Tackling Holiday Hangovers: Booze, Sugar and Family
The holidays can be a magical or stressful time depending on how you celebrate–and what your family talks about at the dinner table. While there are some stressors you can’t control, too much food, sweets and alcohol need not be any of them. Plus, you can regulate how you react to family drama. Here is Spafinder’s toolkit to help you keep your holidays happy and healthy–and avoid the dreaded physical and emotional holiday hangovers.
Create a Food Plan
What is a Thanksgiving or Christmas without creamy mashed potatoes, sugary sweet apple pie and all the rich foods that tempt us? No matter what you put on your table (or where you go out to eat–no judgment) the food is likely to be laden with salt, sugar, butter and cream. While you don’t necessarily have to avoid these foods, there are ways you can still enjoy them and mitigate the damage of a food based holiday hangovers.
Give Your Body a Break
Bloating is a given with high sodium/fat/sugar and lactose-laden foods. Give your body a break and cut back on salt and sugar before and after the holiday. Also, drink a cup of peppermint tea before you go to bed. Peppermint helps reduce stomach inflammation, cramping, bloating and indigestion. And as Organic Facts points out, it aids in digestion.
The Morning After
You will probably notice the adverse affects of too much sugar and rich food the morning after a holiday binge. Start your day by eating fresh fruit, which contains the good sugars we need to feel alert. Don’t try and go cold turkey on sugar (no pun intended!). It’s best to taper off gradually.
Make a Sugar Strategy
Fear not! You don’t have to give up sugar this season to beat the dreaded sugar crash. (We say baking can still be fun and delicious.) Experiment with flourless chocolate cakes, tarts with berries, yogurt based fillings (antioxidants!) and dark chocolate, which wards against inflammation.
It’s All About Timing
While cocktails and champagne are trades of the season, alcohol can be rough on your body. First, make sure to stay hydrated. Try to limit your alcohol consumption to one drink an hour and pair it with a glass of water. Timing your drinks will stave off the worst of those holiday hangovers and your body will definitely thank you in the morning.
Walk It Off
While exercising may be the last thing you want to do on a holiday–or after a day of indulging–a vigorous walk or quick yoga class is one of the best treatments for a holiday stress and over indulgence. And as NBC News points out, periodic breaks from friends and family are one of the best ways to cure physical and emotional hangovers. In the article, Kelley Kitley, LCSW and psychotherapist says, “Make sure you take time to recover. Allow yourself time to sleep, get a massage and process the holiday by writing in your journal or talking to someone who is not a family member.”
Your Skin Tells All
Lastly, don’t forget about your skin. The online beauty site Byrdie reminds us that “winter face” is something we all seem to experience this time of year. The reasons? Cold weather, dry indoor heat and drinking more alcohol than usual all lead to dull, dehydrated complexions. Byrdie recommends drinking a lot more water and using a hydrating, water based moisturizer before bed and in the morning after you gently wash your face. This regimen will keep your skin looking good so you are ready for the next holiday party.