Tips for a Happy Healthy Christmas
For thousands of years midwinter has been considered a sacred time of ritual, reflection and renewal. Midwinter celebrations date back to long before Christianity; indeed, it is likely that the early Christians chose this time to celebrate the birth of Jesus because it was already a time of celebration. In recent times we’ve lost touch with the rhythms of the year and the need for reflection during the short days of winter.
With a bit of preparation it’s possible to enjoy the festivities while allowing time to honour the stillness of the season and to nurture our relationships with each other.
That said, spending unusual amounts of time cooped up with family and in-laws combined with rich food and drink can take its toll on physical and emotional well being Here are some tips to help you enjoy the festive season without sabotaging your health or your relationships.
- Be prepared – For lots of ideas to take the stress out of Christmas see blog posts Stock up and Stay Calm and Be Prepared!
- Get physical – even if you can’t maintain your usual exercise routine aim to get some physical activity every day. Go for a walk, dance, cycle to see friends, do some yoga or play physical games. You’ll burn off calories and the endorphins will leave you feeling energised and happier.
- Take time to reflect – there are many opportunities for feeding the physical body at this time of year, but don’t forget to nourish the soul and feed the spirit. This is a perfect time to evaluate your life, reflect on the year gone by and to consider what you want to keep and what you would like to change in the coming months or years.
- Meditate – a daily meditation practice can help to keep things in perspective and leave you better able to deal with all that life throws at you. Take a few minutes each day to focus on your breathing. If you become aware that thoughts are coming up let them go and return to the breath.
- Give Thanks – take some time to feel gratitude for the year that has passed, the people in your life, your work, your home and your health. Think about what you have learned about life, love, work and relationships and how your experiences might guide you in the future. Reflect on what you would like for the year ahead and the steps you might take to manifest your dreams.
- Enjoy everything, but think moderation – Eat mindfully and savour every bite. That way you’ll be less likely to over do it and suffer the consequences later on.
- Load up on vegetables – most meals around Christmas have a combination of healthy and less healthy components but vegetables usually feature. So choose wisely and max out on the veg!
- Stay hydrated – water, coconut water, herbal teas and vegetable juices are all good ways to hydrate the body. Dilute alcoholic drinks with sparkling water. Fennel, peppermint and ginger teas are good for digestion. Lemon balm and chamomile are calming.