Whether you officially celebrate Christmas or not, steering clear from the festive treats is a challenge in itself. The truth is, no matter how healthy you’ve been in the run-up to December, everyone seems to be a bit more relaxed at this time of year. Not to mention the fact that work parties, friendly get-togethers and plenty of opportunity to sit back and relax on the sofa are a recipe for overindulging.
The festive season is a lot of fun, but it can soon begin to take its toll on our bodies - both physically and mentally. And, as Ayurveda says, life is all about balance. So, with this in mind, we reveal our best tips for maintaining your lifestyle and finding balance with Ayurveda during the festive season - so you can do both.
Be mindful of your eating habits
Of course, when the Christmas chocolates come out and the cheese board sits at the end of the table in all its glory, it can be tempting to snack. However, as Ayurveda says our bodies are creatures of habit. To balance out our mind, gut and body, and keep our doshas intact (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) we should strive to have three meals a day, at the same time, packed with nutritious ingredients and Ayurvedic super-herbs. If meals are skipped or eaten much later, our digestive fire starts to weaken leading to painful digestive problems.
In Ayurvedic practices, it’s recommended that our main meal is eaten at midday because this is when our digestive fire is at its strongest. In the evening, we should only eat light meals such as soup to help with a good night’s sleep. It’s hard for our bodies to relax if they’re trying to digest a heavy meal we’ve eaten 20 minutes before.
It’s not always as easy as this though when there’s invitations for Christmas dinners filling our inboxes. But Ayurveda says we should strive for balance and not perfection. Start by eating lots of fruit and vegetables for their nutritional benefits and to keep you fuller for longer. When it comes to portion size, remember our stomachs are the size of our two fists together. By knowing exactly how much is too much, there’s no risk of overeating and the lethargy and gut concerns that follow.
Stick with your routine
There’s usually a lot going on in the festive season and this can all impact your daily routine, which is important for a balanced mind and body. Not just that but, in Ayurvedic practices, it’s believed that we should try to eat, sleep and wake at the same time every day to help aid digestion. Of course, these timings might be out of your control during the festive season, and that’s okay. It’s about balance, not perfection.
You could try to arrange meet-ups for earlier on in the day, and stop eating at least 30 minutes before bedtime. That way, your body can work its magic while you sleep. Turning off any TV and putting your phone to the side late at night will also help to relieve any bouts of anxiety.
Try to stay active
Okay so the weather might be dreary but why not find as many opportunities to be active as possible? Help out in the kitchen, play games with younger family members and offer to walk to the shops to pick up the extra bottles.
Not only will this provide a welcome distraction from family members you’d rather not see but it’s great for increasing your digestive fire and will help to reduce any build-up of Kapha, which is common after large meals. If you have some extra time, a quick workout or even practicing a bit of yoga is a great way to stretch your body and can support healthy digestion too.
Find peace and rest
Seeing friends and family over the festive season is great for mental wellbeing. But it’s just as important to take some time out to relax. Whether reading, a long soak in the bath or a walk by yourself, it’s important to find some time where you can focus on your inner self again. This is a great way to ease anxiety and tension in your body that may have built up during some of the more busy periods.
When it comes to gifts, there’s a few Ayurvedic ones that you could ask for too. Skincare, massages, delicious teas and spices - all of these will encourage a calm, balanced and peaceful festive season.
Try a herbal supplement
Despite our best intentions, sometimes we just need a little push in the right direction. You could start your morning with a cup of warm water and ginger tea or hot water and lemon juice. This will awaken your body, get your gut moving for the day and keep any pesky colds at bay.
Alternatively, taking one of our natural and specially blended capsules each morning can help to keep your mind, body and gut in balance. Boasting 11 super-herbs, Mind Balance helps you to combat busy and stressful days and boosts feelings of calm. Packed full of Turmeric, Gold Shield has everything you need to fight the colder seasons. And, finally Rest & Digest uses ancient Ayurvedic medicinal herbs to keep your body and digestive system happy, and support healthy weight loss.
The holiday season is there to be enjoyed and it’s important to not restrict yourself too much. Be mindful of your choices though and you’ll be on the path for a happy and balanced mind and body, throughout the month. For more Ayurvedic tips for the festive season, and beyond, visit our blog. Plus, if you want to give your body the helping hand it needs, shop our full range of supplements here.