It’s all about balance
After quieter celebrations last Christmas, we’re all hoping that this festive season will bring plenty of opportunities to spend time with friends and family. But with that comes late nights, disrupted routines and more socialising than we’ve managed in almost two years.
To help you keep your balance and fuel yourself for the busy party season, here are five wellness tips from the experts.
‘Listen to your body and tune into your own “energy bank”,’ says health coach Suzy Glaskie. ‘You only have so much energy and once you’ve run it down, you’re on the road to burnout. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to any invites that don’t light you up, and leave plenty of white space for self-care.’
Our tip? Find a podcast you love and for the length of each episode, give yourself a time-out, whether you listen to it on a walk, on your run or while soaking in the bath. Our picks are Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place for a dose of positivity and Parenting Hell with Rob Beckett and Josh Widdicombe for the belly laughs.
‘Having a balanced approach to diet is essential to your wellbeing, and mealtimes are important moments of connection with friends and family, so make the most of them,’ says Professor John Sharry, clinical director and co-founder of wellbeing platform SilverCloud. So, instead of grabbing canapés on the go, ensure you get the nutrition your body needs and feed your soul at the same time by making time to eat together.
To nail that balance during the festivities — filling yourself up with lots of veg, proteins, seeds and grains, and still enjoying delicious mealtimes — try Dr. Oetker’s new pizza range, The Good Baker. There are four flavours to choose from (three veggie and one vegan) and they’re the perfect combination of taste and goodness. The doughs are enriched with ingredients such as flaxseeds and multigrains and then long-fermented and stone-baked for extra flavour and texture. They’re then topped off with loads of colourful veg, rich tomato sauce, plant-based proteins and cheese (or vegan cheese).
As well as being a source of fibre* and protein**, they contain zero artificial flavourings and no added sugar (only naturally occurring ones). In other words, our favourite sharing food just got even better.
When you’re busy with work and play, exercise can be the first thing that falls by the wayside, but it has so many benefits, helping to boost mood, energy and immunity. So, look ahead at your schedule and diarise short sessions instead, making sure it’s something you’ll enjoy — workouts shouldn’t be hard work.
‘I recommend energising 30-minute sessions to my clients, as they’re the perfect length to get the heart rate up, release endorphins and leave us feeling great,’ says PT Caroline Idiens. ‘Mix up your workouts with cardio, strength exercises and stretching, put on your favourite tracks and invite a friend to join you. Remember that with our increased muscle mass, we will feel fitter, stronger and boost our endurance levels.’
‘Following a year without our usual festivities, this Christmas offers an opportunity to return to a bit more normality. But with that can come added pressure,’ warns Rhiannon Bates, mindset coach. ‘This festive season, focus on doing what you love, on “filling up your cup”, rather than putting pressure on yourself to have the so-called “perfect” Christmas.’
It’s understandable that some of us may feel social anxiety about big parties with lots of people right now. So, socialise on your own terms and organise fun nights in with your favourite people instead. Ask them to add their favourite songs to the party playlist, stock up the bar trolley, put your feather-trimmed PJs on and have a pizza party. There’s a flavour to suit everyone in the new Good Baker range – from Meat-Free Bolognese to the Spinach and Pumpkin Seeds vegan pizza.
Margherita with a multigrain base and flaxseeds
Spinach & Pumpkin Seeds with a multigrain base (v)
with a sourdough
Meat-Free Bolognese with a multigrain base and sunflower seeds
While there are bound to be some late bedtimes, sticking to your wind-down and sleep routine as much as possible, particularly on evenings in, will help you avoid restless nights. ‘Going to sleep at around the same time each night helps us establish the sense of routine our brain craves, which should mean you’re able to get to sleep more easily,’ says Jessica Hanley, founder of Piglet in Bed.
‘If you’ve been out on the town, don’t beat yourself up over not being able to stick to your full routine; instead, try to carry out whichever elements of it you feel able to, whether that’s your pre-bed skincare, or enjoying a soothing cup of camomile tea.’
Good Baker pizzas have goodness baked into every bite – try them now from Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose, Ocado or Amazon Fresh, and find out more at thegoodbaker.co.uk
*Source of fibre: Margherita and Spinach & Pumpkin Seeds. **Source of protein – Margherita, Veggie Mix and Meat-Free Bolognese.
‘This too shall pass away’ this famous Persian adage seems to be defeating us again and again in the case of COVID-19. Despite every effort