Need some strategies to help you sparkle this holiday season? Here’s my naturopathic “best of” for your body, mind and spirit this Christmas.
It’s not unusual to feel jaded by the time December rolls around. How you’ve lived for the previous eleven months will determine your reserves for the party season. Whether it’s juggling one extra event a week or everyday being booked out with festive cheer, consider taking control of your life with the following seasonal suggestion.
Block out in your diary at least one day a week for a night in. Start your evening with a vegetable-rich meal; catch up with your washing and get to bed before 10pm. Even Nigella Lawson, the Queen of Indulgence, understands the need for some cleansing sustenance and dedicates a chapter to “Temple Food” in her book How to Eat: Pleasures and Principles of Good Food.
Christmas tip: If you feel like you have no spare time in December, the next time someone says, “We must catch up before Christmas” suggest a picnic in the New Year instead. Don’t place an unnecessary load on your calendar.
For more ideas on staying well this month, read the full article on preventing end of year burn out.
With party and festival season upon us, it’s time to give your liver a bit of extra love. While avoiding getting drunk or out of it in the first place is the only healthy option, when that is not possible at least give the organ that has to mop up the mess a little extra help.
• Start the day with the juice of half a lemon in warm (body temperature) water. If you have a glut of lemons at any time, freeze the juice in ice trays and grab a cube each morning to add to your water.
• Invest in some good quality St Mary’s Thistle tea or tablets; take as directed every day til life calms down again.
• If your nights are busy, try eating your main meal at lunchtime and have a protein-rich snack in the afternoon before indulging.
• Don’t forget to drink lots of water.
For more strategies on damage limitation around alcohol and drugs, see my article on surviving the party season
Whether Christmas is a spiritual time for you or just another excuse to party, a common thread is about our human need to connect with others. The holiday season is about friends, family, community and sangha (a Sanskrit word to describe a community of like minded people).
Lost amongst the commercial message to spend, eat and drink too much is what some would consider the true meaning of the season, to be grateful and help others. The recent ABC television program, Making Australia Happy, demonstrated that helping others not only makes us feel better emotionally but it improves our immune response. For more resources on happiness, check out the impressive range of activities on the Making Australia Happy website.
One simple step towards reconnecting with your spirit is to write a gratitude journal. For tips on how to do it, read my article on gratitude.
I hope you’ve enjoyed Health Trip this year. I’ll be back on RRR on the first Wednesday in February. If you have any feedback about the show or suggestions for topics you’d like me to cover in the future, please leave a comment on this article. Podcasts of the show and available to download here (if you need help in setting up regular downloads onto your mp3 player, check these tips.