Feeling Normal Again Post-Christmas
If you're anything like me then the Christmas period will have left you reaching for your stretchiest, comfiest sweatpants.
Because in all honesty, nothing else quite fitted.
In fact, yesterday - I pulled said sweatpants on and even they, didn't quite fit.
With festivities comes overindulgence as food plays a massive part in the celebrations.
Late nights socialising, drinking, parties, routines out of whack.
This inevitably takes it's toll on our immune system - anyone else noticed that EVERYONE and their dog seems to have the flu, right now?
And it also takes it's toll on our sleep, our digestion and our overall wellbeing.
So while I'm definitely not going to be preaching the 'new year, new me' detox, I thought I'd put together a few handy tips to have you feeling 'normal' again in no time
Apparently the average is 2 weeks after Christmas, FYI.
This is a sponsored collaboration with Bimuno
Speaking from personal experience, as much as I enjoy Christmas, it can definitely leave me feeling a bit exhausted afterwards.
Excess eating, rich food, stress of shopping, changes in weather and drinking alcohol are apparently the top causes of feeling tired - and I can certainly relate to ALL of them.
In fact yesterday I had TWO naps during the day and found myself walking upstairs, only to completely forget what on earth I'd come up for.
To help ease your sleeping patterns back to normality, try and get yourself into more of a routine, gradually.
I hate to sound like such a grandma, but if you get yourself into bed around 10pm (latest), sip a cup of chamomile slowly, switch off all nearby devices and even whip out a good book (if you're feeling fancy) - you'll be out like a light within no time.
I'm currently in this very delightful routine and already feeling the benefits.
PS: I can highly recommend Emily's new book - it's fab!
According to a festive survey, 20% of people said they ate or drank so much over Christmas that it caused stomach issues.
My bet is that the other 80% were either telling porkies (or should I say, pigs in blankets) and were bordering on digestive discomfort.
Despite many Christmas classics like mince pies, Christmas pudding and Brussel Sprouts naturally causing bloating and wind, we still can't refuse them!
So naturally our digestion and our gut takes a huge hit over the festive period. I know mine has.
Whether it's bloating, wind, constipation, diarrhoea, abdominal pain or general tummy unease - or a wonderful mix of all of them.
To help feel back to normal, Bimuno recommends gradually re-introducing more whole foods into your diet - such as vegetables, nuts, pulses and wholegrains.
Try not to overwhelm your system with them all at once, because if your diet is low in fibre and then you suddenly increase it, this can make symptoms worse.
Also drink plenty of water to flush your system and lay off creamy dairy products and heavy red meats - which can make your system sluggish.
Try to limit your sugar intake, as an excess intake (more than likely over the festive period) can cause an overgrowth of bad bacteria in your gut.
Complementing the above, in order to boost your immune system and your gut health - I'd highly recommend adding a supplement (or two) into your daily routine.
Maintaining a healthy gut is actually pretty difficult, so it's advisable to find a supplement that works for you.
Bimuno is a daily supplement that you can easily get from your local Boots or order online from Amazon.
It naturally feeds and stimulates the growth of preferred bacteria in the gut, which in turn helps to maintain immune health and support your digestion.
It helps maintain and restore equilibrium to your gut, which let's face it - is something we REALLY need after Christmas.
You can buy it in powder form, using one sachet per day to sprinkle over porridge or tea.
Or you may take it in pastille form.
Both are super easy to weave into your daily routine.
The hardworking and unique galacto-oligosaccharide gets to work within just 7 days, settling your stomach and boosting your overall wellbeing.
The product does contain lactose, so if you are sensitive to this - it's worth baring in mind.
"Bimuno will supercharge your immune system as well as your gut!"
4. Immune System
Everyone seems to have the flu right now, in fact I even had a bout of it myself on Christmas Day and ended up falling asleep during Home Alone.
This may seem commonplace to some of you, but to me - it's NOT. Regardless of how many times I've watched that film, it doesn't deserve to be fallen asleep through.
My eyes should remain open through every suspense building scene. Oh, are they the end credits?
Your immune system takes a real hit during the festive month because invariably we're much more social than we usually are, and we're also far more carefree with what we're eating and drinking.
The Bimuno supplement above will supercharge your immune system as well as your gut, however if you're looking to boost it even further then introducing green leafy veg, freshly squeezed orange juice and a hot cup of ginger and lemon in the morning, will certainly do the trick.
Once you've got a cold or flu, there's really no other solution apart from rest, fluids and sleep that will help - but it is definitely worth boosting your immune system to ensure you're not bogged down by anymore blips.
