We are here! It’s December and all the Christmas parties have began. Are you ready?
Do you really know how to handle this fun but demanding time of the year? And do you actually find it fun? This should be a fun and enjoyable time of the year. In order that we don’t get grumpy and run down then we need to make sure we put a few ‘handling habits’ in place.
I have put together just 3 daily habits that are going to help you stay on top of health and therefore good mood. Naturally, some of these aren’t going to be done everyday, as you might be out partying! But stick to them when you aren’t and they will help you for when you are!
The Three Handling Habits
1. Old Fashioned Supper
So, if you are wanting to get up and feel great with plenty of energy the next day, this needs to be planned the night before. Starting with an early light dinner. Just like they did some years back.
Following the rules of Ayurveda (which follow the rules of nature) wherever possible we want to try and have our main affair with food at lunch time. This can get easier to achieve if we are on holidays so if that’s you (or they are coming up) you can start playing around with this idea.
Our System Is Ready To Digest Our Most Nutrient Rich Food Between 10am – 2pm.
This is because our digestion is at its highest when the sun too is at its highest. Our system is ready to digest our most nutrient rich food between 10am – 2pm. As the sun begins to set, so too does the fire in our belly. So the later and heavier we eat the harder it is for our digestion.
If we eat late then go to bed with undigested food this means extra energy is used for digestion while sleeping. Which means we won’t sleep as well and digest, absorb or assimilate our food so well either. Which will mean we wake up feeling heavy, groggy and in need of a coffee!
2. Best Bed Times
Just because we are on holidays (if indeed we are) doesn’t mean we should waste our valuable energy going to bed late. When we aren’t out socialising at this time of the year, then trying to ‘catch up’ on some decent sleep and maintaining a healthy sleep pattern will be helpful in ‘going the distance’.
The optimal sleep time may well depend a little on your own body clock. But most of us will be better off being in bed with lights out by 10pm. This is because of the hard wired body clock of the circadian rhythms. No matter how we try to fight this or try to change this rhythm it just doesn’t work. So to optimise our sleep, energy and immune system we need to go to bed between 8 – 12pm (depends on when we are tired and what time we get up). 10pm being in the middle seems it would suit most of us. Give it a go!
The Different Energies Of Sleep
Looking at it from an Ayurveda prospective we have the Kapha, Pitta & Vatta energy times of the day. Our wind down time is Kapha from 6 – 10pm. This is the time of the day when our energy naturally asks us to chill out and prepares us for sleep. Pitta is from 10pm – 2am. This is a time for intensity. If you are asleep or going to sleep at this time, then the intensity will go into your sleep. Meaning, you will sleep better, more soundly. If you are still watching telly, playing on the computer or reading, then you will get your second wind and start using up tomorrow’s energy. We start to borrow from the next day…..
Vatta is the next stage from 2 – 6am. Making sure we get to sleep (most times!!) before this stage of Vatta is a great idea because at this stage it turns into the lighter stage of your sleeping. This is the stage with more REM sleeping, where it is lighter, more dreams and prone to waking.
A good sleep is essential for a good sense of humour! So make sure you get it!
3. Body Hydration
It is always important to keep hydrated for good health, energy and clarity of mind. However, at this time of the year, when we are likely to be extending ourselves and our health a bit more, it becomes even more important. It is also the time of the year where we’re most likely to consume more alcohol, so the more we drink, the more we need to drink!! Water that is!
When you get up in the morning this is the moment you start to hydrate. It’s a great idea to get into the habit of drinking warm water first thing in the morning. Before you do anything else. I usually drink about 1 litre of warm to hot water with freshly grated ginger and sometimes a squeeze of half a lemon in it. Before anything else goes into me.
There Is No Real Substitute For Water, So Try To Make Friends With It.
Don’t think that you can use tea and especially not coffee to hydrate and wake up. They are diuretic and stimulate urination. There is no real substitute for water, so try to make friends with it. Drink it regularly throughout the day, keep a water bottle by you all the time so it’s easy to drink. Add a little lemon, lime or even fennel seeds if you don’t really like the taste.
When it come to social time and you really feel you just can’t face another round of drinking, experiment with some yummy non-alcoholic beverages. Or if you really can’t manage that, then try making some lovely fresh hydrating drinks with just a little bit of alcohol in them. I’ve added a couple of recipes at the bottom of this post. Try them out and let me know what you think!
If you wish to learn a few more tricks of staying well over this busy season Joy Yoga has a Surviving Christmas workshop on Saturday 10th Dec 16 10am – 12.30pm. Check here for details. And learn other ways to keep sane in this crazy season.
Enjoy this month of celebration on connectivity!
Here’s a couple of recipes that you could have instead of alcohol or maybe add a little bit of vodka or white rum for the party spirit.
If you have a juicer!
- 600ml Grapefruit
- 750g Cucumber
- 1 Lemon
- Sparkling mineral water
Juice the grapefruit, cucumber and lemon. Pour into a jug over ice and tope with mineral water. Add some chopped mint and slices of cucumber & lemon to decorate. This will help flush out the kidneys and eliminate toxins. Makes about 400ml.
Found in Miracle Juices from Hamlyn
If you don’t have a juicer but do have a blender you could try this one.
If you have a blender!
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 cups pineapple diced
- 1 tablespoon of minced ginger
- 2 tablespoon agave nectar or maple syrup
Throw it all into the blender and blast on high for about 1 minute. May need to repeat. Tweak favour to taste! If you prefer not to have the pulp you could strain through a fine mesh.
Found in The Blender Girl – Tess Masters