10 Tips for Maintaining a Healthy, Happy, Glow Over Christmas and Into the New Year

It’s quite ironic that the holidays are probably the time of year that you most want to feel and look your best but they can end up being a minefield of health woes due to stress, overwhelm, overindulgence, party hangovers and colds and flus. It’s almost an unspoken rule that come December you have to indulge in unlimited amounts of Christmas treats and drinks (whether they’re sugar-packed flavoured lattes, eggnog, mulled wine, cocktails etc) and swap your exercise routine for late nights and shopping trips otherwise you’re a Grinch.

January can be depressing enough without heading into it sick or regretting the extra pounds gained.  I’ve already heard people say how they’ll do a ‘detox’ or ‘juice cleanse’ in January to make up for their sins in December.  Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy the festive season and start the New Year with a healthy happy glow and not have to repent or restrict come January?

Here are some tips that might help do just that:

Get some sleep:  If you run yourself ragged and burn the candles at both ends, you risk getting ill just because you’ve worn down your body’s defences.  Getting as good a sleep as you can when you can will go a long way to boost your immunity and also your willpower as we often crave sugar, carbs and processed crap when we’re tired and give in to temptation much easier too.  Plus they don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing!

Pack healthy snacks:  Always have something healthy on hand to nibble on so you don’t have to eat the sugary treats laying around the office or rely on canapes at parties.  Like a good Scout or Girl Guide it pays to ‘be prepared’!

Healthy swaps:  See if you can find healthier versions of your favourite Christmas foods and drinks or even try making a few at home yourself.  You may be surprised to find that sometimes you can’t tell the difference or shock, horror the healthier version is actually tastier!

Know if you are a moderator or an abstainer:  Can you be ok with one treat or are you more a ‘once you pop you can’t stop’ person?  If you are the latter it could actually be easier for you not to even touch the treat in the first place!  I know it’s easier for me to say ‘I don’t eat x, y, z’ for some treats rather than overindulging and feeling guilty (or experiencing stomach pains) afterwards.  The phrase ‘I don’t’ makes me feel that I am the one in charge and I have power over my choices!  There are some things I can have in moderation and there are others I just can’t, so I know I should give those things a wide birth.

Stay active:  While you may not be able to maintain your normal exercise regime, it’s important to stay active for physical and mental wellbeing.  Walks in nature with family or friends, using a pedometer while doing your Christmas shopping, parking a little bit further away from the shops, taking the stairs instead of the elevators etc can all add up!  Exercise will help you deal with added stress and give you an energy boost. It will also help you manage your weight over the festivities.

Hydrate:  Water is so important for every system of the body so it’s really important to keep hydrated.  Even more so if you are drinking alcohol.  Starting the day with a warm water and lemon is a great detoxifier and is a vitamin C boost too.  Keeping hydrated will also keep your skin looking well.

Alcohol: Not only is it way too easy to consume more calories than you need, the calories are actually empty calories with no nutritional benefits.  There’s also the knock on effect of lowered inhibitions (cheers midnight greasy kebab), disrupted sleep (thanks to the blood sugar swings) and cravings the next day (oh hello there selection box, crisps and tin of sweets!).  You don’t have to abstain but maybe be more mindful of what drinks you choose to drink, make sure to drink plenty of water and maybe switch up a few alcoholic drinks for non-alcoholic ones.  Your liver and your waistline will thank you!

Eat as many veggies as you can when you can:  Vegetables are power houses for immune boosting vitamins and minerals.  If your plate is mainly veggies you can’t go wrong and it’ll go a long way to keeping your body in good working order.   No harm in a few green juices and smoothies thrown in for an added boost.  Plus I’ve been seeing green juices used as mixers for cocktails…. A little naughty, a little nice!

Eat mindfully:  If you decide to indulge in a Christmas treat, make it small, go for the best quality you can and savour every moment.  By taking small bites and chewing all of your food slowly (or drinking your drink slowly) you actually taste all of the deliciousness.  If you are going to indulge, why would you indulge in the crappy stuff that’s there all year round?   Make it worth the splurge and don’t feel guilty.

Decide what’s important and be ok with saying ‘no’:  Running around frazzled and stressed is not going to help anyone.  If you feel worn-down, it’s ok to skip a party or two.  Better to be at your best for fewer occasions that you really want to attend than spreading yourself thin with events that don’t even do it for you.  Decide what your priorities are and let those be your deciding factors.

Hopefully these tips will have you feeling good all over Christmas and into the New Year!  And don’t forget to enjoy yourself!  Nothing gives you a better natural glow than the one from happiness, love and laughter!

 

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