Ruby Pryde - Dec 7 2020
Our top 5 tips to support your body through silly season
We all know the feeling. November, December and January are a blur. We have been ‘on’ for months. Dinner here, drinks there, deadlines just about everywhere and all of the in-between.
The festive season is upon us and boy do we (and our bodies) already know it!
Our health, for the most part of the year, is seemingly an important part of our lifestyle. We prioritise our sleep, we eat well, drink lots of water, and exercise. But for the couple of months surrounding Christmas and New Years, our health can fall victim to the backseat - a forgotten pastime perhaps. Priorities change, schedules become jam packed and there is barely time to check your Instagram feed, let alone work on getting our eight hours of beauty sleep each night.
And then, like clockwork, the closing of the festive season seems to come around quicker than the beginning. We start to slow down, our schedules become a little less overwhelming, and all of a sudden we find ourselves with a sniffly nose, aches and pains that definitely weren’t there before, and a lingering feeling of a hangover even though your last big night was well over a week ago.
The dreaded ‘silly season’ come down. Taking all of us by storm, annually.
But does it actually have to be this way?
As silly season veterans, we've put together a list of things you absolutely need to add to your every day routine when it comes to supporting your body and immune system through the most wonderful time of year!
It seems like such a simple and “we’ve heard it all before” kind of suggestion. An eye roll, if you will. But water is going to be our best friend over the next couple of months.
Besides the weather getting warmer and our bodies naturally needing more water to replace what is lost through sweat, water is required for just about every process that occurs in our body down to the cellular level. There is no cell, organ, muscle or system in your body that does not require water to function. Hence why this is our first line of defence.
We are made up of between 60-80% water, and at just one 1% of dehydration, our health can begin to decline. Our ability to respond to and cope with stress diminishes, we are unable to think clearly, have trouble executing tasks and difficulty controlling our emotions. The overwhelming sight of our calendars at this time of year is enough to throw anyone off, so keeping yourself hydrated to avoid an emotional episode (if you haven’t all had one already!) is imperative.
20 minutes of Vitamin D a day - aka get outside and into the sun. Sunlight is paramount for humans to thrive. Not only does it boost serotonin in your brain (happiness hormone), it balances your hormones, enhances positivity and gives you more energy. It also works in favour of your circadian rhythm - meaning a better understanding from your body of when it should and should not be asleep.
Of course, we understand that not everyone has 20 minutes to spare to lounge around in the sun, but 5 minutes here and there throughout the day is going to make a world of difference for your health and your mood. Think things such as crossing over to the sunny side of the street when walking to lunch, standing in the sun when waiting in line at the coffee shop, heck, even just having your window open when driving to and from work will do the job!
#3. Vitamin C
Turn. It. Up. The Vitamin C dose, that is.
The likely image that has just popped into your head is of the all time classic, chewy Vitamin C tablets that we all know (and loved) growing up? Yep, us too!
Vitamin C is THE powerhouse vitamin, responsible for a host of different functions in your body. Anywhere from regenerating cells within the body, supporting your immune system to fight off the bad guys, and the absorption of other vital vitamins and minerals.
So if Vitamin C is so epic for us - how can we increase our daily dose to give our body some extra tender lovin’ care?
Well, one option is the chew tablets. Another, high quality Vitamin C concentrates that have a syrupy texture and are kept in the fridge. But, our most favoured (and often best) option? Whole food sources.
Whole foods are the best place to start when considering upping a certain vitamin or mineral in your diet. For Vitamin C, think along the lines of citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, berries, Brussels sprouts and broccoli. Not only are you receiving a host of different benefits from those food sources, but it will help assist in your overall diet. Staying away from highly processed foods and instead focusing on whole foods.
But, if you insist, up the chewy tablets to a couple a day. General rule of thumb for knowing how much to consume? When you start to get the runs - back off!
#4. Eat Your Greens
Another eye roll? Ok - but before you compare this blog post with the lingering words of your mother threatening “no dessert if you don’t finish your broccoli!” when growing up, please hear us out.
Greens (leafy ones in particular) are arguably some of the most important additions to your diet regardless of the time of year, but most certainly during the festive season. Not only are these guys packed with vitamins, minerals, enzymes and fibre, but they also assist in ‘detoxifying’ the body.
There are certain molecules within the body called free radicals, which in short, can damage our bodies at a cellular level and are a contributing catalyst for diseases like cardiovascular disease and cancer.
So where do the leafy greens come in? These guys are extremely high in antioxidants which are designed to kill free radicals within the body, as well as help flush any nasties from your liver, through your colon and out the bottom end.
Hot tip: the darker the greens, the better they are for you.
And for those of you that are potentially turning your nose up at the thought of consuming more greens, don’t worry, we have something for you too. Greens powder! Whilst it isn’t a whole food, it still is an excellent option for those with a lack of time on their hands, or a lack of desire for a side of broccoli and spinach.
Now, before you run down to your local supermarket and grab the first one you see on the shelf - please do your research. Many greens powders can be filled with toxic heavy metals, stored in plastic containers or simply just aren’t made with high quality ingredients. Look for a greens powder that is stored and sourced ethically, is organic, gluten free and non GMO (genetically modified).
#5. Reduce Stress
Easier said than done, but this one is a non negotiable during one of the busiest times of year.
Stress, whether it be emotional, mental, physical, social or financial, is at the root of all dis-ease within the body. The more stressed you are, the iller you will be.
A couple extra suggestions:
This time of year can be a whirlwind to say the least. And along with our physical health, prioritising our mental and emotional health can be somewhat of a distant memory.
Always on the go, always having something to do, people to see, places to be. We rarely get time for just ourselves. All of the above are excellent (and pretty damn easy) ways to help reduce your stress levels over the coming months, but we have a couple of extra suggestions that you might not have considered to help support your mental and emotional wellbeing:
Get yourself organised.
Making sure your calendar is up to date and your list of ‘To Do’s’ are in order will help keep the schedule out of your head and make more room for your wellbeing.
Whilst tempting, you don’t need to say yes to everything you’re invited to over this period, so ensure you are prioritising your outings and saying no to things that aren’t a “hell yes!”.
Set a budget.
Seems a little bit of an obscure recommendation, but believe it or not, finances are one of the biggest contributors to stress over the festive season. Between presents, going away, going out and potentially having a period without an income, ensuring your spending limits are in check will keep you out of debt and in your body (as opposed to in your head).
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