There’s nothing worse than entering the New Year feeling bloated and lethargic. But it’s almost impossible when you’ve had weeks of tempting mince pies, advent calendar chocolate and mulled wine. And that’s not to mention Christmas Day - a table groaning with food and a break to unbutton your jeans before moving on to the Baileys.
But it’s not just about food. Socialising and travelling are exhausting, not to mention recovering from office parties and the general madness during the run-up to Christmas. So, instead of feeling sluggish, enter the New Year sparkling like the champagne you’ll be holding on the countdown to midnight. Here’s how.
Nurture your skin
Your skin is one of the first things that goes to seed over the festive period. Just some things that impact your skin health are sugary foods, lack of exercise, stress and poor sleep. Not to mention the dry winter weather that zaps your dermal barrier of moisture. Before you know it, you have flaky patches, redness, deepened lines and acne. So, how do you solve it?
Superfoods are nutrient-packed foods that are low in calories. The vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids build collagen, giving your skin elasticity and structure. They’re abundant in vitamin C for a luminous complexion and fight antioxidants that can degrade your skin. The overall effect is plump, dewy skin with reduced irritation, fine lines and acne.
Read more: The Ultimate Autumn Superfoods List.
Take Products Containing Ginseng
Ginseng is the root of the ginseng plant, mainly found in North America and Asia. But why use it?
The small, unassuming adaptogen has potent anti-inflammatory properties to soothe aggravated cells that distress the skin. It also increases cell turnover to lift fine lines and wrinkles and heal the derma barrier to retain moisture. You can quickly get your daily dose of ginseng with the Arella Beauty Collagen Supplement.
Read more: The Truth About Ginseng For Your Skin.
You don’t need us to tell you that stress is bad for you. Small amounts, like exercise, boost blood flow. But long-term or intense stress, common over Christmas, will sabotage your skin.
This is because stress produces a hormone called cortisol, which restricts capillaries, preventing oxygen and nutrients from efficiently reaching your face. It also inflames cells and breaks down collagen. So, learn how to balance stress hormones to protect your body and restore silky smooth skin.
Read more: 5 Reliable Ways to Avoid Christmas Stress.
Care for Your Gut Health
Your gut is the bread to your butter. The cookie to your crumble. The salt to your popcorn - you get it - your gut is crucial. In fact, you cannot separate your gut and good health.
Many things disrupt gut health, particularly around Christmas. Replacing nutritious, plant-based foods with chocolate coins is one of them. So is a lack of sleep and burnout. When your gut microbiome is unhappy, it interrupts critical hormones and inflames skin cells. Learn how to look after your gut over Christmas to keep your tummy happy.
Get High-Quality Sleep
One or two late nights won’t hurt. But regularly sacrificing sleep over the festivities dramatically impacts your health. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body instantly sends out sugar and carbohydrate cravings for a quick energy burst. So, if you don’t get your forty winks, you will likely choose fast food and sugar over wholesome nutrition.
Switch Your Snacks
There’s nothing wrong with a never-ending cheeseboard, but mix it up to increase your fibre intake. You can do this by selecting snacks that contain crucial vitamins (like vitamins E, A and C) and minerals (such as iron, calcium and potassium). Check out our top suggestions below.
Nibble on Nuts
Nuts are incredibly good for your health and an essential part of a nutritious diet. They’re best plain, but you can flavour them however you’d like.
Avoid shop-bought salted ones and instead use a healthy amount of salt, pepper and spice at home. The yoghurt and chocolate-coated ones can also be high in sugar, but you can make your own by dipping almonds in 100% dark chocolate for a brain boost. Here are our favourite festive nuts:
- Almonds - A cherished superfood, these sweet and light nuts are high in fibre, calcium and vitamin E.
- Walnuts - These crumbly bitter-sweet nuts contain all nine essential amino acids, perfect for enhancing collagen production.
- Pistachios - Who doesn’t love a sweet pistachio? They are bursting with iron, vitamin B6 and magnesium.
Reach for Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is a beautiful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. Unlike milk or white chocolate, it contains a limited amount of sugar and is fantastic for superpowering your blood flow. This will help with energy, focus and better sleep. Eat around two squares a day for maximum benefits.
Go Sweet With Dried Fruit
Sometimes, your sweet tooth needs tickling, which is perfectly understandable. Mango, apricots, banana chips and dried apple rings are the ideal snacks. Make sure you choose dried fruit with no added sugar.
Move Your Body
The problem with Christmas is you find yourself becoming one with the armchair. You slump down after a heavy meal and nurse your stomach while reaching for the Christmas biscuits. This causes your blood flow to slow and puts a lot of pressure on your heart.
You don’t have to do a full workout on Christmas day, but moving your body a little will help. Here are some easy ways to do just that:
- Go for a short Christmas walk
- Play charades (and be energetic about it)
- Do some light yoga or stretches
Nurture Your Health for a Wholesome and Restorative Christmas
Don’t overcomplicate your health this Christmas. Keep it simple with nutritious snacks, and look after your winter well-being. Embrace the festivities, indulge a little and enter the New Year knowing you’ve nurtured your body from the inside out.
- How to Have the Most Sustainable Christmas
- How to Improve Your Mental Health in Winter
- How To Boost Your Immune System In Autumn
Written by Emma Carey for Arella Beauty.
Emma is a holistic beauty and wellness writer. She has three years of experience in the well-being industry and a Master’s degree in Creative Writing and Wellness. Check out her portfolio and follow her on Instagram.