We know that Christmas and New Year’s Eve are going to be very different this year. Workplace parties have been swapped for virtual events and meals out have been stripped back to be with just a few of our closest colleagues, friends or family, where restrictions allow. Everyone will be enjoying festivities in smaller groups or alone, and understandably will be letting their hair down to celebrate the resilience they have shown this year. So how can you make sure you restore balance after an indulgent Christmas and New Year period?
HOW TO RESTORE BALANCE TO YOUR MIND AND BODY
We recommend approaching each of these tips with kindness and without guilt or negative self talk. Indulging is not a bad thing to do; life is about balance and we must enjoy every moment without any feeling of guilt.
- Drink plenty of water
Our bodies are dependent on water as it supports blood circulation, transporting essential nutrients and oxygen to our cells. Without water, the heart has to work harder in order to pump the same amount of blood. It also keeps our organs working, lubricates and cushions joints, regulates body temperature and metabolism, aids digestion, helps flush out toxins and waste, and keeps skin and scalp healthy. The brain is 80% water and functions optimally when hydrated. Increasing your water intake after an indulgent few days is therefore good for both the body and the mind.
Drinking alcohol or even soft drinks which contain sugar (and often additives), can actually cause us to become dehydrated as they act as a diuretic so it is important for us to drink lots of water to flush out our system and rehydrate. This time of year you may not be that keen on just drinking water but have you tried matcha? Matcha is a green tea which can be made up using hot water or milk. As well as hydrating properties, it has several other benefits and can also be found in skincare products or can be used to create your own face mask for the ultimate nutrient boost. Many foods contain water too so you can rehydrate your body and mind through eating a healthy, balanced diet. Your body will appreciate this after consuming more comforting foods over Christmas.
- Get moving
The lymphatic system works with the circulatory system to keep blood and lymphatic fluid levels in balance and flush toxins out of the body. It can become out of balance when we eat too many processed foods, lack nutrients in our diet and have a lack of physical activity which can certainly be the case over the festive season. This imbalance can cause chronic fatigue, skin conditions and digestive problems, amongst other health conditions.
Exercise is key for a healthy lymphatic system so when you’ve perhaps had a few days off, get your lymph moving again by walking, stretching, dancing or any kind of movement you enjoy. Exercise releases endorphins – our happy hormones – which makes us feel good, more energised and leaves us with healthy, glowing skin. Also, spend time deep breathing. This helps the lymphatic system to pump toxins into the bloodstream before the liver detoxifies them.
- Massage skin on face and body
Applying pressure through massaging our skin will stimulate the vessels that move blood and lymph fluid, helping to flush toxins and excess fluids away. We’re big fans of dry body brushing. This increases circulation, boosts our immune system, stimulates lymphatic drainage and discourages fluid retention along with stimulating our nervous system. It’s an effective way of exfoliating the skin and revitalising the body leaving you feeling more energised and looking more radiant. We recommend that you do this in the morning before having a bath or shower as the perfect pick-me-up when you’re feeling a bit sluggish.
- Prioritise sleep
After being on the go, all that celebrating and probably late nights, reset your mind and body by bringing back a regular sleep routine. Try to carry this out at around the same time each night and follow the same steps – whatever these may be for you.
Eating lots of rich food can cause havoc with your digestive system which may keep you up at night (especially if you’ve been snacking later). Alcohol also disrupts sleep and affects hormones as it alters our melatonin production which has a key role in ensuring that our circadian rhythm (internal body clock) is working properly. Your mind and body will only keep going for so long so it is vital to pay attention to your body clock to prevent burnout. When we are asleep our body conserves energy, helps the body to repair itself, and rejuvenates and boosts your energy for the following day. Sleep is also necessary for skin nourishment. It aids the production of collagen and promotes blood flow to the skin. A lack of sleep makes skin dehydrated, dry, dull, flaky and can cause breakouts.
- Head back out into nature and experience a sense of awe
Studies conducted by psychologists at the University of California, Berkeley, showed that “feeling awe during a nature experience has a singular ability to lower stress levels and improve our overall wellbeing” (Source). If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we don’t have to travel the world to feel inspired and experience moments of awe. Being out in nature is one of the most common ways to experience it in your daily life.
Nature is such a powerful tool that helps us to live in the moment, reconnect with ourselves and really see and appreciate the world’s natural beauty which surrounds us. Forest bathing is another way to embrace this – it’s relaxing and healing, and incorporates mindfulness and meditation. Walking and practising mindfulness and meditation in a forest environment is not only an excellent opportunity to connect with nature but has a positive effect on both the mind and body. It reawakens our senses, refreshes and rejuvenates us by boosting our energy and vitality levels, the fresh air helps us sleep and can promote gratitude which brings peace and happiness into our lives. Even by just being outside, in your garden, a park or countryside you can experience moments of awe. You just need to make the time to take in every sight, sound and smell.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO RESTORE BALANCE AFTER INDULGENCE?
We’d love for you to tell us in a comment below!