Healthright’s top 8 health tips for Christmas 2021

During 2021 we have shown you how natural approaches can improve your immunity, your digestive and food waste elimination system (microbiome) and your children’s brain health. We’ve also looked at how to reduce uncomfortable symptoms of hay fever, menopause, and ‘Long Covid’, as well as discussed the power of psychoneuroimmunology – the interaction between mental processes and the immune and nervous systems – and the impact of gluten.

All of these ten articles share the same message:  your health is constantly and potentially severely under threat from risks of unhealthy diet and lifestyle.  Deficiencies of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, rest, sleep, exercise, fresh air, nature, sunshine, love, creativity, self expression, joy and peace of mind, and also excesses of stress, alcohol, smoking, denatured food, unsatisfying work, conflict and difficult relationships can contribute to the development of chronic health conditions.

As the festive season approaches, here are our top low or no cost health tips to de-stress your Christmas, and set you on a firm course to a healthy 2022! Try treating yourself to just one of these health boosters each day over the Christmas and New Year break. Pop into the shop and let us know what you did – and what a difference it made – and pick up a free gift!

  1. Agree with family members and close friends to keep Christmas gift costs down. Reduce financial stress by agreeing an upper limit for gifts to adults and/or children, and a ‘no gifts for adults’ pact with family members. Encourage children to be creative and make gifts and cards themselves – the loving gift of a custom-designed and hand-made gift or card is far more precious than any shop-bought article.
  2. Treat yourself to some time without screens – television, computers and smart phones. The adrenal stimulation caused by non-stop screen time can be exhausting and stressful. Give yourself the gift of time and space to appreciate the present moment and face to face interactions more fully. If you suffer from bad sleep, then avoiding the blue light from computer and telephone screens for an hour before bedtime will help: instead read, or listen to, a book – or play music as you wind down and prepare to sleep.
  3. Walk in your favourite part of the countryside for at least an half an hour.  Walking – with or without a dog, alone or in company – is great exercise and a wonderful stress reliever. Give yourself a chance to rebalance whilst enjoying fresh air, sunlight and beautiful surroundings.  If you can, make sure you go for at least twenty minutes’ brisk walk each day, and weave this into your daily routine – walking with friends or family can also be an enjoyable and healthy social occasion.
  4. Tell someone you love five reasons why you love them. Communicating your appreciation to those around you will bring you closer to them, reduce isolation and stress, and improve wellbeing for you both. Give yourself the gift of reciprocated love and friendship. If you cannot get to sleep, think of all the people you love and why, and imagine yourself thanking them all individually and specifically – you will find yourself nodding off before you reach the end of the list.
  5. Treat yourself to 8oz of freshly made fruit or vegetable juice, or eat three pieces of fresh fruit. At this time of year we often overload our bodies with toxins and rich food, and fruit and vegetables can help to clear these away. Give your body an antioxidant break – try eating fresh fruit for at least one dessert each day, add fresh berries to your breakfast, and swap chocolates or sweets for dried fruit.
  6. Sit quietly in your favourite place and relax with no stimulation for at least half an hour. If you need guidance, mindfulness, meditation and therapeutic breathing are relaxation techniques you can research on the internet. Give yourself a calm space to reflect and recharge, and you will find that your stress level will decrease – and you will have increased your resilience to deal with the next stressor you encounter.
  7. Drink at least two litres of water throughout the day. Central heating, alcohol and rich foods are all dehydrating so we need extra water at this time of year to maintain healthy hydration levels. Give your body the chance to replenish its stock of water, ideally evenly throughout the day.  If you prefer warm drinks to cold you can choose herbal teas in place of water, or drink warmed water, and add fresh fruit or herbs to water for flavour.
  8. Enjoy a relaxing bath, an early night, and ten hours’ sleep. Sufficient nourishing sleep is vital to the healing, growth and development of your body. Give your immune system, your digestion, your energy and your mind the opportunity to rest and restore themselves. Ideally, aim for at least eight hours’ sleep per night, and remember that an hour’s sleep before midnight is worth two hours’ after midnight.

Seasons greetings to you all from everyone at Healthright, we look forward to seeing you in the shop and hearing your success stories! We hope to see you again very soon.