Since keeping tabs on my gut health and taking the necessary supplements, I've had two colds in 3 years. Yup, TWO COLDS in THREE YEARS!
And that's coming from a person who used to catch every bug going and was ill for both of her school proms.
Getting back into a routine is probably the thing I struggle with most in the New Year, as usually I've spent between 7 and 10 days eating, sleeping and playing charades as my main activities.
Suddenly, there's no-one to watch you miming out 7 words, film, 7th word shhhh!, YES YES YES, Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets.
The pigs in blankets stash has disappeared and there are no leftover roast potatoes to get you through the day.
How on earth am I supposed to be productive again when all I can think about is chocolate orange's and Netflix movie marathons?
Well, if you haven't already read my 'How to Increase Your Productivity' post, then I'll summarise a few of my handiest tips to getting back into a routine.
Start the day with a small task that you can tick off your list - such as making your bed. This instantly sets off the tone of the day as 'organised' and 'productive'.
Then work out the two tasks you HAVE to get done today (usually the ones you've been putting off forever), set out rewards and then also allow yourself a 'brain fart'.
I.E: pop down everything that's stressing you out, worrying you or occupying a thought, down on a big piece of paper.
Try and allow your routine to be somewhat flexible, but also be strict with yourself.
*Says the girl who just spent the past half hour Googling 'How to Make A Chocolate Mug Microwave Cake'*
6. Take Things Slow
January is a weird month, and also a rather rubbish month to have a birthday in.
Because as much as we try to avoid it, most of us feel some level of post-Christmas blues.
After the excitement of Christmas, going back to a regular, mundane routine is enough to lower anybody's spirits.
So take things slow, allow yourself to indulge in an evening of Netflix, rather than an extra hour of work.
Pack away the Christmas decorations but maybe have a mini re-vamp of your living room or bedroom to jazz things up.
I'm not talking about full on paint job's or carpet re-fits, but mini changes - like putting up a new picture or DIY projects.
For example, yesterday I re-covered our downstairs toilet's magnolia yellow tiles with this marble sticky back plastic.
And without blowing my own trumpet, I actually think it looks rather good.
My point is, don't launch into some crazy new lifestyle change, without being a bit kinder to yourself first.
7. Food Diary
As you guys probably already know, I blog a lot about IBS and the issues that come along with having a digestive condition.
IBS can really flare up over the festive period, for reasons we've already discussed above - but by overloading on certain food groups such as dairy, we can really exacerbate food sensitivities.
One thing I can thank my IBS for, is the fact it's forced me to really tune into my body.
I can listen out and observe and note almost instantly how a certain food has reacted with my insides.
I like to think of it as my snazzy new sixth sense.
And I have my food diary to thank for that.
For three months solid, I noted down every morsel that I consumed on a daily basis, as well as writing down how I felt, how much water I drank and how active (or not so active) I was.
Over a series of weeks, you start to really notice some interesting patterns emerge.
If you're struggling to pinpoint what might be irritating you, then I'd definitely recommend starting one of these yourself.
8. Swap Fizzy For Flat
I don't drink fizzy drinks or alcohol much at all throughout the year, so it bemuses me that it's the only liquid I do seem to drink over the festive period.
I'm usually the kind of boring individual who when asked what they fancy to drink by a hostess, my reply is:
"Water please, if that's okay?"
As though they perhaps wouldn't have any water in stock?
But at Christmas, I'm glugging down the appletiser, diet coke, fanta, lemonade and even Iron Bru (what on earth has gotten into me?) like it's going out of fashion.
This can in itself cause havoc with digestion and also overwhelming sugar cravings.
So I've switched back from fizzy to flat - and am enjoying my good old trusty glass of water again.
If you're not a huge fan of plain water, try jazzing it up with a slice of lemon or making up a big jug with cucumber, lime and mint.
9. Don't Feel The Pressure
There's a lot of pressure societally to 'change' who you are each New Year.
Whether it's resolutions, a new detox, lifestyle changes or making promises to yourself to improve, there is an overwhelming burden of change that permeates social media and our lives in general.
This in itself can leaving us feeling a bit blue.
So my advice is to scrap the changes and write a list of 'non-resolutions', things that you LOVE about yourself and qualities of your own that you admire.
Obviously if you fancy taking my notes of advice (as seen above) by all means - because they're not drastic changes but tiny ones to help you feel more 'YOU'.
But remember that you're unique, perfect and beautiful just the way you already are.
Do you have any other tips for feeling 'normal' again after the festive period?