10 Rules for a Healthy Holiday

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Follow these easy ways to stay centered this season

Holidays celebrations can be fun but also stressful. We asked some advice from Toronto's Inspired Life Health Centre on how to stay happy and healthy over the holidays. Co-founder and clinic director, Mylinh Nguyen ND, DNM, gave use her top 10 ten favourites.

Drink plenty of water. Water is essential to keep all our systems functioning smoothly but it's also essential for rehydrating the body and recovering from a hangover. You should be drinking, on average, two litres of water each day and more if you are physically active.

Relax. Breathe.
Take some time out of your busy schedule for a little R&R (rest and relaxation). Set aside at least 15 minutes each day to just sit and relax. Deep breathing exercises can help relieve stress and tension. Incorporating some meditation on a daily basis is also a good idea -- even if it's only for a few minutes a day it will help you remain centered. If you do so, the rest of your day will be more productive.

Stay within your limits.
Pick and choose your events wisely and don't over extend yourself. Also, be careful not to over indulge in the bountiful amount of food and drink that may be around, especially alcoholic drinks.

Smile and laugh.
Spend some time watching a favourite movie or doing something you love. Laughter releases endorphins in the body which help us stay youthful.

Communicate and share
. Getting together with loved and sharing how you feel it is physically and mentally rejuvenating. Feeling connected and listened promotes a healthy centered state.

Avoid caffeine.
Caffeine will only make you feel more physically and mentally depleted after its effect wear off, leaving you wanting more. Instead, have a naturally balancing drink like Rooibos tea or a "green" drink for that extra boost of energy.

Eat more fruits and vegetables.
These are packed with powerful antioxidants which can help offset the effects of stress and possible late night get-togethers during this time of year.

Enrich yourself. During this season, we don't always eat the proper foods. B-vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, and magnesium are crucial nutrients needed by the body to maintain healthy functioning organ systems. When we are under increased stress, these vitamins and minerals help to promote endurance and maintain a healthy balance.

Sleep on it.
Get at least seven and a half hours of sleep every night during this holiday season. This is the only time our bodies have to regenerate and heal. If sleep is an issue, you can look into calming herbs such as valerian, hops, lemon balm and passionflower. A nice warm cup of chamomile tea before bed may also do the trick.  

Don't forget to treat yourself.
Why not give yourself a little pampering this holiday season? Take some time out for a massage or Reiki treatment that will help you stay relaxed and centered.

Inspired Life Health Centre is Toronto's premier natural health centre offering over a dozen services ranging from massage therapy and acupuncture to Reiki and Bowen therapy. Mylinh Nguyen, B.Sc., N.D., D.N.M. received her Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree from the University of Waterloo and went on to earn the Naturopathic Doctor (ND) designation after graduating from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM).