Schools are breaking up and our thoughts are turning to long summer days (we hope! Coming from the UK that’s not always guaranteed!). Many of us will be departing for a much-needed break. I live for my precious holidays but I must admit I worry that when I finally stop and relax my body will take it as a sign to release the past few months’ pent-up stress and I’ll fall sick with a cold or feel a bit below par. Does this ever happen to you?
If so, check out these tips to ensure you’re at your best all summer long!
1. Boost your immunity before you go.
A few weeks before I board a plane, I give my immunity a powerful boost. The last thing you need is to pick up nasty germs before you even get to your destination. Check out my recommendations in our August 2017 newsletter especially if you are travelling by air.
2. Pack Melatonin.
Melatonin - a natural sleep aid - helps protect against jetlag. Take between 0.5 - 3mg half an hour before you want to sleep, or if you have difficulties getting to or staying asleep. I find that even if I am awake at 2 am I am much more relaxed about it and can fall back to sleep quickly if I’ve taken melatonin.
3. Keep hydrated.
Keeping yourself hydrated is important not only during air travel but also while you’re on holiday. The sun, in all its glory, will dehydrate your skin, and you’ll lose water sweating. Don’t assume a dunk in the pool is all you need to keep cool. Your insides need some water-loving too. Carry a water bottle with you, preferably a glass one that you can refill. We’re not fans of plastic!
If you do fancy a glass of bubbly or two in the sun, alternate alcoholic drinks with water. That way, you’ll avoid the risks of dehydration including headaches, dizziness and heatstroke AND you’ll reduce the number of empty calories you consume. Win-win!
4. Protect your skin.
Whilst we do want our dose of Vitamin D - critical for so many of the processes in our body, our immunity, and our mood - prolonged exposure to the sun can cause sunburn and longer-term damage. Opt for an SPF of 50 that doesn’t contain parabens and harmful chemicals and apply regularly. I like the Badger range though it can be hard to apply. The Mambino SPF30 for kids and babies is also a firm favourite, which I use on myself. It spreads easily and evenly and I just make sure I apply it more frequently. It’s available at IMI, 13th floor Kailey Tower, Stanley Street or you can buy from their online shop. https://www.imi.com.hk/
Avoid the sun in the heat of the day between 11 am and 3 pm and ensure kids - and adults too - wear sunvests when swimming. Good skin protection such as long cool cotton sleeves will also help against prickly heat rash, a condition I’ve been unfortunate to have in the past. If you do fall victim, aloe vera gel or a couple of drops of lavender and peppermint essential oil in coconut oil can help ease the discomfort.
5. Eat mindfully and take a good probiotic.
No one wants a dodgy stomach on holiday. Take a probiotic before and during your holiday to protect against offending foods. The Optibacs range – also available at IMI – is super convenient as it doesn’t need to be kept cool. Also, as much as possible, eat fresh local produce as it will likely be higher in nutrients than food shipped in and less likely to cause food poisoning through bad refrigeration.
Try spacing out meals to give your body time to digest the last one. The first bite of everything tastes wonderful so check in to see that each bite lives up to the first taste – if it doesn’t, leave it. Share a dessert with a friend and savour every mouthful – such mindful eating will help weight management so you don’t come back with excess pounds to lose. It is said that on average people come back 4 lbs heavier on holidays, according to one survey!
6. Really unplug.
Just Be. How wonderful does that sound? I don’t know about you but it takes me a couple of days to relax and unwind. The last 3 holidays I’ve had I’ve been on conference calls within an hour of me getting to my destination. This summer I won’t be doing that. Prioritise and rework deadlines to give yourself some space, ensure you prepare and brief others before you go away, and then set your ‘out of office’ on email. (Here’s one for you: I’m lying on the beach with my toes wiggling in the cool sand right now. I’ll be back ready to go fully refreshed on x date. If you need assistance whilst I’m away please contact x).
If you must check your emails, limit it to a couple of times a day - am and pm - and stick to that. Let people know if something’s super important they can call you. Put your laptop away (and your beloved phone, if you can) somewhere, anywhere, where you won’t be tempted to check it time and again.
7. Lose Must and Should from your vocab.
Holidays are about going with the flow, so get rid of “must do this, should do that” and go easy on yourself. In all likelihood – especially if you’re spending time with family - you’ll have enough demands on your time, so ditch the self-imposed ones.
8. Return a day early.
You may want to draw out your holiday till the very last minute but, to really feel the benefits of your time away, head back the day before you need to do anything or be anywhere. How many times have you felt you’ve needed another holiday after the first day back in the office? A day at home will give you the chance to get over travel-fatigue, to unpack, shop, fill the cupboards for the upcoming week and get yourself in the right mental space before you re-enter the rat race. If you do plan to return last minute, ensure you have everything ready before you head off – your office bag packed, school uniforms ironed – to avoid post-holiday panic and pressure.
Kidsfest June 2018
Health Nation was proud to take part in our very first Kidsfest event. This is an amazing event run by Michelle Harris of Pure Potential Worldwide for kids aged 8 to 12 years. The children spent the day completing various activities including yoga, meditation and mindfulness, and making their own essential oils. Joe and I were lucky enough to guide the 18 children through making their very own pasta dish and acai bowl (see the recipe below, which was a major hit!). We finished up with a healthy quiz and a talk on Food and Mood – how the food you eat affects how you feel and behave. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and hope the kids did too. Special thanks to Michelle and the amazing practitioners who all came together to empower kids! Watch out for the next event coming up in August. For more information, check out www.purepotentialworldwide.com.
Acai Bowl Recipe
Have this for breakfast, as dessert or a healthy snack! Whatever time you serve it – it’ll go down a treat!
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend to the consistency of a thick smoothie. Chill and top with your favourite toppings:
* if allergic to bananas then avocado can be used as the base, allow half an avocado per person. You can’t really taste the bananas or avocado – they both provide a wonderfully creamy texture.
So, now you’re all set, there is nothing to do but relax and enjoy the break. Have a very happy and healthy holiday. We’ll be back with more tips and tricks to live well in September!
Alison and the team at Health Nation.