Yes, we know it’s not December yet, but I think we can all agree that the silly season is fast approaching. Christmas & New Years is a great time where many of us get to take a break, reset, and spend time with family & friends. But it can also be stressful and tough on the body as well.
To help you prepare for the coming months of chaos, we’ve put together our top 6 tips for surviving the holiday season so that you enjoy it as much as possible and come out the other side feeling fresh.
1. STAY HYDRATED
Staying hydrated is super important, particularly in the Aussie summer. It helps us regulate temperature, concentrate, and perform at our best physically. All important when it’s a busy time of year.
Having a water bottle close at hand makes it easier to stay hydrated when you’re running around trying to do everything and be everywhere. You can sip away as much as you like without the hassle of needing to find a tap. Grab an insulated water bottle and fill it with cold water at the start of the day. It will stay cool for longer even when left in a hot car which means you’ve got cool water on hand and an easy way to find some chill on the go. Added bonus – there are some very cool options out there now, we’re loving S’well, Corkcickle and Cheeki.
Remember to drink water when you’re drinking alcohol as well, it will keep you feeling fresh and will combat the dehydrating effects of those festive cocktails you’re downing. At the end of the day, you want your skin to be glowing because you’re hydrated, not because you forgot to have a sip of water all day.
2. GET SOME SLEEP
Yep, another basic one, but with epic parties and loads to do the amount of sleep you’re getting can dwindle before you know it.
Getting enough good-quality sleep ensures that you’re firing on all cylinders, can concentrate better, and are also less likely to burn out (something that we all want to avoid when we’re meant to be relaxing & having fun!)
Try to get 7-8 hours per night, but in a pinch you can always sneak in an arvo power nap to recharge the batteries before heading to a dinner or drinks. One of the perks of having some time off.
3. EAT RIGHT
Yes, there will be big lunches, dinners, and lots of festive cheer, but for all the other times in between, you still need to eat. Eating healthy is a great way to avoid feeling sick from too much… well… everything.
Start with a good brekky each day, don’t skip it just because you’re going for a big lunch or dinner. We love lighter options like Bircher Muesli, cereal, avo on toast, or a smoothie.
Try to plan ahead for the week to make sure you have food on hand when you need it. We also find it handy to have some extra food around as a back up for those times when you unexpectedly need a good meal. Our tray meals are great if you need a quick meal for one, or our mains are great if there’s more than one of you – just keep a stash in your freezer and you’re set no matter what happens.
4. MODERATION IS KEY
The holiday season is often a time of excess, particularly for eating & drinking.
Nutrient poor foods, that are high in fat, sugar and salt are often a given at this time of year, and we’re not afraid of going for seconds or even thirds at some meals. Try to balance out the rich stuff with healthy food when you can, and remember that even something as simple as watching your portion size can have a big impact.
When it comes to drinking, keep in mind that alcohol is a diuretic and therefore should not replace drinking some quality H2O. Don’t get us wrong, we love a good cocktail or glass of vino in summer, but try alternating your alcoholic drinks with water. It will help to combat the heat, will probably mean that you drink slightly less (your wallet will thank you for that) and will help keep you feeling fresh so you can kick on into the night and still feel ok in the morning.
5. DON’T TRY TO DO EVERYTHING
This works in two ways – the events you’re going to and the events that you’re hosting.
If you’re flat out with back to back social engagements and family events, keep in mind that you don’t have to say yes to everything. Family and friends are often understanding at this time of year if you can’t make it to every event on the calendar. Just be honest & tell them that you have a lot on & probably won’t be able to make it to that particular one.
If you’re hosting an event, like Christmas lunch for example, then remember that all of those people you have coming along are useful sets of hands who are often willing to pitch in. Ask family and friends to get involved and help with the set-up, shopping, food prep etc for big occasions. It will be more fun because you’ll be less stressed trying to do it all & you’ll get to spend time with them while getting things done rather than being the one left alone slaving over a hot stove.
6. TAKE SOME TIME FOR YOURSELF
For some this seems counter-intuitive to what the season is all about, but for others it will be a no-brainer. While spending time with loved ones it important, it’s equally important to take some time out for yourself.
The holiday season can be full on, but it’s also a time for you to reset for the new year. By taking some time to relax & do the things that you want to (go for a bush walk, read a book, sleep, binge watch the newest TV series), then you’ll counteract the craziness of the season and will also be able to hit the reset button. If you’re taking time off, then it’s important to make use of that time to rest as well as have fun.
Everyone manages the holidays in their own way. You might have an easy going family where there’s never any stress involved, or like many, you might have a big family who have more of a chaotic feel. Whatever your holiday season looks like, maintaining some good health practices like those above, should mean that you come out the other end having enjoyed yourself and feeling refreshed.
Tell us in the comments what your best tip for surviving the holidays is!