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5 simple ways to help combat the January blues

Updated: Jan 13, 2023

As this time of year rolls around again, the post-christmas lul hits a lot of us. Cold and Flu are rife and shorter, colder days mixed with empty wallets leave a lot of us not feeling our best. Here are 5 simple ways to look after yourself during this period:

Number 1: Vitamin D

We all know this, but there is a good reason us nutritionists bang on about it. The amount of Vitamin D we can produce from sunlight begins to reduce from about September time. So come January our stores can be really low. It’s never too late to start, and for many, supplementing Vitamin D alone is enough to get back that spring in their step.

Some good brands:

Biocare: Vitamin D3 Spray 1000iu 15ml

Epigenar: Vitamin D3 & K2 25ml

(It is recommended to speak with a registered practitioner or healthcare professional before beginning a new supplement)

Number 2: Let go of the guilt

A common post-Christmas phenomena many of us experience is a bizarre notion that we need to ‘repent’ somehow for our ‘sins’ committed over the Christmas period. If you're looking for a free pass to eat what you want, here it is. Enjoying some of the (arguably best) parts of Christmas isn't going to suddenly make you unhealthy. The same way a few green juices and a jog on January first isn't going to make you the picture of health.

The toxicity of diet culture leaves a lot of us feeling bad about ourselves come January time. What is truly best for our wellbeing is to nurture ourselves, to realise that food and drink over Christmas can bring us joy and connection and that is just as important as getting in our vitamins and minerals. Not to mention how stressful sudden calorie restriction and rigorous exercise can be to our mind and body. Instead, work towards slowly implementing balance, eating foods that you enjoy, alongside foods that nourish you and support your health. Both are important. Release the idea that any food is inherently ‘bad’ or ‘good’ and be gentle on yourself.

Number 3: Chamomile

Stress and anxiety are common feelings for many of us come January time. If your nervous system feels like it's in overdrive then Chamomile is the herb for you.

Chamomile has long been a personal favourite of mine. The small white flowers are not to be underestimated, they possess properties that are the perfect antidote for January. Chamomile is a carminative and relaxant herb. It has long been used for anxiety and insomnia. It can also be great for soothing stomach upset (which many of us also experience post Christmas). Chamomile teas can be found in almost any supermarket. I usually recommend clients to go for organic brands that don't bleach their tea bags. I personally like Pukka tea, they have a three-chamomile blend that is great. If you’re feeling a bit stressed and need a second to relax. A large cup of chamomile tea with two tea bags (for a stronger brew) is a really gentle yet effective way to calm your nervous system.

Top Tip: To get maximum benefits from any herbal tea, place a small plate over your mug and let it sit for 5 minutes so all the goodness stays and isn't steamed off.

Number 4: Movement

When I say movement I don’t mean panic booking yourself into a spin class out of fear you’ve done something over the Christmas period that can’t be undone. I mean a joyful movement. Whatever that means for you. Just getting outside and getting some light on our face and breathing in fresh air is never to be underestimated. Many studies have shown that walking outside has an antidepressant effect. The jury is still out on the small details (how long for, how often, intensity etc.), so I just recommend a funny podcast and a bit of nature and you can’t really go wrong with that.

Number 5: Magnesium

Similar to Chamomile, magnesium is amazing at calming the nervous system and it's very easy to come by! Magnesium is found in chlorophyll molecules, so this means that anything that is green will be packed full of it. The greener the better. Almonds, dark chocolate, and black beans are also a great source.

Another way to get magnesium is by taking a bath with epsom salts. When you soak in a magnesium bath your skin absorbs the magnesium, so this is a great way to relax in every sense.1-2 handfuls in a warm bath should do the trick.

Top tip: Add a couple drops of lavender essential oil to further enhance the calming effect and overall experience.


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