For nearly two years now Julia Richards has been gifting her health and wellness articles to Viva70 readers. We are so appreciative of her practical advice and expertise as a medicinal herbalist. This week, while Julia looks out on the snowy landscape of her beautiful Yorkshire farmhouse here in Oz we enjoy long summer days and thoughts of the Christmas BBQ and cricket on the beach. Christmas for many, is a time of long exhausting days of preparation, present buying, cooking and organising, eating delicious food, and drinking more than usual. It’s timely that Julia sent through this lovely article about ways to maintain your health in the silly season. Here’s a great checklist with links to more information on topics that interest you. Thanks Julia, keep cosy out there in the Yorkshire countryside……..
It’s important to maintain (or start) a self care regime during the busy festive period so you stay healthy enough to enjoy celebrations and family time. We’ve given lots of tips throughout the year. Have a read back through them or here are the key things to remember to do:
Eat healthy in between treats – go ahead and have a treat and make sure you have healthy meals in between.
Have your chocolate and eat it too – that is, a little piece of dark chocolate will provide you with a dose of antioxidants and other health benefits. Read more here.
Drink enough water – this is key for optimal health and especially when in heated rooms and drinking festive drinks. Read more here.
Breathe – stopping throughout the day to just simply focus on breathing signals your parasympathetic nervous system to calm your body down. There are a few different techniques to try. Find instructions here
Keep moving – do some form of movement daily: a walk; dance whist the kettle is boiling; or a sport. This allows better blood flow to improve the lymphatic system, which in turn is important for immunity.
Sleep well – a good night’s sleep helps you be more resilient to all the little things that cause you stress. See our tips from my Sleep article here
Burn some essential oils – as we are all inside a lot more, burning some essential oils can be beneficial. For an energy boost try citrus oils like orange, lemon, grapefruit and the mints such as peppermint and spearmint. For calming down try chamomile, rose, lavender and lemon balm. For sleep try valerian and sandalwood. For good communication try bergamot. Contact me to discuss your own unique blend.
Have some flower essences on hand – have a look at our Find Your Essence page to determine the best ones for you here
Drink calming herbal teas – make time for short tea breaks and sip mindfully. Try lemon balm, chamomile, rose and lavender during the day and valerian and passionflower in the evening or contact me to discuss your needs.
In good health for a happy season.
Always seek a qualified Medical Herbalist before using herbs.
Always check how the herb interacts with any medication you are taking.
Julia Richards is a qualified Medical Herbalist and Director of Enhance One Limited, a consultancy passionate about helping individuals, groups, families, communities and organisations be the best they can be physically, mentally and emotionally. To achieve this, Julia uses a holistic approach to help you enhance yourself by drawing on her experience and studies in personal development, life coaching, aromatherapy, nutrition, herbal medicine and other wellbeing techniques. Julia helps you design a wellbeing plan that is unique to you and works in a complementary way with your doctor or any other therapist you are seeing to help you make improvements in your health. Julia offers individual consultations and group workshops.
Words by Julia Richards
Feature Image by Nicole Michalov