We know the festive season can play havoc on our health, but a few simple tips can help you maintain the wellness you've worked so hard for during the year without missing out on the fun!
1. Manage your stress
End of year deadlines, financial pressures and trying to work around family commitments & conflicts can cause a lot of extra stress at this time of year. Be mindful of your triggers and put in place strategies to manage stress before it all gets too much. Meditation, yoga, calming essential oils or an indulgent massage are all great ways to give your mind a break from the worry.
2. Just say No.
While it's tempting to say yes to every invitation, often this can end up leaving you over extended, exhausted and feeling resentful about having to attend events you really don't want to. Saying no to the events you're not that fussed about gives you more time for the ones you're really looking forward to. Time with family and friends is precious, give yourself the time to truly enjoy it rather than rushing from event to event just to "make an appearance".
3. Eat well in between parties
We completely understand the temptation of a never-ending cheese platter or the guilty pleasure of a steaming hot party pie so you won't get any of that 'skip the party food' advice here. Instead, the key is to make sure you eat even better than usual for the rest of the day. Rather than reaching for something greasy the morning after an event when you might be feeling a little worse for wear, have a fridge full of nourishing food prepared in advance so you can grab a healthy meal on the run after you've slept through the alarm.
4. Choose less sugary alcohol options to help you sleep better
Ever noticed that while you can fall asleep quickly after a few drinks, its sometimes hard to stay asleep or wake feeling fully rested? This is due to the fact that alcohol reduces the amount of deep, restorative REM sleep you achieve overnight.
A recent study by Columbia University has found that sugar has a similar effect on our sleep patterns by increasing sleep arousals - intrusions that pull you out of deep sleep without actually awakening you. This means that a night spent on wine, beer or sugary cocktails can lead to a double whammy of sleep disturbance.
Not only will swapping the odd wine or beer for a vodka & soda help maintain your waistline, it may help you sleep better over the festive period.
6. Allow yourself a sleep-in or power nap
While nothing beats a solid 7-9 hours sleep to keep you on top of your game, we know its not always possible at this time of year. Give yourself permission to repay the sleep debt with a sleep-in or power nap as often as you need it.