It’s official! We are less than one week away from Christmas Day. December always feels like a busy month and I have noticed more and more people who are run down with cold trying to finish everything before the new year.
Christmas can be a very indulgent period and it is important to look after our health and well-being to keep our immune system up. Here are my top 5 tips to help keep you well through this festive period:
1. Keep hydrated between drinks
Whilst you may have a glass of fizz or two, it is important to look after our livers and kidneys and keep fluid flowing in our bodies. Whether you will be drinking plenty of tea, coffee and/or alcohol, try and remember to drink water in between. I find that if I am thirsty, my lips go dry (even with lipstick and lip gloss on). If in doubt, have a quick lick of your lips and grab some water or have some herbal tea.
Of course, if you are driving anywhere, please do not drive (even if you are having water in between).
2. Keep moving and keep stretching
With all the celebrations, you might not have as much time to want to go out for a run or a walk. Most yoga and Pilates studios in the UK will be closed on Christmas and Boxing Day so for those of you that practise yoga or Pilates regularly, you might not be able to attend a class during that time. If you can, go for a walk in the fresh air or spend even just 15 minutes in the morning to do some gentle stretching exercise.
3. Breathe and let it go
Christmas can be a challenging time for many. I know people who eagerly look forward to the celebrations and I also know a few who dread facing certain families and relatives that they do not necessarily get along well with. If you fall into the latter group and you are in that awkward moment, breathe and try to let it go. I know it might be easier said than done. One of the things that I have learned in the last few years is that when someone is not particularly pleasant towards you, it is usually about them and not you.
Some of you may have a lot of plans over this festive season. Whether you might be cooking for 20 people or you have busy travel plans going up and down the country, sufficient sleep can help maintain our immune system at a healthy level.
5. Be Guilt-Free
I often hear people talking about feeling guilty over eating too much unhealthy food, drinking too much and then thinking of cutting back but not actually acting on it. I used to be that person of eating too much and regretting it afterwards. I no longer feel guilty over eating that little slice of cake, as living in guilt feels like a very negative thing. I can’t change the past and nor can you. We can only learn from our mistakes. If you want that bit of chocolate or Christmas cake, have a bit and keep everything in moderation. Life is to be enjoyed.
What would be even better is to plan ahead and make healthy alternatives in advance, if you can. For example, you can replace sugar with stevia in your desserts. For snacks, you can choose dried nuts and fruit instead of crisps. Instead of chocolate, you can make some raw cacao balls which can be incredibly scrumptious.
Above all, enjoy this Christmas and namasté.