So Christmas is over and it has left some of us feeling more flat than fabulous. The busy run up to the season, back to back late nights, shopping and excess calories can all exact a heavy toll on our bodies. Both emotional and physical, this stress often leaves us feeling out of sorts going into the new year.
Here, we outline 5 tips to help you relieve this stress and help you stay happy, healthy and energised for the New Year.
1. Schedule Consistent Sleep
Schedule some early nights and make sleep a priority. A lack of sleep can throw your system off balance. And Christmas often means back to back late nights and early mornings. Furthermore, the lack of sunlight means our bodies produce more melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate our sleep cycles. Too much melatonin means we’re more likely to feel tired, sluggish and stressed.
So we recommend winding down for an hour or two before bed. Have a hot bath and read. Also, avoid caffeine before bed, blue screens and only go to bed when you are tired enough to sleep. If you received a wearable device for Christmas you may have a sleep tracker on it that can help you monitor your sleep patterns from wake and light sleep to deep and REM.
2. Eat Mood Brightening Foods
To help you combat stress and feel your best going into the New Year, it’s important to make healthier choices in your diet. Some foods can not only help you control your calorie intake but actually lift your mood and provide and provide a boost in energy.
So, here are four mood brightening and energy boosting foods that you should pop on your next shopping list:
- Fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines all have high amounts of omega-3 which have been proved to alleviate stress and anxiety.
- Leafy green foods contain mood balancing nutrients such as magnesium. Kale is one of the best leafy greens containing high levels of magnesium, as well as folate and calcium. Spinach, romaine lettuce and cabbage are all also great choices.
- Whole fruits are essential foods for boosting your mood and lowering stress. Apples, bananas and oranges are all packed with fibre and vitamin C. The vitamin B6 helps convert tryptophan (essential amino acid) into the mood-lifting hormone serotonin.
- Herbal teas can have calming properties, such as chamomile, and help you relieve stress, boost your mood and help you sleep better. Some even contain antioxidants to help boost your immune system.
3. Make Time For Exercise
Exercise is a fantastic stress buster. It is a great way to reduce stress as it burns off hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. As well as producing mood-enhancing endorphins.
Even going for a short walk in the fresh air will lift your mood and make you feel better.
And if you intend to make 2019 the year to start a new fitness journey, try a new programme or train or an event, why not book a guest pass to your local Gym Plus and chat to us about a personalised fitness plan.
4. Ease Back Into Your Routine
Take it easy when settling back to your usual routine. Try to schedule your first day back in the office for midweek to give yourself a shorter week. Take time to clear your email backlog, organise your desk and make a plan for the year ahead. De-cluttering can help clear your mind and help you focus. Which in turn can reduce stress and give your motivation a boost.
5. Do Something For Yourself
Finally, now that you have looked after everyone else at Christmas, do something for yourself. A little treat or some ‘me time’ can help to lift your mood, feel re-energised and renewed starting the new year.
Why not book a massage or another beauty treatment to help you unwind and de-stress? Alternatively, why not go for afternoon tea with a friend or a quiet lunch.
Or if you’re short on free time, a simple long hot bath, going for a long walk or catch up on your reading.
If you are interested in joining Gym Plus we have a special no joining fee offer for all new joiners in January.