Christmas is known for being a very indulgent period. The Wellbeing Book by Andrew Sharman gives us insight into how to keep your mind, body, and soul healthy this Christmas with simple practical tips that won’t leave you missing out on all the fun.
The Wellbeing Diary
Christmas Eve – feel the heat
Whether you’re whittling a spoon, adding yeast to your homebrew, knitting a pair of socks or swinging an axe to split logs for your fire, these activities use your hands to create something. And, through this act of creation, you become mindfully engaged in the pursuit of subtle achievement. The feelings of satisfaction generated are not things that can be bought from any store. They are enjoyment in its purest sense.
Today, find a simple activity, something slow and sustainable, something meditative, that you can really set your mind to. Try to focus not on any particular result on the process itself. Notice the action, the energy, the rhythm. Listen to the sounds around you. Feel the heat. And then, finally, really enjoy the achievement.
What you could make mindfully on Christmas Eve:
- Christmas biscuits
- Mulled wine
- Homemade thank you cards
Christmas Day – drink problems
Many of us are trying to live healthier lives – but finding ways to do it that aren’t boring can be tricky, especially around Christmas.
Water is obviously good for you, but it is hardly the most interesting drink – and, as such, is rarely considered a treat. So what are the alternatives?
The World Health Organization recommends that adults have less than 6 teaspoons of sugar a day, but a 500ml bottle of cola has around 12 teaspoons. So if we want to live healthily, clearly fizzy drinks are out.
Shop bought coffees can be even worse. According to the details on its website, a well-known high-street coffee chain serves a flavor of Frappuccino containing a whopping over 18 teaspoons of sugar.
At the end of the day, you wouldn’t water your plants with a can of fizzy pop or a frothy cup of coffee, so you probably shouldn’t water your insides with them either.
Make sure you stay hydrated this Christmas. Everything in moderation.
You can work out how much water your body needs in a day with the following equation:
body weight (kg) x 0.0033 = how much water you need (litres)
Or there are some great healthy alcoholic recipes on Eating Well.
Boxing Day – get out!
Twenty years ago, 40% of children regularly played with friends outdoors. Today that number has plummeted to less than 10%.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the average American adult now spends 90% of their time indoors. ‘Nature deficit disorder’ is fast becoming a thing as we rapidly lose our connection with the natural world.
Scientist Dr. Selin Kesebir, of the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is concerned that indoor activities such as television, video games, and the internet are “being substituted for nature as… source[s] of joy, recreation, and entertainment” are partially to blame for the rise in mental ill-health around the world.
His studies reveal that being outside in nature reduces anxiety and stress, enhances creativity and increases our ability to relate to other people. “Connecting with nature is great for our wellbeing, mental health, and cognitive performance.”
What to do on Boxing Day:
- Go for a walk – it’s a great way to get some fresh air after a big lunch
- Play games – more active games such as musical chairs can be fun but easy ways to burn calories without realising it and get your body moving
The Wellbeing Book is availble to buy here.
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