FESTIVE SEASON SURVIVAL GUIDE: Keeping pretty healthy and staying (mostly) sane
In the last couple of months, after winter finally released its cold, dark grips, you might have been tidying up your diet, trying to do more exercise and basically getting your shit a little more together.
Now it’s almost the end of the year and most people are feeling pretty damn tired, ultra busy, rather stressed and really looking forward to a well deserved break with friends and family. The will-power to stay healthy until actual Christmas day is rapidly dwindling…
With multiple work Christmas parties, any-kind-of-group-you-or-your-kids-are-involved-with-chistmas-parties, plus everyone wanting to ‘just have a quick catch up before Christmas’ how on earth do you keep it together and not let two actual holiday days of decadence and indulgence become a whole months worth???
Here’s a health practitioner’s guide to keeping pretty healthy and staying mostly sane!
(also a very public promise to one’s self)
It’s all about these 5 basics things:
Stay hydrated. Thats 2L of water as a minimum. Or if you want to get technical its 33mls per kg of body weight. Alcohol, coffee, green, black or milky tea and soft drinks DO NOT count, sorry folks. Herbal teas count.
Break it down. It’s just 500mls by 10am, 1L by 12pm, 1.5L by 2pm and 2L by 4pm, done! I promise your bladder will adjust.
Sex it up. Put mint, strawberries, lemon, lime or aromatic bitters in it. Get sparkling water for a change (not tonic water).
Think of drinking lots of water this festive season as just staying hydrated to ‘maintain wellness’, for ‘radiant skin’, for ‘keeping your figure’ (you eat less when you’re not thirsty) or just doing it to enable you to drink more alcohol at a Christmas party - whatever floats your boat. Just do it. 2L+ daily.
Out to lunch? Out to dinner? Challenge yourself to eat as many vegetables as you can. Get a HUGE salad. Go for the vegetarian option thats bursting with veg. Have heaps of veggies as well as lots of protein at your main meals to keep you full (you’ll be stronger around the cheese platter!). This is about getting as many nutrients as possible in your body before you indulge in delicious treats, which lets face it, you will.
When your body has the enough of the right nutrient tools for the daily tasks at hand, it doesnt have to rely on adrenalin and cortisol to get you through the day - so sufficient nutrients is one less thing jacking up your stress levels.
Get. Enough. Proper. Sleep. (Parents of non-sleeping tiny humans skip to the next part)
No one likes a Grinch, especially this early in December. Get up early and go to bed early. If you’ve got lots to do, get up a little earlier (even if you’re not a ‘morning person’). This is the single easiest way to get to sleep at a reasonable hour because you’re so. damn. tired. but more jobs got done! Set multiple alarms if you have to. Here’s why we need more than 7h sleep a night.
Get off your screens at least an hour before bed. Read a book until your eyes are really tired and you drift off easily.
Get Acupuncture if you’re not sleeping well. Genuinely.
Get some supplements with Magnesium Chelate in it.
Do what you need to do to contain the festive grumpiness. Life is better when you sleep well. Get more than 7h, the people will thank you for it.
4. Yes stress is part of life. Yes, it’s often worse at this time of year. But it IS possible to look after your own mental wellbeing, even at this time of year. You’re a person not a robot with an ever increasing capacity to get more done! There are limits to your time, energy and sanity - don’t reach them.
Take it easy. Lighten the load. Say no to people or events that arent super important. The world and it’s lovely people will still be there after Christmas.
KEEP YOUR SANITY ROUTINE GOING. This beyond important right now!
Go to your usual yoga class (or more often!) Go to a meditation class or do sessions on your phone apps in your lunch break with sunglasses and headphones in (no one knows!). Go for a walk or run after dinner if you haven’t had time during the day.
Get Acupuncture to help with stress or anxiety. Read other tips in my previous blog on anxiety. Get a massage (even a 20min shopping mall one). Try a float tank.
December is a marathon not a sprint my friends, look after yourselves…
5. Lastly, off your phone and into nature. Get some Vitamin D for improved mood. Again, go for walks during your lunch break or after dinner. The weather is gorgeous right now!!
Nature of all kinds is deeply refreshing and grounding. Look up and actually take notice of what colour the roses in your neighbour’s garden are?! Check out all the cute puppies playing in the park. Admire a sunrise or sunset without taking a photo - I challenge you!
Look after yourself with the basics - they work. Hydrate. Veggies. Sleep. Relax. Nature.
Share this article with a friend whose already lost themselves to December madness.
Get a bit of Gandhi in your brain and “be the change you wish to see in the world”. Smile at a stranger. Then smile at another one, even if the last person didn’t return the joy.
Be as mindful as possible of other the other humans around you. Then you can actually enjoy! rather than endure this month. You’ll feel better on Decemeber 25th!