The Christmas holidays should be a time to treat yourself and relax with family and friends. However, it’s also a good idea to recharge your batteries, reflect and do things to keep you well and happy.
We asked the team and parents at Healthy Living Platform for their top tips on how to stay healthy and happy at Christmas time.
A satsuma a day: our Programme Manager Sue suggests stocking up on much-needed vitamin C over the break. “For every piece of chocolate you eat, follow it up with a satsuma or orange.”
Get to know your neighbour: “Invite a neighbour or someone you know who may be alone over Christmas and share a meal, cup of tea or a bottle of Brandy.” JP, Community Engagement Officer
Zoe- our Food Coordinator- has the same idea: “Doing a good thing for others is one of the best ways we can feel good in ourselves, even if it’s something small. If you end up cooking too much, you could offer to bring a portion to someone hungry on the street, or your busy neighbour who doesn’t have time to cook. This is also a good way to get to know your community.”
Zoe also recommends getting a daily dose of green veg to keep you feeling fresh: “Eat lots of greens! I know, it’s a cliché but they really are some of the best things we can eat for our bodies and minds. When cooking a curry or stew, simply throw in some chopped spinach, kale or other greens a couple of minutes before it’s ready. For an extra health boost and to help ward off colds, make a juice by blending a handful of greens with some lemon or orange and a fresh chilli” (just don’t let the little ones rub the chillis in their eyes!).
Holidays can be a stressful time, especially with children, Serena adds: “When you feel things are getting a bit on top of you, take a minute to reflect, take a deep breath and tell yourself you can do it.” Serena- Programme Assistant
Christmas berries bursting with vitamins are Mala’s top tip: “Eat a bowl of berries a day.”
What about keeping fit over the holidays? It can be tempting to leave your usual exercise routine when there is so much happening to distract you. Remember it is even more important to get outside into green spaces and keep those legs moving, especially at winter time.
“Remember to take a walk every day. It doesn’t matter what time, whether it’s a crisp morning walk or a late afternoon stroll to digest that Christmas dinner. You will definitely feel better after.” Helen- Programme Coordinator.
Amona- member and yoga instructor- says: “stretch out in the morning with some calming music. And one of my favourite things in winter is making a nice soup with carrots and parsnips.”
Clare- LEAP Family Engagement- ‘Dont forget the many parks that are so close. There is Peckham Rye with a brand new children’s playground; The Diana Memorial Playground at Kensington Park, and of course our very own Myatts Field Park.
Think about the environment too at Christmas.
‘Wrap your presents in newspaper- much better for the environment!” says Nancy- member and Food Ambassador. It’s true that most shiny wrapping paper can’t be recycled.
And don’t forget to save any tupperware, or other container so that you can pick up any leftovers at our Cook and Eat sessions in the New Year. We plan to batch cook a lot more in 2020 so come to cook and bring home food you can freeze for later.
Have a happy, healthy Christmas everyone!