Around this time of the year, when the holidays slide into the first few weeks at work and pyjama pants are no longer an acceptable all-day attire, a word begins to whisper through the trees. It’s plastered on billboards and across Facebook, Instagram and the front cover of magazines. It’s a one-word reprimand from the depths of the fridge as you reach into the box of Favourites. The word is ‘Detox,’ usually followed by the phrase: New Year, New You.
Well, what if it’s just New Year, Same You – but just a bit healthier?
The fact that you’re expected to work again can come as a bit of shock, especially when the only decisions you’ve been having to make over Christmas and New Year are whether 8:00 am is too early for mimosas (it isn’t) and if trifle counts as dinner (it does). Add to this shock, the pressure from media and news outlets to be the new, improved version of yourself. The stress of the start of the year can make those morning mimosas pretty appealing.
The New Year. ‘Tis the season for juice fasts, laxative teas, heat wraps and liquid diets as we let the guilt of that five-letter word get to us. And sure, some of these methods do work for a while. But, don’t we do this every year? Get to the 1st of January and go through the same fad detox and diet cycles all over again?
I present to you a simple, yet much more sustainable alternative: caring for our physical and mental health for the entire year. I don’t mean that you have to live on laxative tea or cut out chocolate all year round. Instead, implement small changes that will keep you healthy, so when the inevitable holiday binge occurs, you won’t feel so guilty that you decide to live on celery juice for two weeks.
1. You are What You Eat
Make sure you’re eating enough fibre so that you don’t need the laxative tea and ensure that you’re eating whole foods that will nourish your body. Top up your fruits, vegetables, and protein. Implement protocols that help your body naturally detox all year round. Try a daily dose of super greens to support your overall health, and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in the morning to help aid weight loss, digestion, blood sugar issues and more.
2. Look After Your Gut
Gut health is central to your mental and physical health. We need the gut to work so that it can produce the hormones we need to keep us happy, as well as to keep our digestion functioning properly. Incorporating a variety of fermented foods and probiotics into your diet will keep your gut bacteria healthy.
3. Get Moving (Just a Little Bit)
Go for a morning walk or an afternoon swim at the local pool. Exercise is imperative to keeping you healthy. Start slow, you don’t need to become a heavyweight champion, but you’ll feel the physical and mental health benefits of daily exercise.
4. Be Kind to Yourself
Most important of all is your mental health. Looking after your physical health will help your mental health, but most of us need extra support from time to time. Set clear boundaries and prioritise a work/life balance so you don’t burnout by March. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
If you don’t believe me, trust the science on this one. We are wired to adapt better to change when it is implemented slowly over time. These changes may seem small now, but wait until 2021 when you wake up on the 1st of January without a guilt hangover.
Come see us instore at Toowong Wholelife Pharmacy. We have a wide selection of products and whole foods that will help to keep you healthy the whole year-round.
Katie Robertson is a writer, editor, and avid health researcher, paving her own way to wellness. Katie has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing and is the retail manager at WholeLife Pharmacy & Healthfoods. When she’s not working, Katie lives in the world of fiction and you can often find her hiding in her herb garden with a good book.