Working closely with patients on a daily basis allows me to see first hand the rollercoaster ride that is the lead-up to the holidays, and closely followed by the inevitable holiday crash. Where we allow of the busy-ness of the weeks and months before to come crashing down on us in one foul swoop, that usually culminates is us getting sick. Here’s some tips of wisdom on how to avoid the holiday come-down taken from my 15 years of working with patients:
Look within -
We often forget that health is one of the few things that can’t be outsourced. Whilst others can give you advice, facilitate your healing process or give you a bandaid to cover up the problem, we are the true healers of ourselves. I often tell my patients “health isn’t rocket science”. It comes down to giving your body its basic requirements regularly and consistently. So what are the basic needs of our body? Well they are very similar to that of a plant or an animal (of which we share up to 99.6% of the same DNA!)
We require: nutrition, exercise & activity, rest & relaxation, positive mental attitude, and connection. The good news it that these are things we can do for ourselves and the other good news is that they are FREE!
We have two branches of our autonomic nervous system that controls and regulates our internal state and unfortunately these two branches of our nervous system are much like gears in a car in that you can’t be in both at the same time. In the busy lead up to our holiday most of us exist in a state of ‘fight & flight’ or sympathetic-dominance as it is known in health. When we are in this state our nervous system focuses on survival rather than regulation, healing and optimising, which are the processes that happen when we are in “rest & digest” or parasympathetic-dominance.
One of the best things we can do in a stressful busy time, and more importantly once this period ends, is to remember to breathe with our abdomen rather than our chest and neck. This allows us to take deeper breaths, to engage our core muscles designed to assist us with breathing, and to draw in more oxygen. Higher levels of O2 trigger the nervous system to switch gears into a “rest & digest state” which allows our body to start healing and repairing.
Use your holidays to nourish your body! One of my favourite ways to do this is to catch a few extra hours of shut-eye time. Whether it be getting into bed early or taking a daytime nap I am a BIG FAN of restoring with some extra holiday z’s. And remember to limit your caffeine. ..You no longer need the hit to stay alert when you are chilling in a hammock and enjoying an afternoon dip in the ocean.
I see so many people come back from holiday absolutely exhausted and completely sunburnt! There is no surer way to stress your body than to injure it (and yes! Sunburn is an injury to the largest organ of your body.. your skin!) Remember to slip, slop, slap (that’s Aussie for protect yourself from the sun).
Some of our fave sun protection measures are investing in a great beach umbrella with SPF factor material, covering up with a hat, and using natural sunscreen and be sure to reapply throughout the day and especially after swimming or exercising! Some excellent natural sunscreen options include the Little Urchin Natural Sunscreen SPF30 and Natural Clear Zinc Sunscreen SPF 50+ or Natural Zinc Clear Stick SPF 50+, and also the Naïf Sun Lotion Baby & Kids SPF50. If you are looking for sun protection in your makeup, we can’t go past the Eye of Horus Skin Tint Serum Foundation SPF15, INIKA Loose Mineral Foundation SPF 25+, or the Little Urchin Natural Tinted Sunscreen SPF30.
Get back into nature -
Use your summer break to reconnect with nature. Whether it be a daily dip in the ocean or a mountain hike nature triggers our body’s internal healing state. As biological organisms ourselves, many of our we forget how important this seemingly small thing is for us. Think monkey in a concrete cage in the zoo vs monkey in its natural habitat… we thrive in nature.
And remember, your holidays are a time to connect, laugh & love. All basic, but wonderful requirements of the human body!
Explore our holiday essentials in the Nourished travel collection. We wish you the most wonderful and relaxing summer break!
Love & sunshine,