Can you believe we are fast approaching December with Christmas just around the corner?! Most of us love Christmas especially with little ones around, such a magical time full of fun & laughter & it’s proven that laughter boosts the immune system & reduces stress!

That said stress on the body & mind dramatically increases around this time of year with all the planning, expense, cold dark days, present shopping, parties & socialising leading to more late nights than usual – to name just some of the potential stressors. These factors are pretty much unavoidable in the run up to & over the Christmas period. This can lead to exhaustion & unfortunately stress. With over 90% of ailments caused or aggravated by stress it is best to invest in your well-being with a personal pre-tox plan to prevent the potential stress factor.

Your pre-tox plan should involve healthy food, quality sleep & some ‘me-time’ where you will be relaxed & rejuvenated. This is the sure fire way to deal with the stress factors effectively & give yourself a great head start prior to taking your mind & body out of sync over the impending party season...

Feeding & Watering: 
The best way to manage your diet in the run up to & during the festive season is to eat regular balanced meals, drink 2 litres of water daily & never miss a meal - especially breakfast. A diet full of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat & nuts is optimal. Fruits are a great source of energy containing vitamins & antioxidants helping provide nutrients to your body and helping you stay healthy. Lean meat & nuts are great for boosting immunity. Juicing & raw foods are rich in enzymes & absent from most Christmas cuisine so consuming these as part of your pre-tox & over the festive period is the best option. By drinking lots of water this helps your body absorb nutrients better & eliminates harmful toxins. Eating slowly & chewing your food until it is almost liquefied will give your digestive system a lighter load to process. By chewing your food at least 20 times & eating mindfully you will appreciate the taste more & will consume better & less food overtime. So you will eat well & slim down!

Sleep well & your dreams will come true! 
At R&R we believe that everyone should aim for 6-8 hours of sleep every night. It is said that the sleep you get before midnight is the best to avoid exhaustion as it is relational to our circadian rhythm, which is quite a revelation for night owls (like myself)! There's an old saying: 'an hour before midnight is worth two afterwards'. Sticking to your normal sleep timetable as much as possible over the party season is vital, the body & mind thrives on regularity. Apparently it is better to get up when you usually do & top up with an early night than it is to sleep in. Alcohol & sugary drinks deplete magnesium levels so taking a magnesium supplement as part of your pre-tox can help replenish magnesium levels & it also encourages a good night’s sleep which is not always easy after copious amounts of alcohol.

Saved the best to last - Me-time: TLC for YOU!

Me-time is the ultimate part of your pre-tox plan! It is a sound personal investment; you need to look after yourself in order to effectively & efficiently look after everyone & everything else. By having some precious 'me time' you maximise your emotional resources & will be happier & more productive both personally & professionally. Me time can be enjoyed alone or with others, it’s your special time to choose to spend how you wish!

'Me time' means different things to different people – we are all individual & unique 
 so be it having a long soak in the bath, reading, walking, trying a new recipe, going for a run, a trip to the cinema, a night out with friends, yoga, having a massage or even just a cuppa in the garden – literally anything you choose enjoy. 

A vigorous walk outside (just 15 mins outside promotes positive emotions) or buzzing social event – Yay! PARTY!! Go ahead & get in the swing of the party but always remember moderation is key – remember the bigger picture – the aftermath hangover, the next day dreaded fear, as that horrid feeling, if too overwhelming, may undo all the goodness of the partying ‘me-time’.

Me time results in a calmer, happier you with a more positive outlook thus helping you cope with daily challenges, most beneficially of all it improves your relationships with yourself & those around you.

Holistic treatments such as Reflexology & Indian Head Massage are a great choice for some ‘me-time’ they provide the perfect opportunity to relax & rejuvenate, clear your mind & connect with your inner calm & even focus on your good intentions for the festive session!

Prioritise & Plan your Me time - 
Unless you plan 'me time' it can easily fall by the wayside. We put dental appointments & the cars MOT in the diary so schedule 'me time' in too! Me time does not have to be a large chunk from your day even just an half an hour can make a big difference – a little me time goes a long way! If you find it difficult to find the time perhaps investing in some coaching is the best solution for you. 

To round up: Eat Well ~ Sleep Well ~ Live Well

Mindful Eating: 
Over Christmas try not to just gorge on mince pies, mulled wine & the rest. Try to eat consciously & healthily, really take time appreciating each mouthful. When you eat like this you will eat less & feel full for longer. If you don't like water - drink it anyway!! The massive benefits of water far outweigh its blandness! 

Mindful sleeping: Try to stick to your usual sleep schedule. A good nights sleep is so important for your health & well-being on so many levels. Studies show that people who are short of sleep are more likely to experience stress & stress leads to illness!

Mindful ‘Me-time’: Ensure you factor this into your pre-tox & beyond. By giving yourself a break the emotional & physical benefits will make you feel so refreshed & much happier. However you choose to spend your 'me time' it will be very beneficial for you & those around you. Make it an integral part of your weekly or at least fortnightly routine to look forward to, make it a consistent commitment to yourself! 

Ready to have renewed energy, be more focused & feel your BEST?! Book your 'ME TIME' with R&R Reflexology today!