It’s that time of year when a lot of us are a little in limbo. The festivities of Christmas are over, the decorations have finally come down and the Christmas jumpers have been banished to the back of the bottom drawer for another 11 months. A fresh start, a new beginning but still another 2 months to wait until those first uplifting signs of spring. It’s no wonder that we reach for that glass of wine at the end of the day as a little ‘treat’ to ourselves for managing to get through another grey ol’ January day. But is this short-lived moment of pleasure really the answer?
Tiredness, erratic moods, lack of concentration, skin blemishes, short fuse, digestive problems, not to mention discomfort when the favourite pair of jeans just feel that little bit snugger than they did last month. The good news is that these are all common problems we can tackle with just a small positive change to our daily routine.
We all need a good night’s sleep for muscle repair, memory consolidation and release of hormones. Even just one or two drinks can interfere with this process and deny the body these important stages of maintenance. By abstaining from that one glass we wake up more able to concentrate, make decisions and engage fully in what the day throws our way.
Look after your gut
We have 100 trillion bacteria, good and bad, lining our digestive tract. Our good bacteria do a splendid job of keeping the bad bacteria at bay. However, as you might expect, alcohol can alter the equilibrium of our microbiota causing inefficient digestion, lowered immunity, mental health issues and more. By knocking the drink on the head for just a month we can give our good gut bacteria a better chance to thrive.
Look after yourself
If the dry January ship has already sailed, why not break free from the crowd and have a dry February instead. Even better, start right now! By the time you’re done, spring really will be just around the corner and your new blossoming gut flora and you can embrace it with gusto!
Combined with a healthy diet of natural, unprocessed foods and a monthly massage to keep those toxins flowing in the right direction, there is no doubt the new, healthier you will be all set for a budding new year!
By Sarah Tomlin
Swedish body & deep tissue massage specialist, currently training in Naturopathic Nutrition.