The word on the street is that everyone is feeling the pressure of end of year deadlines and commitments. With numerous illnesses flying around town this is a key sign of a physically run down community. ...
This kind of mental and physical strain takes a huge toll on your health. Stress is very depleting, leaving you zapped of vitality, never reaching refreshing sleep, moody, losing motivation with fitness and nutrition and also possibly feeling depressed or anxious. It is so important to acknowledge how your environment and lifestyle impacts on your health and then find ways to get it all to work in harmony.
If you are lucky enough to get some time off over the break, I encourage you set aside some time to thank your mind and body for all it has done over the year, and get it ready for 2014….Think of it as a mini health retreat! Here are some tips to do so:
Don’t over indulge: Yes, Christmas and New Years Eve are special occasions where general rules of discipline are allowed to be relaxed – within reason. But this doesn’t mean the other 10 or so days need to be complete debauchery. Allow yourself the special occasions and then get back on track with healthy daily habits the following morning.
Technology ban: emails, text messages, Facebook and other social media are huge time wasters and also apply subconscious pressures - notice how your heart rate slightly increases as you enter your password? Even if it’s just for 3 days avoid using any of these avenues for communication and see how much more you get done. Don’t worry, the world will continue without your status updates!
Eat fresh: construct your meals with fresh fruit or vegetables being the largest portion on the plate. These foods are energising and also nutrient dense, flooding your body with precious vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help your body repair and revitalise. Maybe you could spend the break researching new ways to improve your fruit and vegetable intake as well as any other dietary boosters you have been curious about.
Gentle exercise: If stress was a biggy for you in 2013 then you are going to benefit from gentle exercise rather than high intensity workouts. The same stress hormones are released during high intensity workouts that are released during our body’s fight-or-flight response. Opt for activities that encourage you to breathe deeply naturally bringing about a sense of calm. Yoga, tai chi, pilates, swimming and walking are key choices.
Plan 2014: Sit down with your diary or 2014 wall planner and plot out your year. Block out special dates or occasions well in advance and make a promise to yourself not to commit to anything during those times. No one else is going to look after your wellbeing as well as you can, but you have to hold that as a priority!