Gifts, plenty of sequinned dresses, festive cocktails and whole lot of mince pies… The holidays can sound like a bliss for some, but can also be synonymous with stress for a lot of people.

Between copious amounts of food and the barrage of party hosting, gift shopping, cooking and baking - not to mention your already existent work and family duties, it can be quite easy to loose your patience and make this magical time filled with anxiety.
Here are some basic and simple, yet very effective steps to keeping calm and healthy this season...

1. Stay hydrated

Ok, this one is a given but so easy to forget! Try to make a conscious effort to drink 6-8 glasses of water, or plenty of herbal teas. Even mild dehydration can lead to a headache and combined with the diuretic effects of alcohol makes maintaining your fluid intake so important. Certainly not what the holidays are all about.

2. Avoid over eating and over drinking

No doubt there are numerous occasions to raise a glass with family and friends and let’s face it, food is also major theme of the holidays. But between Christmas and New Year’s Day, food excesses can lead to all sorts of digestive troubles. The best way to prevent these is to moderate your food and alcohol intake, and the best way to do that is to be mindful of what you’re eating. Mindful eating helps you become more aware of how much you’re eating, how tasty the food is, and whether you’re actually hungry.


3. Eat your veggies:

Think healthy food! You can do more then just cutting down the food portions by opting for the healthy options; fresh fruit instead of processed puddings, lots of greens and salad, baked potatoes instead of chips and home-made instead of shop-bought. Not only is home-made food much tastier but you will know exactly what is in it and will feel fuller at the end of the meal.

4. Meditate, meditate, meditate:

Meditation has been scientifically documented to lower blood pressure, reduce cortisol, lower inflammation, and improve sleep. so don't neglect those 10 minutes to yourself in the morning - it will do wonders for the rest of the day.

5. Go outdoors

Bundle up and go for a walk in the woods, or even just around the block. It will change your mood and your perspective. Just 15 minutes of low intensity exercise puts the colour into your cheeks, can curb insulin spikes after a heavy meal and provides a general feel-good factor.


6. Get enough sleep

The holiday season often includes travel and sleeping in less than ideal environments. Bringing small comforts of home with you can make a huge difference.

7. Relax and enjoy!

You might not have the time to take a spa day during the holiday madness, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a little time for yourself. Do you have some favourite books you want to read or re-read while you have the time? How about resurrecting some of your hobbies? Even something as simple as taking three deep, mindful breaths can help reset your mood.

Trust that these tips will help you stay on track and allow you to focus on the most important part of the holidays - relaxing and enjoying the festivities with your family and friends.