Health and wellness tips to support you through the holidays
During the holidays, its easy to lose track of all the healthy-eating habits, workout routines, and consistent sleep patterns we’ve worked so hard to keep consistent all year. It’s OK! Don’t sweat it. Enjoy, we shouldn’t have to feel guilty about letting loose and enjoying.
That being said, here are a few of my tried and true tips for staying healthy and calm throughout your holiday travels, so you can spend the holidays feeling your best and connecting with your community and come home feeling refreshed and ready to start a decade off on the right foot!
1. Put together a targeted travel bag.
Today is the expected to be the busiest travel day before the holidays. While planes, trains, and automobiles bring us closer to our families for the holidays, they also brings stress and exposure to cold and flu viruses.
What’s in your travel bag? I keep the essentials for keeping my skin and sinuses moisturized, immune system strong, and gut supported.
Bacteria live on hard surfaces, (The buckets in the security line, and the tray tables on planes top the list for the grossest surfaces). I like to use an essential oil based antibacterial spray (with oils such as lemon, tea tree, or thyme) to help clean the surfaces and air around me. In airports I’ll carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer, which isn’t my favourite thing to use, but get’s the job done. Most importantly, I make sure to wash my hands as much as I can.
I have super sensitive skin, so I keep a hydrating botanical facial spray to battle dry airplane cabin air, and do a moisturizing sheet mask when I land. For targeted skin care, I bring Ferlow’s tea tea cream for breakouts, and chickweed cream for my eczema prone skin.
One of my must haves for travel is the Saje pocket pharmacy essential oiI kit. This isn’t a paid ad or anything, I just find the roll ons super great for travel. I use the peppermint halo for keeping me refreshed on planes, if I need a pick me up, or if I had one too many glasses of wine the night before. The immune roll on is great as an antibacterial hand sanitizer, or as a boost to your immune system. The eaters digest roll on works wonders for bloating - just roll directly onto your belly.
Supplements: My staple travel supplements include:
· Ginger: Powdered or chewable ginger is a life saver for nausea, cramps, colds, headaches, and just general yuck feelings.
· DGL: Helps protect the gut from insults (such as too much alcohol and inflammatory foods). It can help heal the lining of the stomach as well as decrease some symptoms of indigestion.
· Digestive enzymes: Great to assist in digesting some of the extra rich foods you may be enjoying.
· Lavender Essential oil: to help keep my nervous system calm and help ease into sleep.
· Vitamin C and Electrolytes: For general antioxidant support and hydration.
2. Stay hydrated
The desert-like conditions of airplanes, lack of routine, change in diet and increased libations make travel dehydration common. Be sure to make drinking water a priority.
Water is vital to every single system, process and cell in our body. Since this time of year tends to be hard on our bodies, simply drinking water can be a simple but powerful way to help it keep up with these increased stressors. Water ensures we keep our detox pathways running, provide moisture to our airways and skin, and help our metabolic processes run smoothly. Bring your reusable water bottle with you everywhere, you can almost always find somewhere to fill it up. Aim to drink about ½ your body weight (lbs) in ounces. Need a reminder to drink more water? Download a daily water app pre-flight to keep hydrated throughout your trip. I bring a tube of Nuun electrolyte tabs with me in my carry on.
3. Beat jetlag and get the right amount of sleep
Getting the right amount of sleep can make or break the holidays, especially if you’re heading somewhere with a time difference. If you are, as soon as you arrive, get grounded – find some grass and take off your shoes. Feel the ground beneath your feet. Eat your meals according to the schedule of where you are now, and try to resist napping. Hit the sheets at a regular bedtime hour to help normalize the time difference as quickly as possible. Melatonin and meditation can help with this.
The holidays mean late nights and breaks in routine. Make sleep a priority, and ensure you feel rested. Sleep is an underrated part of regeneration and rest for not only our bodies but also our minds and emotions.
4. Intentional consumption
I’m not about to tell you not to enjoy some wine, or to stay away from dessert. Enjoy.
What I do want to advocate is eating with intention. Chew slowly and really taste your food. If you decide to eat or drink something that you maybe don’t on a regular basis, make sure you really savour it. Eat with friends and family. Laugh a lot!
5. Move Your Body
It may not always be possible to stick to your regular workout routine over the holidays, but it’s important to keep moving! Exercise (even just a walk) helps keep us our energy, our immune system strong, and our detox pathways running.
Find a great local yoga studio, fitness studio or use an app such a Strava or Fitbit to plan out a scenic running route. Heading somewhere without access to studios or run routes? Try a home workout—you can literally do them anywhere. It’s easy to slip in to a holiday coma for the entirety of your trip, but to feel and be at your best for yourself, friends and family, gift yourself with time for a sweat and a stretch.
6. Take time for self care
With all the time spent shopping, attending parties, and enjoying time with family and friends, you might not realize that you’ve forgotten to take some much-needed time for yourself.
Our favourite ways to get quiet during the hustle and bustle of the holidays is to head outside for some fresh air or forest bathing, and then taking a long bath with some Epsom salts and candles. Reading, movement, and solo time to do some journaling or meditation are also good ways to unwind.
7. Be Present.
When you get there, be there. Your presence is the best present :)
Saje Pocket farmacy here
Ferlow chickweed cream here
Nuun hydration tabs here
Besedovsky, L. L. (2007). Sleep and immune function. European Journal of Physiology volume , 121-137.
Gruber R., a. C. (2014). The interplay between sleep and emotion regulation: conceptual framework empirical evidence and future directions. Curr Psychiatry Rep. , 500.
Swamy, M. A. (2016). Antimicrobial Properties of Plant Essential Oils against Human Pathogens and Their Mode of Action: An Updated Review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med.
Van der Helm, E. a. (2011). Sleep and Emotional Memory Processing. Sleep Med Clinic, 41-43.
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