Enjoying friends and family during the holidays brings great opportunities for all kinds of yummy treats and tastes and things to enjoy we may not otherwise the rest of the year.
I’m a lover of rich and varied foods myself and it seems like a break to just enjoy them liberally, all season. Then there’s that lethargic, bloated and even moody stuff that can follow. Late meals, sweet treats, drinks, less sleep, a sudden influx of socializing, big dinners…yes, it’s well known what ‘does the damage’; but is giving it all up worth it to avoid feeling done in by the holidays? Not really.
It’s good to be reasonable and moderate but this feasting and gathering is part of what many have all come to know and love, part of many traditions and beliefs. However, the physical and emotional ‘‘blahs” and “yucks” that follow can really be a drag, and can drag right into the next year.
It’s no wonder 99 per cent of people simply cannot follow through on their New Year’s resolutions, so passionately claimed just days before. Powering up clarity of purpose, determination and will power is just not happening with the ‘holiday hangover.’
Not only does it affect physical wellbeing but the combination of rich foods, drinks and social festivities often means feeling fantastically happy and depressingly low, at different times in the holidays. Getting rid of the festivities just isn’t on, so…what small, really simple things can be done to help the body and mind begin to stay more in balance during the holidays this year?
First: axe the acid to counteract sweets, drinks, treats and rich dinners. A little baking soda goes a long way to keep pH – acid/alkaline balance – in check. Sugar and baked goods especially will make most people’s body’s pH drop into an acidic state, which is believed to be an instant set up for a bad mood, bad breath, bad gas, indigestion and the latest 2012 New Year surprise nasty virus. One eighth of a teaspoon of baking soda in eight ounces of water each morning upon rising can really help minimized unpleasant effects. Great alternatives are fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice, or apple cider vinegar in a big glass of water. This couldn’t be easier.
Number two: “turn off” amid the socially intense season. There can be a lot of demand to socialize and be “on” over the holidays. Even going to the grocery store can be an intense experience with long line ups and the “commercial buzz” that gets some people down. Stress hormone levels can creep up, making moodiness, melt downs and disharmony in relationships more likely. Take some personal time, whether it’s a quiet walk in nature to just “be” or turning off the world and turning on an iPod to a peaceful musical reprieve.
Next, get connected if alone for the holidays. Find someone to share some time with, even if it’s meeting for coffee or a walk through town or on the waterfront. Feeling connecting with others can make the world of difference to how we feel and how we fare through the holidays. It supports self esteem and that helps us stay healthier all around. That said, how about reaching out to someone otherwise alone to join in with some holiday festivities.
And last but not least: stay “fresh.” Fresh air, fresh water, fresh veggies and fruits, added into the holidays can increase both physical and mental wellbeing. Get creative with naturally festive colorful fresh foods!
Robyn Grant of Breakthrough Health is a lifestyle coach living in Nakusp.