10 Tips to Survive the Christmas Holidays!

Hari Kalymnios Christmas Tips

It’s that time of year again. Christmas parties, lack of sleep, over-indulgence, present buying, in-laws, cousins, family you don’t get on with!

How to survive? Here are 10 of my tips to help you get through all the parties in a “healthy” manner and in one piece. Especially if at your office you have the team party, division party, company party and all the lunches and then catching up with friends after!

1) Drink More Water

OK, it’s simple. But it’s effective. Water is so important on so many levels that I encourage people to drink between 2-4 litres a day. Especially important this time of year to help your system flush out the various toxins we all undoubtably consume. Also to stave off dehydration from all the drinking and helping your body feel great.

2) Fast Days

This means introduce days of eating lightly. Fasting days effectively. Maybe for you it’s no food – just juice, water, soups? Or possibly just salads and vegetables. Give your body a rest every now and then especially after a day or weekend of excesses. It will help rebalance what’s going on and give your digestive system a break.

3) Water between drinks

When you’re out drinking, think about introducing a water drink every other drink or alongside your alcoholic drink. You dehydrate when drinking and often get caught up in the atmosphere, so that drinking can affect you a lot more than it would normally, so drink more.

4) Sleep More

Sleeping is the best way to rejuvenate yourself and your immune system and at this time of year, you’re under a lot of stress – presents, colder temperatures, family stuff, parties and so on. By sleeping you are giving your body the rest it will need to heal and process everything. Don’t be afraid to sleep a little more at this time of year – yes, even if at the expense of the morning gym session. Sleep will take you further usually.

5) Grapefruit Seed Extract

My secret weapon is grapefruit seed extract. It’s a highly concentrated form of nutrients and you add it to your water (tastes a bit ‘strong’) or to your juice (I add it to my daily veg juice and don’t notice the taste). Why? Well, we’re more susceptible to creating the conditions in our body’s at this time of year for getting a cold. I believe giving your body a boost in supplementation can help. In fact, I have this thing year round and it works for me.

6) Lighter Exercise

It can be tempting (when you’re feeling motivated) to try and burn off all that extra pudding you had and alcohol by hitting it hard in the gym. The thing is, your body is already depleted somewhat and exercising excessively will stress the system out even more. My suggestion is to give your body a bit of a break. Go walking, swimming, sitting in the sauna, yoga, stretches and so on. Perhaps leave the high intensity training or Cross-Fit for another day. The day after a big night, do some lighter exercise – still exercise mind you. Just not full throttle.

7) Stick to One Drink

Don’t mix your drinks. I know it’s another obvious one, but do you mix? If you can stick to one kind of drink (mixed in between with waters as mentioned above) and even better, avoid the sugary ones you’ll be better off. I rarely drink but when I do I like to stick to champagne (!) or vodka with soda water and a wedge of lime with ice (next time you see me out, you know what to get me). I like that because it’s clear, it has water in it, and doesn’t fuzz me out the next day… too much. Of course it depends on the quality of the spirit and quantity I drink! My advice is stick to one type of drink and ideally something clean and high quality.

8) Plan Ahead

Don’t leave your festive season to chance. If you know you are going out and don’t want a late night, plan your route home, your escape and anything else important. Perhaps you will need to take some food along with you if it’s a boozy one after work. Have something in your bag for the way home or en route there. Maybe you have a big lunch that day because you might not eat later. Just think ahead and plan. Forewarned is forearmed as they say!

9) Eat Well, When In Control

When you can control what’s going on, for example breakfast or lunch – make sure you eat super well! Pack your plate with healthy filling foods. And then enjoy the time you are out. But make sure you overdose on the good stuff. Fresh veg, lots of water and so on. You can’t always dictate what you will be served up. That doesn’t mean that it’s a license to eat badly the whole day. If you know it’s going to be something less than optimal (and chances are it will be), then get that fresh veg in early!

10) Manage your stress levels

This time of year can be especially stressful. Presents, eating arrangement, dinners out, late nights, booze, family and on and on. The weather turns and this can stress the body too. Coupled with everything else, it’s a recipe for disaster (physically speaking). If you can manage your stress levels. For example maybe meditation, nature walks, yoga, qi qong, tai chi or whatever else works for you. Maybe up your dose of these things if you already do them. Whatever you do, manage your stress levels. It’s just the holidays after all.

There you have it. My top ten tips to surviving the holidays. What are you favourite ways to navigate this time of year? Let me know below and share with everyone else.

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