04 Dec How to Stay Well This Christmas
The holidays are a time to recuperate and take time to do more of the things you enjoy, so that when it’s time to come back to work, you can return feeling refreshed both physically and mentally. The holidays can be a busy period however, so self-care may go to the bottom of our priorities. However long you are off for this Christmas, it’s important to use this time to properly ‘switch off’ and look after your own health.
Taking care of your health and wellbeing doesn’t have to get in the way of the festivities, here are some simple ways you can look after your health over Christmas.
Plan Ahead at Work
On the run up to finishing work for Christmas, you may need to commit to prioritising the tasks that need completed before Christmas, and decide which ones can wait until after. There is nothing worse than worrying about work while you are off, so ensure if there is anything that may cause you stress, you try to complete before finishing. If you are lucky enough to have a colleague to hand over to, then ensure you provide the essential information, even if it is hard for you to let go. If there are some things that just cannot wait until you are back, then plan some set times to do this, and try your best to stick to those times!
Step Away from Technology
During the working week, it’s easy to become glued to your mobile phone and computer, and over Christmas it can be very tempting to have a quick check of our emails, which could easily turn into taking calls from colleagues, doing pieces of work from home or be tempted to quickly call into the office. Why not set yourself time aside without your mobile phone to give yourself a break and a chance to really appreciate the time without it? If you decide to use social media over the festive season, remember that most people only share the best bits of their lives online and you don’t know what’s going on behind the smiling selfies!
Make Time For Yourself
It can be easy to get swept up in other people’s ideas of fun. It’s important to do something that you enjoy as well. Prioritise the events you want to attend, and cancel plans if you need to. You are likely to be tired having worked hard all year, so take the time you need to rest, relax and recuperate!
It is tempting to stay indoors, cozy on the sofa watching a film, but remember that regular exercise is good for us physically and mentally. Why not wrap up warm and go for a long walk, cycle, or if the weather is too bad, try an at-home work out? Physical activity releases endorphins (the feel good chemicals) which boost our mood and wellbeing.
Sleep is important too. Over the festive period, we tend to stay up later than usual and don’t always make up for sleep we’ve missed. Lack of sleep can make you irritable and moody, and over time, chronic sleep debt may lead to long term mood disorders like depression and anxiety.
Enjoy Food & Drink in Moderation
For some of us, indulgent food is arguably one of the best things about Christmas, but traditional festive feasts are anything but healthy, with foods like mince pies and chocolate containing high sugar content and saturated fats. While it’s hard to resist, try not to overindulge too much. Try to include lots of fruit and vegetables in your diet to avoid energy lows that can have a negative effect on your mood.
People often use alcohol to relax, but instead it can do the opposite. If you enjoy alcohol at Christmas, aim to stay within the safe drinking limits and avoid excessive or binge drinking. Don’t forget that alcohol can act as a depressant and drinking excessively can cause mood swings, irritability and trigger aggressive behaviour. By keeping within the recommended drinking levels of less than 14 units/week for both men and women, you will have a better chance of maintaining your mental and physical wellbeing. Alcohol can also play a big part in arguments and disagreements. It also interferes with our sleep cycles, so even getting 7 or 8 hours of sleep after a boozy night may not leave you feeling refreshed when you wake up the next day.
Whatever you are getting up to this Christmas, take time to relax, enjoy yourself and most importantly look after your own health!