By Megan Jenkins
Hands up who’s already reaching for the stretchy trousers and paracetamol? Christmas – and its very long run-up – is often the perfect excuse for indulgence and choices we don’t seem to make at any other time of year. But it’s as important as ever to keep your wellbeing topped up during the festive season, so here are our five different ways to a happy and healthy Christmas:
1. Maintaining a balanced diet
If the temptation to live off mince pies and a tin of Celebrations is all too tempting, the British Heart Foundation provides a wide variety of recipes, including hearty, winter, root vegetables and clever ways to incorporate balance into your meals. It’s recommended we eat three balanced meals a day, to help avoid snacking, and include plenty of fruit, vegetables and starchy foods such as rice, potatoes and wholegrain bread.
Not only does volunteering counteract the effects of stress, anger and anxiety but, according to a recent study, older adults in particular who volunteer report higher levels of wellbeing. The Bridgend Association of Volunteering (BAVO) can put you in contact with voluntary opportunities, having placed 204 volunteers last year, including 72 young people. Christmas is the time to give, and giving your time can be more invaluable than spending money.
3. Going for a walk
Setting off along a country – or urban! – path is proven to benefit our minds, bodies and souls, boosting our energy and brain power while improving our heart health. If you’re not convinced, check out our five reasons why being in nature is good for your business! And if you’re unsure where to walk or have no one to venture out with, Ramblers organises the fantastic Festival of Winter Walks at this time of year, allowing you to socialise with fellow walkers while boosting your wellbeing!
4. Going sober
It seems rude to pass up the offer of champagne on Christmas morning, but going sober – or reducing your consumption – during the festivities can lead to a healthier liver and a reduced risk of heart disease – plus no Boxing Day hangover! Strategies from Alcohol Change UK include delaying the time in the day that you start drinking, and trying out some alcohol-free mocktails, such as those from Cardiff brand Sober Drinks. Your body will thank you for it!
5. Switch off!
Research by the Myers Briggs Company has found that those who are always ‘on’ are more likely to experience high levels of mental exhaustion and stress than those who switch off from work regularly. Shutting the laptop and muting your email notifications over the holidays can actually be more productive than logging in daily, leaving you refreshed for the new year and returning to work with renewed creativity and enthusiasm.
We would like to wish all our clients and collaborators a very happy Christmas and a prosperous new year… see you in 2020!