‘It can sometimes feel like the challenges of Christmas outweigh the cheer! The pressure of buying the perfect presents, cooking the perfect dinner and dealing with the family on masse can leave you feeling stressed and exhausted. But remember it’s your Christmas too so make it a time to remember rather than one that raises your blood pressure! Here are my tips for surviving the festive season,’ Dr Natalie.

Avoid hangover hell

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Alternate alcoholic drinks with water to avoid hangover hell!

  • Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a glass or two of your favourite tipple, but to spare yourself a hangover start with a glass of water then alternate alcoholic drinks with water.
  • When it comes to your drink of choice think colour and quality: research has shown dark coloured drinks cause more morning-after misery than light ones, while good quality wines generally contain less hangover-inducing toxins.
  • And don’t forget to eat; drinking on an empty stomach is a fast track to hangover hell!

Beat the bloat

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The average person consumes around 7000 calories on Christmas Day and puts on 6lb between Christmas and New Year. But although Christmas lunch has the highest calorie count our real pitfall is snacking on chocolates, biscuits and nuts amounting to thousands of extra calories over the festive period. Of course no one wants to be on a strict eating plan over the holiday, so let yourself go on Christmas Day but be mindful about what you’re eating and drinking the rest of the break. If you do put on a few pounds don’t panic. In January we are launching a fantastic new treatment with nutritional advice and targeted fat reduction. It’s called Body Blitz and we’ll be revealing all in our next blog!

  • Keep a plentiful supply of healthy nibbles to graze on if you’re feeling peckish, like carrot sticks and hummus or grapes.
  • Wrap up warm: the warmer you are the less hungry you will be.
  • Get your sleep. Ghrelin, the hunger hormone, goes into overdrive you don’t get enough sleep while leptin, the hormone that tells your brain you are full diminishes. A good night’s sleep will help to re-dress the imbalance.
  • If you’re not sure what time you’ll be eating, have something light and nutritious, like a boiled egg or carrot sticks and hummus, so you’re not ravenous when the food finally appears.
  • If you’re standing next to a bowl of crisps it’s amazing how many can slip into your mouth without you noticing so step away from the snacks.

Take good care of your skin

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Book a free LTC Skin Health Assessment and get great skin for life!

Lack of sleep, central heating, dehydration, alcohol and sugary food all play havoc with your complexion. Throw in a spoonful of neglect and you have a recipe for acne and dry, flaky skin! So how do you keep skin looking its radiant best?

  • We have some fantastic ranges in the Light Touch Clinic SHOP including ZO, Dr Levy and IS Clinical. More powerful than anything you will find on the high street, they treat the skin at cellular level regenerating, rejuvenating and restoring radiance. Pop into the Light Touch Clinic for a FREE Skin Health Assessment with our expert Fariba who will devise a bespoke routine for your skin type.
  • Falling asleep with your make-up on can cause blocked pores and acne. If you’re too tired to follow your usual skincare routine then keep a cleanser and some cotton wool pads by the bed to remind you to remove your make-up.
  • As tempting as it is on a cold winter morning try to avoid long hot showers. Hot soapy water disrupts the skin’s protective barrier making it dry and flaky. Have a warm shower and use a pH balanced shower gel like Sanex.
  • Excess sodium sucks the moisture from your skin leaving it dry and dull while too much sugar can cause breakouts. Substitute salty and sugary treats with unsalted nuts or slices of mango or melon and try to drink 8 glasses of water a day.
  • Dirt, dead skin cells and dried saliva build up on our pillows so change your pillowcase once a week to help avoid breakouts.
  • Try to exercise for 30 minutes each day. It cleans the body of blemish-causing toxins which are expelled when you perspire and also speeds up cellular renewal so your skin looks healthy.

Keep calm and carry on

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  • Pop into the Light Touch Clinic for a relaxing massage or rejuvenating facial between Christmas and New Year and enjoy 25% off! We are open as usual from 22 December to the 2 January, 9am-5.30pm excluding Sundays and bank holidays. Call 01932 849 552 to book.
  • If you find yourself in a stressful situation have a pre-planned exit strategy, in other words a good excuse to leave the room for few minutes. Go somewhere quiet and breathe in deeply through your nose, hold for 10 seconds and then breathe slowly out through your mouth, repeat for a few minutes to instantly help reduce stressful feelings.
  • It’s not just anxiety that increases stress hormones caffeine does too, so serve decaf coffee and tea or offer herbal alternatives.
  • If the most energetic thing you’ve done all day is reach for the remote control, then it could be time to get out for a walk. Not only will a brisk walk stop you from snacking, exercise is a great way to relax as it burns off stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline and helps produce mood-enhancing endorphins. Try going for a walk after dinner as the fresh air and exercise will lift your mood and make you feel better. It will also keep your exercise routine going while the gym is closed.
  • Don’t put pressure on yourself to create the perfect festive experience. Take time to enjoy precious time with family and friends and don’t sweat the small stuff (which incidentally is the title of an excellent book available from Amazon ). If things go wrong just go with the flow, it will give you something to talk about next Christmas!

Have a great Christmas and New Year.

Dr Natalie and the Light Touch Clinic team.