We’ve reached the Silly Season and it can be extra challenging if you’re overdoing things. From food, drink and spending, to stress and family issues, almost everyone hits a low spot at some time over the holidays. The build-up to Christmas can certainly be overwhelming if you lose sight that this should be a joyous time. Looking after yourself with simple healthy self-care will help you enjoy the season, not just survive it. Follow these fifty tips for Christmas wellness to stay on an even keel so you sail through the Holidays into the New Year at your very best.
- Don’t arrive at the party hungry because you’ll make poor choices and eat too much. Have a mini-meal like a salad first.
- Eat a good healthy breakfast before Christmas dinner so you don’t overdo it and end up in a turkey coma – don’t “save yourself” for later
- It’s ok to say “No” even if Nana made it specially. Or, if you really can’t refuse just have a single bite
- Don’t deny yourself, moderation is the key. Instead take smaller portions of kilojoule rich foods but don’t abstain entirely.
- Go for quality not quantity. Select only the most special or delicious homemade treats and skip the store-bought offerings.
- If you feel stressed don’t self-medicate with sweet foods. Raised cortisol levels cause sugar cravings and sweet food triggers more cortisol release – it’s a vicious cycle!
- Upgrade your Christmas recipes with healthier ingredients to nourish and increase your energy. Use nutrient rich wholefoods and reduce additives. Opt for organic meats and vegetables.
- Spice it up! Because hot spicy foods trigger the release of endorphins to lift your mood and reduce stressed feelings.
- If you feel stressed and crave something sweet have a mango. The scent of mangoes alters blood chemistry and creates a sense of calm
- Welcome the New Year with just one glass of champers. Alcohol interferes with your blood sugars, slowing down the release of glucose. Also it leads to insomnia later in the night.
- Avoid sugary drinks and drink water or herbal tea when you’re thirsty.
- Sleep! Make certain you get enough. It’s easy to miss out when you’re busy. Aim for 7-8 hours sleep every night to keep your cortisol levels balanced and reduce stress.
- Keep up your exercise to keep stress down and burn off extra kilojoules
- Pace yourself and find time to take a breather and relax. Even doing simple deep breathing for a few minutes will help.
- Take a detox bath with a few drops of grapefruit, juniper or peppermint essential oil for a cleansing detox, or lavender, neroli or vetiver essential oil for calming and relaxing.
Hangovers & After-Party Upsets
- Vitamin B rich drinks or smoothies help headaches.
- Warm water with lemon in the morning supports and cleanses your liver.
- A banana or two can ease a hangover tummy.
- Spirulina green smoothies in the morning alkalise and help balance the effect of acidifying alcohol and rich food.
- Drop high-stress customs and rituals. While traditions form the backbone of Christmas what’s more important is the time together. If nobody wants to continue something anymore, or if the ritual keeps you from spending time with the family, let it go.
- Forget perfection. Instead refocus on what’s really important to you and let the rest go.
- For a quick mood-boost take a whiff of lemon or orange.
- Walk it off! Not only does walking calm your mood it also improves sleep.
- Ask for help. Don’t feel guilty about it. Delegate the cooking, cleaning or gift wrapping.
- If finances are an issue this year be upfront. Perhaps consider other less costly options.
- Count your blessings. Appreciate the abundance of family, health and love.
- Squeeze the ‘Hoku Point‘. Apply firm pressure to the hoku point for thirty seconds to reduce stress and tension
- Do less, enjoy more.
- Go tech-free. Mobile phones and their alerts keep you in perpetual flight-fight-freeze mode which contributes to raised cortisol levels.
- When you’re anxious your breathing gets shallower. The ‘4-4-4 Method’ is a quick and simple stress reducer, Count to 4 on the in-breath, hold for the count of 4, and breathe out to the count of 4.
- Eat small meals containing protein every 2-3 hours to keep blood sugar levels steady and stabilize mood.
- Avoid the extra coffee. Both alcohol and caffeine cause and worsen anxiety, dehydrate you, interfere with your sleep and reduce your ability to cope with stress.
Other Recovery Techniques
- Donna Eden recommends this absolute simplest 3 minute technique to calm your nervous system and decrease stress. And best of all, you can do it anywhere!
- Connect with nature. Spend time outdoors, and it’s even better if you can remove your shoes and ground yourself.
- Create positive affirmations around where you feel the stress and repeat them to yourself over the season. Try “All will be well” or “I always cope when I breathe and relax”
- Relaxing sandalwood or nag champa incense, or lavender essential oil effectively decrease stress levels because the sense of smell bypasses the cognitive brain which does all the worrying.
- To quiet your mind when you feel overwhelmed gently place your fingers on your closed eyelids. Hold them until you feel centred again.
- Practice mindfulness for just ten minutes a day.
- Take a walk or do some yoga.
Homeopathy To The Rescue
I’ve saved the best for last! Homeopathic remedies are excellent for treating the acute problems that arise during times of higher-than-normal stress. Keep your home kit up to date and remember to USE THE REMEDIES!
Try these excellent Homeopathic Remedies.
However, if these don’t help visit a professional homeopath who can find the right remedy to match your specific individual symptoms.
- After overindulging in food or drink or for hangovers with headache, irritability, and nausea take NUX-VOMICA.
- For strong emotions of sadness or grief, when you’re missing a loved one take IGNATIA. Begin before your emotions overwhelm you
- When exhausted and totally burn-out from too much cooking, cleaning and entertaining, leaving you irritable and snappy at your partner and kids take SEPIA
- For jitters about getting everything right in preparing and presenting the Christmas meal take GELSEMIUM
- When children can’t sleep for anticipation and excitement about Santa give COFFEA
- For stress from staying up too late and shopping for everyone take COCCULUS
- For stress, anxiety, and even fear with a pounding heart take ACONITE.
- After receiving bad news that leaves you feeling numb, paralyzed and dizzy take GELSEMIUM.
- If hearing bad news leaves you with a knot in your stomach and a lump in your throat and you sit, sigh and sob take IGNATIA.
- If your legs ache after a long day on your feet cooking and preparing for the party take ARNICA
- When you burn yourself on the oven shelf (I’m always doing this!) take CANTHARIS
I hope these tips help your Christmas flow smoothly so you can enjoy the season
and the celebrations with your family and friends.
Let me know if they helped you in the comments below
The Information contained in, or accessed through www.catherinebullard.com.au or anything relating to Catherine Bullard is for your general health information. It is not intended to be used as medical advice and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes. The information is not a substitute for independent professional advice and should not be used as an alternative to professional health care. If you have a medical problem, especially a chronic health issue, please consult a healthcare professional.