It’s the Christmas holidays! A time of overindulgence, lie-ins, and hours in front of the TV….. or is it? Whilst it may seem like everyone falls into this pattern as soon as the first Christmas jumpers appear in the shops, times are changing as people realise that they can avoid starting the New Year feeling lethargic, unable to concentrate and a few pounds heavier.
Increasingly, we are swapping gingerbread lattes for green teas, saying no to mince pies and chocolates, and sticking to our exercise routines. For a student, with lectures, early starts and coursework as soon as you get back to university, this is a great trend to follow. Here are some ways you can enjoy the festive celebrations so you start 2016 full of energy, focused and ready for the new term!
- Watch what you eat: Feel better and more energised by having daily helpings of fruit and veg in your diet and, an oldie but a goodie, drinking water. Keep a bottle of water in your bag and carry some dried fruit and nuts or other healthy snacks when you’re out. Having these instead of an excess of festive cakes when you need an energy boost will help you start the New Year on top form.
- Watch what you drink: Enjoy the festivities, but be kind to your body and alternate between alcohol and soft drinks. Instead of having too many sugary drinks and juices try soda and lime – a healthy, refreshing and cheap option (if not free in some pubs!). At the end of the break, your body will thank you!
- Exercise regularly: Not only does exercise help to keep off the pounds and leave you feeling great, it also does wonders for cognition. Do exercise you enjoy to get the heart pumping and break out into a sweat so you start the New Year with a clear and focused mind!
- Get outside: Even if you’re not a fan of the cold, when the sun is shining, wrap up warm and go for a walk to get some fresh air. Winter sun is good for the soul and oxygen helps to improve the blood flow to the brain helping you feel more alert.
- Make time for yourself: Christmas can be a sociable time, but if there’s no downtime after the busy period of getting assignments in at the end of term, you could go back more exhausted than when you left. Take time out to allow the mind and body to rest, relax and recover. If you’re not feeling up to something, it’s OK to say no. Don’t feel guilty or that you have to say ‘yes’ just to please others.
- Make time for meditation: 1 in 3 doctors now recommend meditation as a way to manage stress, sleep better and be happier. Meditating for just ten minutes a day will also help you to improve levels of concentration meaning you’ll have a head start when you open your books at the start of term. New to meditation? Try this great app from Headspace.
- Get enough sleep: Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for keeping your cells, brain and immune system healthy and happy. Whilst the odd late night and long lie-in won’t do any harm, three weeks of them will make it will be much harder to get up for those 9 am lectures!
- Enjoy yourself!: If you do find yourself out and overindulging, enjoy the moment and just get back on track the next day!
As you can see there are a number of ways to look after yourself over the Christmas break and still have fun. A bit of self-control and discipline will pay dividends when you’re back at university turning up for lectures bright-eyed and feeling great!
Wishing you a fun, happy and healthy festive season from QuietSphere!