It’s meant to be a time of happiness, family, fun, love, good cheer, relaxation and celebration, but for some, the festive season is a stressful process of overindulgence, binge drinking, loneliness, family feuds, materialistic gifts and financial burden.
Don’t use the fast approaching potential of a New Year reset as an excuse to pack on the kilos and succumb to unhealthy habits.
Although many people worry about what they eat, drink and do between Christmas and New Year, the real focus should be on what you consistently do between New Year and the following Christmas.
Here are some useful tips to have a healthy festive season:
1. Create healthier homemade treats
Christmastime often sees us pack our kitchens with sugary sweets, biscuits, cakes and treats. Indulgences are nice at Christmas, but try to plan ahead and keep a lid on things by introducing some homemade healthier snacks.
Fruit platters, vegan raw balls, turkey roll ups, vegetables, flaxseed crackers and dips will all help to fill you up and keep the hunger at bay.
Tip: Eat prior to going to the shops or attending any Christmas parties
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CHOCOLATE & CINNAMON RAW SNOWBALLS
100g dates, 200g hazelnuts, 30g of raw cacao, 3 TBSP of coconut oil, 2 TSP of cinnamon, Coconut flakes for coating
Pulse the nuts, add other ingredients and blend. Roll into small balls, coat with coconut flakes, add some Christmas spirit and enjoy!!
2. Move in nature with your friends, family, and pets
Life isn’t designed to be static, reconnect with your bodies desire to move and find more ways to do this outside in nature, there is no wifi there but I guarantee you will find a better connection.
Even a brisk 20-minute walk with your loved ones early in the morning or prior to a big meal can have amazing benefits
3. Incorporate some Intermittent Fasting Protocols
Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating that alternates between periods of fasting and non-fasting.
Studies suggest that intermittent fasting can support healthy weight loss, improve insulin sensitivity, reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, and promote healthy brain function.
Intermittent fasting is also thought to promote a cellular repair process called autophagy, which may protect against disease and assist in a healthier stronger more resilient immune system.
There are many different ways to do intermittent fasting, but the simplest method that I recommend involves restricting food intake to 2-3 meals spread over an eight-hour feeding period each day (e.g. between 12pm and 8pm).
Incorporating some intermittent fasting protocols will help your digestive system recover after periods of overindulgence during the festive period.
4. Rent a Christmas tree
Six million Christmas trees are tossed out and discarded in the UK every year. Give our planet a Christmas present by renting a living Christmas tree! Many farms now offer the option to rent the Christmas tree for a month and then return it back to nature to continue to be happy, healthy and alive ready for use again the following year
5. Visit an orphanage or charity shop with your children
Many parents have had the experience of the child unwrapping tons of expensive gifts at Christmas only to find them broken, discarded or unused the following week or month.
As loving parents, we want to show our children how much we love them but at the same time, we want them to be appreciative of what they have and learn to value their possessions. Gifts don’t always have to be physical, think about gifts that include experiences that you can share with your children.
If we teach our children that we think Christmas should be about love and giving to others but do nothing to encourage them to think of anyone other than themselves then we are not leading by example.
Why not organise a toy tidy-out and take your child to donate their old toys or books to an orphanage, the local hospital or a charity shop.
Encourage your children to create thoughtful gifts that are not devastating to your finances. You could ask them to help to bake Christmas treats with you, write thank you messages and make their own Christmas cards for their loved ones.
6. Create a blessings jar
The blessing jar is one of the most wonderful gifts that you can create for yourself and your family.
Simply write down any good things that happen, funny moments, goals you accomplish, things you are grateful for and any other memories worth saving throughout the year and pop it into the jar on small slips of paper.
Next New Year you can reflect on all the magical memories that you were grateful for in 2019.
7. Take time for self-reflection and set some purposeful goals
When was the last time you took a moment to reflect on your life? The truth is that many people are so busy trying to move forwards in work and life that they rarely take a moment to slow down and be at one with their thoughts.
Many people set a target weight and upon reaching the goal feel unsure of what to do next, all the momentum and energy can quickly evaporate and then emotional triggers, stress, social events, lack of motivation or any numbers of excuses can open the door wide open to the possibility of re-gaining the weight.
So why do people repeat these self-sabotaging patterns? Its because health is a journey and not a numerical destination, the key to sustaining optimal health and vitality is to use unconditional love as the driving force and to set purposeful goals fuelled by love.
Cultivating a nourishing relationship between the body, mind and spirit is truly the key to igniting powerful and lasting change.
Many people have great ideas and thoughts but it’s the ones who find a purpose, develop a plan, take action and commit to it with conviction that achieve success. Just as we have values and morals that we commit to that help us to be good people, we should have a health code that we commit to that helps us to stay happy and healthy.
By creating a plan to implement some powerful detoxification techniques, eliminate addictive foods, add stress management techniques, upgrade lifestyle choices and re-evaluate desires you can create momentum to achieve massive change.
Changing your life starts by raising your standards, complete a massive self- assessment and think about as much as you can to make your health code as detailed as possible. This set of guidelines or rituals will remind you of your commitments and allow you to make things happen.
Here are some important questions to get you started:
Once you have created your health code, memorise it and practice it with consistency everyday to train your mind to create new positive habits.
If weight loss is a goal, please read 5 highly effective strategies for weight loss:
What if one of your goals is to make self-reflection part of your everyday routine instead of a yearly thing that you do at New Year?
8. Stay hydrated
Start off CLEAN. Begin each day by having a big glass of warm water with lemon squeezed in.
Drink a glass of water alongside any alcoholic beverages and at the very least, steer clear of creamy liquors or sweet cocktails. You may try enjoying a wine or champagne spritzer – (add half sparkling water). Don’t mix spirits with fizzy drinks or sugary juices; instead opt for soda water and a slice of lemon or lime.
9. Step away form the busy work schedule and make time for family and friends
It’s not easy balancing work and home, but how well you manage this can make a significant difference to your relationship with your family.
Spending too much time at work is the biggest regret parents have about their children’s early years. A survey of 2,000 parents found 63 per cent wish they had done more activities with their child. Seven out of ten felt they had taken their youngster’s childhood for granted and more than two thirds said it was easy to forget they would not be young forever.
One of the most important gifts that you can give to your loved ones is time. Put your mobile on silent and stop messages or emails from disturbing your bonding time with your family.
At the very least, prepare yourself so that you arrive home relaxed as children pick up on moods and will sense your unhappiness if you rush through the door, complaining about stress and problems at work.
If you do not live with your parents or live in another country, give them a call or video message. It is always special for a parent to get a call from a child. Cherish your precious moments with your family, they will not be around forever.