Looking to start the new year feeling refreshed? Then make a conscious choice to break your body's stress spiral. We've put together 10 tips for you to ensure that you don't feel completely worn out after your first day back at work.
Plan breaks for your body and soul
Your body can't escape from the stress spiral of the previous year on its own. After the intense festive period, the mad shopping dash, the rich Christmas food and the raucous cocktail parties, your body needs lots of rest and relaxation. Simply turn off your alarm at the weekend and catch up on some well-deserved sleep. Ensure you always structure regular moments of calm into your everyday routine and really indulge in this time that you've put aside for yourself. For example,you could enjoy a cup of tea in your favourite café, have regular spa days or pamper yourself with a massage.
Soothe your soul with a digital detox
Studies are increasingly indicating that our smartphones have more power over us than we'd like to admit. Our eyes are constantly drawn towards our devices and we're permanently checking our new messages. For this reason, it's a good idea to put away your phone in a drawer at around 9 p.m. and settle down with a good book instead. Incidentally, this will also give you a better night's sleep, because the light emitted by your smartphone makes you feel more awake and restless. Anyone who is texting their friends right up to the last minute before bed will struggle to get any truly restful sleep. Try it yourself and you'll slumber like sleeping beauty from now on!
You need to get moving in order to get the relaxation your body and soul need to stay fit. After training you'll feel stronger and more relaxed. Introduce more movement into your everyday life. For example, try running up the stairs to avoid the lift packed full of people who aren't quite awake yet, travel to work by bike or on foot or try to get out in the fresh air for at least part of the journey. Adding movement to your daily life makes you fitter and more awake, and puts you in a better mood. If you train regularly, you will be less irritated by the stresses and strains of life and you'll develop a certain resistance to stress.
Try out a new type of sport
Bored of going over the same old exercise routine at the gym and still paying out a hefty sum for the privilege? The latest trend sports are more intuitive than that – plus you can start straight away and without any prior knowledge. With Freeletics, you can train using your own body weight, i.e. without the need for additional free weights. Go online to find tips on how you can get started right now.
If you're looking for a bit of adventure, you should try Crossfit. This sport involves lifting car tyres, climbing ropes and carrying all kinds of unusual objects. A great all-round workout with the fun factor! You'll find a selection of Swiss training studios here
Healthier eating with a spiralizer
They say you are what you eat. We could provide you with pages of advice on how to achieve a healthy diet. But our number one secret weapon for those committed to healthy eating is the spiralizer. This is essentially a giant grater for vegetables. Simply insert a courgette or a carrot, turn the handle and you'll end up with "vegetable spirals" containing lots of valuable nutrients. You can either eat your creation raw (to preserve the most vitamins), or fry it briefly before seasoning with a little salt, pepper and olive oil. Bon appetit! Alternatively, you can use the vegetable spirals in the same way as pasta and serve them with your favourite tomato sauce. It only takes five minutes, and even kids love it. Serving suggestions: Fry with eggs, mushrooms, peas or chunks of halloumi cheese, or garnish with radishes, sweetcorn or crème fraîche.
Say goodbye to cigarettes
Do you really still need convincing that smoking is bad for your health? The truth is, you've known this for a while and you've been trying not to think about it for years. However, non-smokers are better kissers, smell nicer and have nicer skin. You'll notice a rapid improvement in your senses of smell and taste after only two days without smoking, and the money you'll save on cigarettes can be put towards a slap-up meal.
Drink more water
There are more theories about water than there are ways to skin a cat. We do know that not drinking enough can damage your health because your body needs water to be able to transport nutrients. Dehydration leads to headaches, digestive problems, tiredness and a lack of concentration. Making sure you drink enough can also improve your figure. Studies show that you automatically eat less if you drink lots of water before a meal.
Our bodies forgive us many sins – but there is a limit to what they can withstand. After all of that mulled wine, Prosecco and Amarone, your body just needs a break. If you can, you should try and go at least two weeks without drinking. Instead of sipping mulled wine in the evenings, reach for a ginger tea with honey and lemon, which is just as effective at warming you up and has the added advantage of flushing out toxins from the body. In the mornings, you should swap your sweet café latte for a cup of rooibos tea with a dash of dairy-free milk and a shot of maple syrup. This contains a large amount of antioxidants and vitamins and it tastes creamy and sweet without the need for refined sugar.
Cut out the sugar
We recommend removing sugar from your diet altogether. This is because too much refined sugar can make you tired, depressed and even ill. You'll also find sugar in supposedly healthy orange juice, in spelt biscuits from the organic section, in ready-made sauces and in ketchup. That's why it's better to bake your own biscuits, squeeze your own fresh fruit juice and prepare you own sauces! Sugar can be replaced with maple syrup, honey, concentrated pear juice or birch sugar, also known as xylitol (available from health food shops). Xylitol costs slightly more, but it tastes exactly the same as "real" sugar and actually fights against cavities, meaning you'll even find it as an ingredient in toothpaste. If you're struggling with sugar cravings, simply melt a teaspoon of birch sugar in your mouth... Beat your sugar habit and your cavities all at once!
The great outdoors
There's a paradise out there waiting for you to explore – and it's completely free! Just half an hour a day out in the fresh air can really work wonders. Even if the sun is hiding behind the clouds, it will still provide you with enough light to reduce your melatonin production. This hormone makes us tired and lethargic, which is why we tend to want to spend January hibernating in bed. There's nothing wrong with that. After all, winter is also a time for taking it easy. However, if we spend a little time outdoors every day, we're doing a favour for ourselves and those around us – we can enjoy a healthy and happy start to the new year!