Christmas is a time of excess on so many levels. Drink, food, less exercise, more annoying family members, parties, high heels and sore feet. I'm all about enjoying a good knees-up during the festive season, but here's a few great health hacks I employ for damage control:
Issue #1: You feel run-down
You've been in Christmas prep mode for at least a few weeks, work is actually winding up rather than down, and you're facing a whole Christmas with your sister sleeping on the couch with her 2 year old. There's a fair bit taking its toll on your body - it's no wonder you're feeling a bit under the weather.
Health Hack: Try to maintain your exercise regime, to keep endorphins (your happy chemical) flowing, and think about introducing a greens supplement into your morning routine for extra vitamins and minerals. I take mine with some powdered magnesium after a workout to help with muscle soreness, and also quality of sleep. Show yourself some love by getting at least 7 hours of good-quality shut eye.
Issue #2: You're eating too much
You think just one cookie will satisfy your tastebuds, but that quickly turns into six, and this is the third day in a row. We've all been there!
Health Hack: Think on it first - choosing your food mindfully is half the battle. Ask yourself, do you want to partake in over-eating? Does it make you feel good? Make sure you take the time to sit and appreciate what you're eating, and chew your food well. Create your own awareness and choose your own outcome.
Issue #3: Your in-laws give you a headache
They're lovely and all that, but having to have the same conversation with your in-laws about when they might be getting grandkids is waring thin. On top of that, there's a few late nights, a bottle (or two) of red wine, and family of 15 to feed. A mighty headache ensues.
Health Hack: Drink heaps of water to ensure it's not caused by dehydration, and reach for some Nurofen to relieve pain, fast. If you need something that acts fast (who doesn't?!) you can try Nurofen Zavance - with it's special formulation it is absorbed up to two times faster that standard Nurofen so you can get on with planning your witty responses to the in-laws!
Issue #4: Your gym / studio closes over the holidays
Everyone needs a break right? Sometimes its a good thing to be thrown out of your usual routine.
Health Hack: Grab a mate and head to the park for some body-weight exercises such as lunges, burpees and squats or head for an ocean swim. You can also use it as an opportunity to try out the other studios that are open when you need them - and there's often a free pass for your first visit. Think outside the box and try something new - salsa dancing, arial yoga, or head into the great outdoors for horse riding or even sledging!
Issue #5: The crowds stress you out
Nothing raises your cortisol levels (stress hormone) than having to wade through angry shoppers.
Health Hack: High levels of cortisol can wreak havoc on your body - I've been there and worn the t-shirt. Rather than hit the high street, stay at home and order gifts online. You can even get them gift wrapped in the process to save you that hassle too. Let someone else do the work for a change while you kick back and take some time out. Remember to keep that Nurofen Zavance on hand to relieve pain quickly - stress headaches are the worst!
Issue #6: There's tempting food everywhere
Your house and office is filled with chocolates and other goodies you don't usually have access to and they're calling your name!
Health Hack: The holidays are a time to let loose, so you shouldn't have to miss out on tasty treats. Why not re-make your favourites with a healthy twist? When I want a treat, I replace sugar in baked goods with stevia, and when chocolates are calling, I have a few dates filled with nut butter. So yum, and easier on the waistline too!
Issue #7: You're suffering from party burn out
Remember you don’t need to say yes to every invite that comes your way. Pick a few of your faves and ditch the rest - it's a holiday gift to yourself!
Health Hack: Plan some time in your diary to rest and reboot - enjoy a delicious home cooked meal and a re-run of your favourite holiday movies. You'll be so grateful for some time to recoup, and it will keep you happy and healthy.
Issue #8: You can't sleep
You know Santa is on his way and you're hugely excited to the point of no sleep. Either that, or you have a lot on your mind. There's so much to do, people to see and things to organise that drifting off soundly can seem like a distant memory.
Health Hack: Start to wind down an hour before you want to be asleep, turning off electronic devices (that includes the TV) and try picking up a book. Reading for just 10 minutes can help to turn off that internal conversation, and clear your mind ready for bedtime. I also love applying a little lavender essential il wo my wrists and temples for an extra soothing effect.
Just remember that your health is your most treasured asset.
It YOUR holiday, so it's time to prioritise you - don't suffer through pain, stress, or feeling less than your best. Take time to properly look after yourself over the silly season and start the new year with a bang!
*Editor’s Note: This article is a paid post by Nurofen Australia. Any information about non-Nurofen products is the opinion of the author. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Fit Foodie Blog possible.