7 Steps to a Healthy and Happy Christmas ...

If you're looking for ways to spend a healthy and happy Christmas this year then this list should help. Christmas has become synonymous with excess and although we all need to enjoy ourselves at this time of the year, it needn't take its toll on our mind, body or wallet. So, in the interests of a sound body and mind this festive season, here are my top tips for a healthy and happy Christmas.

1. Preparation

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One of the first steps to a healthy and happy Christmas is preparation. Having everything organized before the big day will leave you less stressed and will enable you to enjoy the day. When the entire family descends on Christmas day, chaos can ensue if everything isn't prepared beforehand. Enlist help if needs be and make a check-list of all the things you need. The last thing you need is to find that you're missing a key ingredient on the day!

2. Online

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Technology is a real savior at times. Now you can take advantage of fabulous offers and buy gifts from the comfort of your own living room. This means you have more time to do things at home, like prepare for the family visiting and ensuring everything is just as you want it.

3. Help

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Don't feel as though you have to do everything on your own. You're not Superwoman and no one expects you to be. If you need help from family and friends, ask for it. If you have family coming over, maybe they can contribute with a dish or two so that you don't have to do all of it on your own. Don't have unrealistic expectations of yourself and don't be afraid to cut corners in order to help yourself.

4. Exercise

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Making time for exercise is also important. This will make you feel better mentally and is a great de-stressor. It will also make you feel a little less guilty when you have a second helping of, well, everything! Enjoy the crisp outdoor air at this time of year by going for long walks and bike rides.

5. Eat Right

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One of the important steps to a healthy and happy Christmas is to eat right. Of course, I'm not saying you can't indulge in your favorite dishes but festive food is often very rich, which means it can trigger heartburn and indigestion. Slippery Elm tablets can help if you're susceptible to digestive problems and probiotics can help too.

6. De-Stress

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Make sure you spend some time unwinding on your own. Whether that's through journaling, taking a long bath with candles and soothing music or better still, booking yourself in for a relaxing massage, these things will make you less anxious and leave you ready to face the festivities with confidence.

7. Party Right

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Parties are great but they often mean excessive drinking, the wrong types of food and disrupted sleep patterns. I'm not saying don't party but there are ways to party right. Have a nutritious meal before going out (not too heavy, otherwise you will just want to go to bed!). This will mean you'll be less likely to indulge in the unhealthy party food. Where alcohol is concerned, lighter colored drinks are said to reduce hangovers. Have water or a soft drink between each alcoholic drink. The next day, have a Vitamin C capsule and a hearty breakfast of poached eggs and wholegrain toast.

These are some of my top tips for a healthy and happy Christmas. Do you have any other suggestions?

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