Festive Self-Care Secrets
Festive Self-Care Secrets
THE IMPORTANCE OF FESTIVE SELF-CARE
At this time of year, we rush around “getting things sorted”, meeting end of year deadlines and this year, we have the added complexity of homeschooling, caring responsibilities and life being just generally that bit more difficult. Against this backdrop it can be tempting to take short cuts with our wellbeing but it is the time of year we also need to paying our wellbeing the utmost attention to avoid fatigue and seasonal burnout.
In Chinese Medicine, the art of self-care is called “Yang Sheng”. Yang Sheng is the art of nourishing Life. It is the foundation of health in Chinese medicine and the basis of Taoist culture. Yang Sheng includes movement, diet, sleep, meditation, and living in accord with the cycles of nature. Here are my 8 festive self-care secrets that can help you survive and thrive the seasonal holiday period…
The Morning Miracle –
Instead of reaching for your phone the moment you wake up to check social media or your emails, set out a bit of time for yourself. Take a relaxing shower, listen to some music, meditate, or just take time to enjoy a healthy breakfast. The “morning miracle” is one example of a routine that combines stretching, drinking a glass of water and meditating for 15 minutes before you start your day. This will help set you up for a productive day.
Meditation and Breathing Techniques –
Focussing on your breath will help you feel centred and reconnected with yourself. This is especially important during uncertain times.
Eat A Nourishing Breakfast/Brunch or Lunch –
We’ve all heard the saying breakfast like a King, lunch like a Queen…. In our hectic lives, it is way too easy to grab a fat-laden, empty calorie and sugary snack to keep us going through the day. Or indulge in all-day grazing when were at home so much. As the coronavirus continues to spread across the UK, interest in nutrition and diet in relation to immunity has increased, as has confusion and misconceptions, says the British Nutrition Foundation. Having a healthy diet is important in supporting our immune function and many nutrients influence the body’s ability to fight infection. Taking time to make a nutritious lunch, full of fresh foods high in vitamins will help you feel nourished and healthy in mind and body. Try and eating early (not late in the evening), avoid rich food at later meals (and walk at least 100 paces after eating).
Just 5 minutes of Yoga during the day helps to quieten your mind, stretch your body and release toxins. There’s lots of free beginner or work from home yoga videos available for free online.
I would normally suggest trying to get 10,000 steps in per day – yet, however hard we try, getting 10,000 steps in around the house is a tall order in these times of lockdown. When you park at the supermarket or post office, park as far away as the door as you can. This time is also a perfect opportunity to get involved and embrace the online world of home-workouts – for fun with the kids like the omnipresent Joe Wicks and for the more advanced. YouTube has lots of great (and free) exercise videos and tutorials that you can do in the comfort of your lounge or garden.
Music – Put on your favourite tunes and have yourself your own disco at home to get your mood-boosting endorphins going.
Undoubtedly, relaxation can help you overcome the tension and anxiety often felt in today’s society. Many of us have trouble unwinding sufficiently and for many, excessive mental activity and these racing thoughts prevent us from relaxing. It’s important to know how to properly relax. Massage is of course an excellent way to relax, and along with Acupuncture, Reflexology and other complementary therapy treatments can help you to relax.
Set A Sleep Schedule –
Human beings thrive on routine, especially a set sleep schedule. Good sleep hygiene is essential for a fit and healthy body, clear and calm and balanced emotions. Try to stick to the same time going to bed and waking up to keep your energy levels steady. It might be tempting to have lie-ins, take afternoon naps or even stay up late watching movies, but you will be much more productive, good humoured and able to cope with the challenges. Whilst asleep, our heart rate reduces, our body temperature drops and our brain activity changes.
- Generally speaking, a good night sleep would consist of five or six sleep cycles, each lasting around 90 minutes. Our circadian rhythm, or “body clock” is the 24 hour cycle that regulates all our biological and physiological processes. According to “Get a Good Nights Sleep” by the Sleep Council, in ideal situations, the circadian rhythm will naturally rise in the early morning, promoting wakefulness and alertness. And will reach a peak in the evening. After a waking period of around 15 hours the pressure to sleep increases, in other words, we get tired. As it gets dark, the circadian rhythm drops to the lowest level and helps to maintain sleep.
- Did you know that constant disruption of your circadian rhythm can detrimentally damage your health? Alarmingly, obesity, type 2 diabetes, depression, peptic ulcers, heart disease and cancer have all been linked to insomnia. The amount of sleep needed varies from person to person, but the average requirement is around 7-8 hours per night for an adult.
Hope you enjoyed my festive self-care secrets…have a great and safe festive break!
P.S If you want to make these habits part of your daily health routine, why not download my handy free guide to help you!
Kate Morris-Bates, 45, from the Cheshire, North Wales border is a clinic owner and practical wellness expert, a practicing Acupuncturist and Bodywork Therapist specialising in pain management and skin therapy. For more top tips and blogs please visit – https://katemorrisbates.com