F or many the year end is a time to relax with family and friends and to indulge in food and drink, throwing any thoughts of good health out the window.

Eleven-and-a-half months of the year, you probably do the right thing. You eat healthy, exercise regularly, and maintain your work/life balance.

Hectic Holidays

So what is it about the Holiday Season that makes even the most disciplined people fall apart?

Where’s the reset button? During hectic holidays, you’ll likely stress more, party more, eat and drink more, and get less time to sleep, exercise, and relax than during any other two week period of the year.

If you overeat and drink during the Holiday Season, you can feel bloated, heavy, slow and generally unhappy. Try foods and drinks that have a cleansing effect. Think crisp, clear, and fresh. Here are some tips:

  • Sip on ginger tea. Ginger helps digestion and can relieve nausea.
  • Try chamomile tea. This may help calm you down so you can relax and sleep better.
  • When you wake up every morning, drink a glass of water warm and with a twist of lemon.
  • Eat more fibre. Foods rich in fibre, like apples, bran, beans, almonds, and spinach, can keep things moving on out of your system. They’re like scrubbing brushes, cleaning out the pipes.
  • Go fresh and lean. This is the time to opt for unprocessed food – fresh veggies and fish, whole grain breads, skinless chicken. You want to give your body some time to recuperate.
  • Too much salt can make you retain water, causing that horrible bloated feeling.
  • Start a mild exercise routine, like going for a walk in the early evening or early morning.
  • If you need more help, speak to your doctor or pharmacist about medications that can help with gas, bloating, indigestion or heartburn.

Give your Mind some Space

But the Festive Season takes its toll on the mind as well. Once all the gifts have been given, all the leftovers have been  emptied out of the fridge and the empty bottles have been taken away, your mind will need release and relief from the stress. Try some of these ideas to refresh your mind and soul.

  • Resist caffeine. Give your brain a break from effects of caffeinated drinks. Remember many teas also contain caffeine.
  • Take a few moments after you get up in the morning to do some gentle stretching and take some deep breaths. Find a quiet place to sit and appreciate the stillness of your surroundings.
  • Rest your senses. Keep away from the computer, the TV, even the morning paper. All that stimulation can make you tense and restless. Rather go for a walk or drive into the country for a picnic with your family.
  • Breathe into relaxation. Give meditation or deep breathing exercises a try.

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