Like a lot of people I tend to over do it a bit during the holidays – I sit too much, I eat too much, I eat too many rich foods (sugar & fat), I drink more red wine than I am used to (…and then a scotch or 2 for good measure) and I stay up too late. The end result is that I am struggling through my day today, which means so is my immune system.
The next few days will be critical in determining whether or not my body will be successful in defending against the pathogens it has been exposed to this past weekend…it is not a coincidence that cold & flu season start now.
3 Things I have learned about recovering from holiday celebrations:
1. Get moving
Exercising may be the last thing on your mind right now, but it one of the best things you can do. Even a moderate about of exercise today (and over the next few) will: improve your mood, improve your energy, stimulate your immune system, and help you get a better sleep. A vigorous workout may not be possible today but even a 20-30 minute walk will be huge benefit to you – especially if you have a beautiful sunny day.
For lower key activities check out some of these yoga links http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/2695,
If even gentle yoga seems like too much right now then consider getting a massage designed to stimulate your immune system, check out The Life Loft for massage services.
2. Get flowing…bile
All of the richness of the holidays can be quite hard on your liver, so be extra nice to it over the next few days and encourage the flow of bile. To start, lower your fat and alcohol intake. Next make some liver friendly food choices, including: green tea, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, and brussels sprouts); bitter greens (arugula, endive, dandelion greens and spinach), beets and carrots; garlic; and, walnuts.
If you want to support your liver and get rid of your leftovers consider making this super simple, super fast Bitter greens & Cranberry Salad or make a basic leftovers soup and near the end of cooking toss in 2-3 very generous handfuls of chopped bitter greens.
3. Get to bed
Your health requires that you sleep. It is possible to function with less than the 7-8 hours of sleep that are recommended, but your system will suffer as a result. I recommend that for at least the next few nights you aim to get 8 hours of sleep a night – I know that my body will use this time to fully recuperate from the festivities of the past weekend. I will also be encouraging the teen in my house to get the 9-11 hours of sleep he needs. Children need at least 8 and up to 11 hours as well. (If you find that you can’t get either the quantity or the quality of sleep that you need contact me – I can help.)...if by chance you didn't get enough exercise today consider going to bed even earlier.
As a last resort, if you find that you just can’t shake the post holiday sluggishness and/or you are painfully aware of your weekend over indulgences (i.e. hung-over) try nux vomica 30c. Let 2 pellets dissolve under your tongue. If required, repeat once at least 2 hours later.