. Let's think of a few ways to make this Christmas even more memorable!

Redefine Christmas

What does that mean, you ask yourself? Christmas is already defined. There's almost a script for it. Maybe that's the case, maybe not. Maybe it's not as rigid as we think it is.

How about you take over directing for this year. Rewrite the script for this December! How about planning how this month should go now. Of course, including all the precautions that the biscuits stay in the tin and don't hang on your stomach over the waistband as a Christmas decoration.

Every change arises from a realization, becomes an idea and from this a plan emerges. Be the director of this Christmas and write your own screenplay. This is how an unforgettable film is made.

Write your personal Christmas screenplay

Your personal Christmas script


How should December and Christmas 2021 be? And how not?

Grab a blank notebook and start with these two questions. From now on, I recommend that you work on your script every night after you're in bed.

If successful, a screenplay for next year might be the result!

What is definitely going to happen this Christmas? I'll give you a few examples from my Christmas script . As you will soon see, I need clear structures and have therefore formulated specific resolutions. That's the only way I can actually go into implementation.


How will Christmas 2021 be a good time for me:


  • I want to spend the pre-Christmas period in peace and serenity
  • I try to have a pleasant and productive time in my home office . The work gets done, but I don't put any pressure on myself to do it
  • I would like to celebrate with my family in a pleasant atmosphere , without time pressure
  • I want to feast mindfully ! I want to eat well and also treat myself to unhealthy foods. For this I will fast specifically to stay in balance.
  • I want to respect my body's needs and even if the couch calls, I will move it to find balance
  • This Christmas, stress comes at most when I'm on the losing bench in a parlor game


What I know from the past and don't want this December:


  • This year I will neither give myself over to the stress of shopping nor succumb to the gift mania
  • I will omit the wrapping paper this year and use recyclable packaging (bags or boxes)
  • I do n't want to rush from party to party , I want to relax and enjoy it in peace. I don't have to be everywhere
  • I won't invoke the quiet time and just sit around
  • I will consciously watch television and not succumb to the Christmas coma-goggles


Maybe these suggestions will help you and you can write your own personal Christmas screenplay. Take 5 minutes every night to do this. This is an incredibly relaxing activity and even helps you fall asleep.

Please never forget, a script can change in the course of the implementation .

Don't try to force yourself to do it. It's only meant to serve as a basic guide, and reality often necessitates short-term adjustments. Otherwise only frustration, dissatisfaction and stress arise. And that's not in the script.


"There is no way. The way is made by walking!” Antonio Machado once said.

Even if I have a plan, this saying takes the pressure off my project and I can approach it relaxed. If something changes over the weeks, that's okay too.

How I manage to implement this script, I'll tell you now.


Productive and happy in the home office

Productive and happy in the home office

No, that's not a contradiction. For many, working from home is more of a nuisance than a pleasure. Many people lack their environment, their colleagues and the opportunity to leave the house. That is understandable. And for others it is a welcome change to be in their own four walls on a weekday. to be your own boss. Or almost. At least in terms of timing.

And here, of course, is one of the great advantages of flexible working models of the future. Everyone can work from where they are, when and for how long is up to you. The important thing is that the work gets done.

The well-known “ work-life balance ”, i.e. the attempt to keep work and leisure time in a healthy balance, is becoming what is known as “ work-life blending ”.

Work and leisure are mixed up. That doesn't mean being available anytime, anywhere, and not having any time for yourself. It means having a more flexible balance between professional and personal time.

We can work 2-3 hours and then do a 1 hour forest run . And if we're tired of Excel spreadsheets and e-mails by 3 p.m. in the afternoon, then we can spend the time with the children. We can catch up on work tomorrow. The process of work never ends. We just have to be smarter about the division in order to master the requirements and also have a lot of free time available.

Now we are partly involuntarily in the home office and for many this is still unusual and brings with it various problems, especially in the run-up to Christmas. And so here are a few tips on how you can optimize and enjoy your working day in your own four walls in December.

