This time of year is fraught with stress, overeating, over-drinking, last minute shopping mayhem and those pesky family feuds resurfacing on Christmas day. We are all frazzled after a difficult and busy year, guilt and self-sabotage are rife after our twenty end of year functions and we just can’t muster up the energy to, well, be Merry!
Now more than ever we are exposed to higher than acceptable stress levels; whether through work, relationship woes, financial stress. Our quality of food is on the decline and our choice of diets are now more questionable than ever. Convenience foods, microwave meals and on-the-go eating is an everyday occurrence, because there simply doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to focus 100% on our health leading up to Christmas.
We have therefore shared our favourite tips on how to survive the festive season below so that you can focus on what is important, such as quality time with your most precious humans and relishing in giving and sharing with those around us. It isn’t necessarily giving to your friends and family, but also to people in our community who desperately need our help.
Tip # 1: De-Stress
- YES YES YES! Stress is a killer. That is a fact. So take time out of your busy lives to destress where possible and make a conscious effort to eliminate things that stress you out, for good!
- It is imperative that you work on finding ways to declutter your minds, and de-stress your bodies (while still juggling end of year functions and the festivities that go with them)!
- Do yoga or meditate. AND get yourself a Personal Trainer during the festive season to ensure you keep yourself in check and not go completely off the rails!
- We work very closely with Dr Lulu Beyers, of The White Lotus studio based in Cape Town. Dr Beyers uses Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Herbal remedies to optimise treatment outcomes, and has extensive experience in treating gynaecological/hormonal disorders. The White Lotus studio also offers Yoga & Meditation classes.
Tip # 2: Eat Food Made With Love!
- It is vital that you nourish your body with nutritious whole and natural foods. So make sure you eat food made with LOVE! By this, we mean cooking food from scratch, and being totally connected with the food that you are cooking, and consuming.
- Stay clear of processed or pre-cooked meals from supermarkets that are mass-produced, full of artificial ingredients and almost always laden with too much salt.
- Having a relationship with your food and your body are the first steps to creating harmony within.
- Increase your intake of fruit, raw vegetables, organic proteins and avoid wheat and man-made products that have very little nutritional value to them!
- Eat nutritiously for at least 5 out of 7 days during the festive season so that you are not burdened with constant guilt when you do have an indulgent night!
Tip # 3: Get Quality ZZZZZ’s
- Sleep deprivation plays havoc with your body and your weight! It is therefore imperative that you create a space that is your tranquil haven at night so that you can get the quality of sleep that your mind and body deserves.
- Avoid any stimulation at night such as your phone or laptop. Select a curfew in the evening where you switch off all technology and create a window of “me” time where you can start to deflate from the day’s worries and stress.
- Having a warm bath and creating a warm ambience in your room just before lights out is the perfect way to drift off into lala-land.
- Although at this time of year it is difficult to avoid alcohol in the evenings, set yourself a booze curfew and then switch to water to ensure that by the time your head hits the pillow you are re-hydrated.
- Best to avoid caffeine and sugar late at night too as these are stimulants and will affect your sleep.
Tip # 4: Detoxify!
- Detoxing the body regularly is very important. We are by no means suggesting you go cold turkey with all your vices and cheats as this will cause more harm than good, but it really is about finding the right balance.
- We understand that at this time of year, detoxing is probably laughable, but an idea could be that after any indulgent night, you make a rule that the next day is 100% clean eating. Once Christmas and NYE pass, you can then spend January eating 100% clean 6 days a week with one little cheat day as a reward!
- If you do smoke, start working on a program where you can begin to cut-down and eventually stop completely.
- Cut-down on alcohol consumption – although again, not easy this time of year, try to at least have dry days in between the year-end parties.
- Buy yourself a juicer and make your own fresh juices at home! There are so many fantastic recipes available online these days that you can really get creative when it comes to purifying your body!
- We work very closely with Emily Innes who is a certified dietitian who specialises in women’s health and diets, so perhaps book an appointment with her now for the new year. Setting goals now for the new year will make you feel so great! To contact Emily click here.
Tip # 5: Be Kind To Yourself
- This is such an important step in your own well-being process. When we berate, blame or criticise ourselves, it manifests MORE stress, anxiety and hormonal imbalances, which will affect us emotionally and physically.
- Self-preservation and self-love is so important, so leave post-it notes on the fridge with mantras of love and gratitude, or leave an inspirational quote on the dashboard of your car every night so that you can read it first thing in the morning before heading to work. Start to create a positive flow around you wherever you can so that it becomes a natural process eventually.
Always remember, through the pandemonium that is Christmas, we lose sight of what is important. Spending quality time with quality person is what this time of year to us is REALLY about. And in the same breath, it is equally as important to carve out time for yourselves every day, where you can truly reflect, be mindful, find your inner peace and allow yourself to focus on gratitude and acceptance, rather than what you cannot have right now.
Love DESA xx