Christmas is just around the corner. The Christmas lights are sparkling, you can feel Summer in the air, bringing warmth and excitement and you might be planning for a relaxing break with family and friends.
Though for some people, this time of year can be a busy and stressful time. Worn out, juggling tired kids, Christmas parties, tackling the crowds at the shops and the stress of trying to fit everything into your schedule can impact on your physical and emotional health.
According to Relationships Australia, Christmas is considered as one of the six most stressful life events, along with divorce, moving house and changing jobs. That’s astounding!
So, it’s really no wonder that this busy time of year can be a challenging time for your health! Some people are also trying to cope with a chronic health condition and maybe struggling with low energy and chronic fatigue.
Christmas time demands energy, so I’ve put a list together of things that can help you start your New Year feeling a little bit calmer, healthier and more centred.
Make Space for Calm
It’s hard to feel calm and focused when you have so much on the ‘to do’ list in the lead up to Christmas. 10 minutes a day of mindfulness practice can help to reduce your stress levels, help you to feel grounded and give you the gift of a calmer Christmas. I’ve been using the free Insight Timer App, check it out!
Support Your Digestion
The festive season is a time for indulging in rich foods that you normally wouldn’t eat, and this can often leave you feeling bloated with IBS, digestive upsets, diarrhoea and constipation, suffering headaches, low energy and just feeling uncomfortable.
Be realistic and enjoy the festive food, depriving yourself will only make you want to have them more. Balance the rich foods with simple, nourishing meals where you can. Traditional bitter herbs such as Dandelion root, Gentian and Wormwood can also help your body break down food more effectively when taken before meals.
Simple Nourishing Meals
There is a lot of pressure and added stress to plan and prepare elaborate meals at Christmas. I encourage you to simplify your meals. Ensure you eat a good quality protein with each meal, 5 serves of vegetables per day and stay hydrated by drinking at least 2 litres of fresh, clean water. To support your nervous system, enjoy wild-caught salmon, tuna, sardines, turkey, avocado, eggs, nuts and seeds and dark leafy green vegetables.
Prioritise Your Rest
The thought of rest may seem elusive right now, but rest will better equip you to take on the numerous tasks that you have to do. Restrict technology before bed and aim to get at least 8 hours of good quality restorative sleep.
Set a regular alarm in the morning and make sure you stick to your regular sleep schedule, even during the holidays. If you are tired, a brief 20-minute nap can leave you feeling refreshed. Check out the Pzizz App to help you with this! And don’t forget to allocate time to rest and soak up the precious moments and blessings of Christmas.
Improve Your Energy
Are you feeling zapped of energy or just plain exhausted?
There are nutritional supplements and herbs that can help get back your Christmas cheer! Herbal Adaptogens such as Withania, Rhodiola and Siberian Ginseng help your adrenal glands and your body to cope more effectively with the demands of the silly season. A stress-busting vitamin-B complex (containing all the B vitamins) is another way effective way to increase energy naturally too. Another added bonus is vitamin B1 (thiamine) can help the liver metabolise alcohol, which is often drunk in excess at Christmas time.
Please feel free to refer back to these tips, throughout the festive season if you need to. While these tips are a wonderful place to start, if you are suffering from prolonged periods of stress, exhaustion or anxiety it’s important to speak to your Healthcare Practitioner. If you need immediate support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or visit Beyond Blue at http://beyondblue.org.au. Or click here to book a 1:1 naturopathic consultation with me.
I wish you a healthy and happy Christmas!
Kristy – Aussie Naturopath x