New year’s resolutions are often made when you are feeling a strong sense of remorse after a long period of indulgence over the festive period. For many of us, after a long year spent trying our best at healthy eating and exercise, the holidays represent a chance to let go, spoil ourselves and not be too strict.
However, overindulgence in alcohol, food, spending and even social time can leave us feeling out of wack, sluggish and overwhelmed before the new year has even begun.
Here are four tips to stay on track of self care during the holiday season.
Stick to a budget
Outings with friends and family increase during the holidays and with these so do our expenses. Consider putting a weekly budget in place over the holiday season to keep overspending at bay. Look out for free activities in your city. For example, South Africa is home to a range of National Parks and conservation areas fitted with braai facilities and picnic areas. Have friends and family each bring a dish to enjoy potluck style so expenses are shared among the group.
While it’s common to arrive at restaurants extremely hungry, a great trick to avoid overspending is to have a small meal at home before going out to eat. This way you are less likely to want to order everything on the menu, and stick to a budget.
Another suggestion is to look for an event that suits your budget. For example, set menu deals, buffets and brunches. Breaker’s Brunch at Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront for example, includes both drinks, savoury meals and desserts, this way you know that food, an abundance of drinks and entertainment is all at one set price and there’s little risk of overspending if you have allocated this cost ahead of time.
Holidays don’t have to be periods of overindulgence. For those eating away from home, consider ensuring lunch or supper orders include a majority of lower calorie filler foods such as grilled fish or chicken breast, green vegetables and starches like steamed potatoes or quinoa. Filling up on these foods at meal times will help to keep you full and help you snack less.
For snack times, the summer season is famous for an array of fresh in-season produce like litchis, mangoes and watermelon. Fruits like watermelon are great fillers as they contain a large amount of water to keep your body hydrated and fill you up quickly.
Chef Norman Heath of Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront comments that “In-season fresh produce is nutrient dense and it also tastes better than anything that gets imported. Not only that, but it’s better for the environment, too, which works out better for everyone’s health in the long run.”
Have a holiday self-care checklist
Quality time alone to recharge your batteries is important and self care should be a priority during the festive season. Make a list of the things that make you feel rested and recharged and schedule time each day or week for these self care activities. Time spent in nature, meditation, eight hours of quality sleep, short naps, journaling and laughter are just some examples of quality self care activities.
Keep a water-log
Sunnier weather is said to boost moods and the vitamin D that humans get from spending time boosts health. That said, risks of spending too much time in the sun include sunburn and dehydration. Make sure to wear sunscreen with a high SPF factor to protect skin. Avoid full sun between 12:00 and 16:00 and make sure to drink water throughout the day. Fill empty one- and two litre soda bottles with water, mint, chopped lemon, cucumber or strawberries and freeze them. On hot days take one out of the freezer for an on-the-go ‘sumer water’ to enjoy as it defrosts.
With these tips, the holiday season should leave you ready to enter into the next year feeling relaxed, refreshed, recharged and cared for.