The festive season means different things to different people. One thing that affects most of us though is increased demands on our time. Although it can be a happy time, for many it is also a stressful time. If you're feeling overwhelmed, here are some tips to help you survive the season with your health intact.
It may seem obvious, but many of us need to be reminded to drink plenty of water. It is especially important this time of year when for many people alcohol intake goes up. Start each day with a big glass of water and aim to have 6 -8 glasses during the day. If you’re going out, remember the old rule of having a glass of water for every glass of alcohol. Add to this a big glass of water to start the night and another before bed.
To avoid becoming stressed and grumpy this time of year, regular good nights of sleep are essential. A good idea is to make a strict bed time rule for yourself on those nights when you’re not going to be out. 10pm is a good time to aim for. Be strict and don’t allow yourself to stay up late mindlessly watching tv or scrolling through social media.
Manage your diary
Although it can be difficult with children’s activities and work commitments, try to schedule some down time each week. Block off time where you can relax with no commitments.
Love your liver
The extra alcohol and processed or fatty foods that come with celebratory occasions means a lot of extra work for your liver. Often when you’re feeling sluggish and grumpy it can be a sign that our liver is feeling over-burdened by its workload. Try the following to give your liver some support:
- Have at least 2-3 alcohol free days a week
- Take St Mary’s thistle, a herb which protects liver cells.
- Eat a small salad of bitter green leafy veggies.
Often when we’re rushing around we’re unconsciously taking short shallow breaths. Take a few moments to be mindful and focus on your breath. Make your breath slower and deeper through your nostrils. Breathe in for four counts and then out for four counts. It’s amazing how different this simple exercise can make you feel.
Spend time outdoors
If you have the time, each week make an effort to spend some of it either in a park, the countryside or your own backyard. It’s amazing how much more calm and centred we feel after spending time outdoors.
Eat your vegies
Balance the festive food by making yourself a couple of dinners each week that are simple, but full of vegetables and salad.
Take a supplement
During stressful periods our bodies require more nutrients. Ones to consider include the B vitamins, vitamin C and magnesium. Vitamin C and the B vitamins are needed in greater amounts when we’re stressed and magnesium not only aids with the relaxation of tense muscles, it can help with fatigue and insomnia. Herbs can be very beneficial to support your nervous system and stress response. These can include Withania, Rhodiola, St John’s Wort and Skullcap, and are available as either tinctures or tablets.
Drink herbal tea
Take the time to enjoy the ritual of making yourself a cup of tea. Include relaxing herbs such as chamomile, lemon balm, lime blossom, oat straw, skullcap and lavender.
It’s important at this time of year to take stock, and prioritise. Re-evaluate what is important in your life – make your health one of your priorities.