Remote work for more freedom

Remote work means nothing more than remote work. In the past this was only known for second jobs and additional earnings, but now you can find many job advertisements with this designation, even in large companies. .

In principle, it's all about maybe working at a certain time, but definitely at the place of your choice.

Recently I called the hotline of a company. The person on the other end of the line was very friendly and very personable. Since it's a small company and few "real calls" come in, there was a bit of small talk.

During the conversation, it turned out that the said Viennese call center agent was sitting in a dacha in Carinthia, near the Italian border. A dacha is simply a weekend home. He rented it there for the whole winter. The job continues. An unimportant side piece of information for others, but actually like a gong in my brain for me.

Lockdown, Christmas time and family commitments don't allow me to flee to Carinthia, but I can prepare my apartment as if I were somewhere else. During my breaks, for example, I listen to Italian music. During my sitting breaks, which are active breaks from work, I dance around the apartment and make spaghetti bolognese for lunch. I also go out at least once a day, ideally in the woods. The Wienerwald is only a five-minute walk away from me. In Vienna you can reach a wooded area within 30 minutes from any place. That's wonderfully relaxing!


Stress out - thanks to a good division

When working from home, it is even more important to organize your day wisely. Otherwise it will quickly become a mess and time will fly by.

If I set myself routines, I'm significantly more productive and happier.

Even if I don't have to go out, I have a fixed time to get up. I always start the day with a meditation and a coffee on the balcony, even in winter.

Then office time begins and I usually work two hours on important topics such as my blog. Because at this time I am still fresh and clear in the head. I prefer to work on e-mails etc. in the afternoon.

I also schedule rest and sitting breaks and try to move for a minute every 30-60 minutes. Then the brain and metabolism keep going. The daily gymnastics lesson is already on my calendar in the morning, so there are no excuses. That

Training is a fixed date, everything else has to wait. I'm the boss at home.


Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

Giving as a sign of love and friendship


The difficult thing about giving is that we don't know what to give. So we run like crazy through department stores and shopping streets in search of the right gift for our loved ones.

We then often buy too much or, unfortunately, useless things. The trade therefore has a second rush in January. On the one hand, vouchers are redeemed and, on the other hand, gifts are exchanged or returned.

In fact, stats companies have (quite impressive) numbers for even that.

For example, 16% of Christmas presents are exchanged. But what's more impressive is that 25% is just passed on. About 22% of gifts are stored away forever. And 2% are simply thrown away. That's pretty frightening. That means about 65% of gifts are actually completely useless for the recipient. Of the remaining 35% that are actually used, we don't know how much people actually enjoy it either.

For example, products bought from Amazon and returned products are sometimes scrapped. With many products, reprocessing for resale is completely unprofitable from an economic point of view and so the goods end up in the press. This happens not only at Amazon, but also in the rest of the trade.

It must be clear to us that retail is not the main culprit here. As the mentioned statistics show us, we ordered the unnecessary product or bought it in the store. Hygiene articles, for example, may not be restocked by online giants by law. Tons of functional products end up in landfill every year. Just because we think we need to give something for Christmas.

In the end, Mother Nature pays the lion's share of that price.

Not to mention the wrapping paper. This is produced to end up in the trash can a short time later. A reusable gift bag or box would help a little here. I go a step further and use waste paper to wrap gifts.. Of course, sometimes I get disturbed looks from relatives.

If you want to give something to someone close to you, you can use the screenplay tactic here as well.

Take some time and make notes about the person you want to gift.

  • What hobbies does she have?
  • What did you see when you last visited her apartment?
  • Is she collecting anything?
  • Does the person have plans, such as a trip?

The person finds the gift, it's not the other way around.


I'll anticipate that this year I'll only be giving illustrated books, i.e. nice big books.

