The holidays are a beautiful time to spend enjoying yourself with family and friends and most importantly letting loose and forgetting about the stresses of the year before.
There’s something about the holidays that causes us to throw all our previous hard-work to the wind and wine and dine our way through the festive season (with glee). Now while we’re not saying you shouldn’t do this, there are a few ways that we can remain balanced, and stop the Christmas blow-out before the post-gorging regret sinks in, and we all know it inevitably does.
Staying healthy and happy throughout the holidays isn’t about abstaining from all that delicious festive food, instead it’s just maintaining a balanced relationship with yourself – how you move, what you consume and how you interact.
Start the day right
If you start the day with a nourishing, nutrient-dense breakfast, your body will crave similar foods throughout the day – similarly, start the day with a high-sugar breakfast and don’t be surprised if you’re reaching for the sweet treats come mid-morning.
We suggest starting the day with a beautiful green smoothie or a breakfast with plenty of protein and good fats.
Here are two of our favourites:
Janella Purcell’s Green Smoothie
Rye Toast with Poached Free-Range Eggs, Wilted Spinach, Avocado and Sprouts
And if afterwards you don’t exactly stick to your plan then don’t stress! Life happens and at least you got in your daily dose of greens first thing.
It’s easy to forget to drink (water) during the festive season. While you’re sipping on mulled wine, or champagne or other heavenly beverages, remember to sip on some H20 in between drinks. Alternatively bring a large bottle of water with you if you’re running around during the day to ensure you keep up your proper levels.
Spice things up by adding some delicious citrus or kiwi fruit to keep things exciting.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of social engagements throughout the festive season, and for those of us who are less inclined to attend, it’s important that friends and family keep in touch.
Its ok to feel stressed at this time of year, and most of us do, however when it extends beyond the mild stress associated with buying presents, wrapping, cooking and entertaining, it might be time to reflect on whether it’s time to reach out for support.
This time of year is all about connection and relationships. All of the images, songs, media and radio shows bombard us with messages of holiday indulgences, happiness and connectivity.
This time of year highlights all of the things that we perceive are missing from our lives. We are faced with a constant barrage of ‘happy and functional families and relationships’ in movies, media and all of the Christmas marketing.
Read more about how to best look out for family and friends this Christmas.
Say yes to dessert
To deny oneself life’s pleasures is not what we should be doing around Christmas time, instead let go of the guilt and indulge – to a point.
In the same vein, don’t feel bad about saying no to something either. If you really don’t want those sugar-laden deep-fried donuts coated in chocolate then just say “no thanks”. There’s no need to pass it off as “Oh… I really shouldn’t” or “I’m so full already”. If you don’t want it – own it!
If you’re enjoying any type of food it’s important to eat mindfully.
Enjoy every mouthful, savour the flavours and take notice of when you’re starting to feel full. This will stop you feeling awful after over-indulging, or eating more than your stomach can handle.
Learn more about the practice of eating mindfully here.