Always suitable for the interests of the respective fellow human beings. For example, my partner gets an illustrated book about Japan. Because she loves this country, its culture, the landscapes and the food. She is very keen to visit Japan soon and I want to reinforce her wish.

I consciously do not buy books with a lot of text. But with big beautiful pictures. In it you can lose yourself, relax and dream. And maybe set new goals.


Keep moving over Christmas

One thing we have to acknowledge, it's catastrophic conditions to stay in shape. We're partially in lockdown, gyms are closed and it's getting really cold outside.

But that shouldn't be an excuse. Because we know how difficult it is to shed the extra pounds in January. I can do without this stress after the cozy Christmas season.

We need an everyday strategy to stay in shape! We need to burn the calories right away and not dump them into our fat cells.

If you're disciplined and do daily workouts under the Christmas tree, hats off. But that's not easy for all of us. That's why I prefer to stick to a balancing training strategy that I can easily incorporate into everyday life.

Here are my quick & dirty favorites to stay fit:

  • Incorporate sitting breaks. Our metabolism gets tired quickly and shuts down after just 30 minutes. Break that spell and keep getting up to do some lunges or push-ups! Exercise selection and level of difficulty are completely irrelevant, the main thing is that you set an impulse.
  • Farmers carry from the supermarket ! Carrying things is evolutionarily known to our body. We didn't always have cars and trolleys. This is how you used to stay fit without a gym. Carry your groceries home in bags, use stairs instead of elevators, take breaks whenever you want, but use this time and tasks effectively!

There's more than enough to wear at Christmas.

  • HIIT training, i.e. high-intensity interval training, is already known to many amateur athletes. Accelerate properly in a short time. You don't need a gym for that either.

Open the door and run up the stairs at a fast pace. Slowly come back down and repeat this once or twice. It only takes a few minutes and you probably won't even break a sweat, but it will burn off a few calories and get you out of your couch coma.

  • I also like to use the contemplative time for so-called “mental walks” in a pleasant environment. I prefer the forest for that. Nothing is more relaxing for me. The forest has a calming effect on our stress system thanks to its colors, smells and silence. The pulse and blood pressure drop after a few minutes. So we benefit twice. We lower our stress level and move in nature.


I try to earn sweets, cakes and the like. Every time I sit down at the table to eat, I do a minute of lunges or other simple exercises beforehand. Of course, that can't keep up with a regular visit to the gym, but we stay active and at least partially balance out the calorie balance.


Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Mindful feasting - a new Christmas trend?

When festivities are coming up, there is one thing we are particularly good at.

I'm eating too much. Unfortunately, but also in the constant food.

Furthermore, we switch from one celebration to the next during the Christmas season and it sometimes becomes a marathon without running shoes. Our digestion never has a break and works at full speed.


For years I have been trying to successfully maneuver my way through the Christmas happenings by alternating between eating and not eating.

This means that I fast specifically between the individual celebrations. This gives me the opportunity to get off with a good calorie balance. Although I don't shy away from greasy roasts, biscuits and cakes.

But I'll do without breakfast and any snacks in between for the whole of December. In the morning I think about where I will be that day and when I can expect main meals. Then I decide the “trappings”. I usually limit myself to two long meals.

If I'm invited to breakfast, I skip lunch or dinner.

Cardiologists are happy when they hear something like this and call it "dinner canceling".

The concept of fasting not only helps regulate our body weight, it also has many other health benefits.

Fasting starts the recycling factory in our bodies. Misfolded protein and cell debris can be processed in this way. According to studies, this process called autophagy causes rejuvenation in our body.


The holiday season has a stronger effect on us than we think. Socializing with family or friends is not only pleasant, it also has an impact on our health. This is shown by various studies on social health. Spending a pleasant time with my loved ones is particularly important to me during the holidays and gives me strength for the coming year.



I wish you all happy holidays and happy holidays!

Your performance coach & biohacker

Richard Staudner







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