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Woman & Home
Woman and Home

All out of festive steam? Try these 12 tips to rejuvenate yourself over the holidays

Woman surrounded by christmas wrapping paper wondering how to feel more festive.

Christmas is the season to celebrate, but it’s easy to peak too soon. One too many soirées can leave you desperate to slip under the duvet and hide until 2024.

Even if you've mastered all the essential Christmas hosting tips and prepared for the big day in advance, for many of us, by the time Christmas rolls around, we're already feeling exhausted.

 “Lack of sleep from late-night shopping, wrapping and partying, the stress of planning, dashing about and potentially financial pressures impact on our immune system’s ability to protect us,” says GP Dr HelenWall (@drwallbolton). The good news? Our tips can help take the pain out of the party season. Forget the 12 days of Christmas, it's time to follow our '12 cures of Christmas'.

The '12 cures of Christmas' to try this year

Lost your festive spirit and feeling a little delicate before the big day? Finding that even the prospect of donning your best Christmas party outfit isn't picking you up? Then try these 12 ‘Cures of Christmas’ over the next 12 days.

On the 1st day of Christmas, my true love sent to me…Ice to ease achy feet

Walked for miles scouring the shops for perfect presents to put under the tree? Swollen feet and ankles are caused by excess fluid, but applying ice for 10-20 minutes will constrict the blood vessels to reduce swelling and pain. A bag of frozen peas will mould around your foot far better than a hard ice pack.

Oh - and if you haven't yet found that *perfect* present and you're running out of time, check out our guide to the best last-minute Amazon Christmas presents

On the 2nd day… Lemongrass for blisters

Party shoes can make you feel fantastic one minute, then in agony the next. Friction from tight shoes can cause fluid to collect between layers of skin. Woken up with blisters? Soak them for 15 minutes in warm water with an essential oil, such as lemongrass, to cool feet and help with the healing process, boosting circulation and blood flow. And maybe consider swapping your heels for a pair of the best comfortable shoes on some days.

Blister-busting products to try this season...

On the 3rd day… Tennis balls to help back pain

Decorating the tree can leave you with aches and pains – but this trick can help. Pop two tennis balls inside a sock, then lean against the wall with it tucked into your lower back. Roll the balls down and up the wall by bending and straightening your legs, to help relieve tight muscles.

On the 4th day… A pen and paper to erase your worries

It might be sold as the most wonderful time of the year, but 20% of Brits say Christmas feels ‘completely overwhelming’. With so much to organise, it’s no wonder the period can be fraught. If you’re feeling the pressure, write out your worries, your fears – whatever’s on your mind – then, after five minutes, stop. Destroy or stow away your notes. The point is to get what’s bugging you out of your head. Is it navigating how to handle your family during Christmas? Is it the financial burden of this time of year? There are a whole host of reasons why we can end up feeling overwhelmed, but the first step to remedying those issues is to understand them. 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

On the 5th day…Breakfast to solve a hangover.

Almost two-thirds of us admit to overindulging with alcohol during the festivities, but a good breakfast can help - especially if you didn't take the proper steps to prevent your hangover. You’ll likely wake up with low blood sugar after boozing, which is why eating carbs can pep you up, says Professor David Nutt. Eat eggs, which contain a lot of the nutrients you need, and top with spinach to replenish B-vitamin stores. 

Fancy a juice? Swap orange for tomato – it’s less acidic and won’t irritate your stomach. 

On the 6th day… Peppermint to soothe a sore throat

Not just a breath freshener, this remedy works wonders after having to shout over loud music. "It contains anti-inflammatory compounds that may help inflammation," says GP Dr Nina Aslam. Place dried peppermint leaves in boiled water, leaving for three minutes, then strain and sip.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

On the 7th day…Magic fingers to halt a headache

Head throbbing? With one hand, press the shallow indentation at the base of the skull. At the same time, with the thumb and fore finger of the other hand, press into the upper hollows of the eye socket, where they straddle the bridge of the nose and meet the ‘T’ of the eyebrow bridge. Press softly at first, then more firmly, and hold. Try for three to five minutes, and repeat if you need to.

On the 8th day… A ripe banana for heartburn

Although bananas are not typically associated with Christmas and do not have the same festive charm as clementines, they contain natural antacids – ideal if you’ve eaten rich food. "One a day can help counteract acid reflux and heartburn," says nutritionist Jenny Chu. "Plus they’re rich in pectin, a type of fibre that keeps food flowing happily through the digestive tract."

(Image credit: Future/Grace Walsh)

On the 9th day… A tummy massage for trapped wind

Eating, drinking and being merry is a must at this time of year, but the after-effects can leave you bloated. "The festive season brings with it lots of vegetables – such as sprouts – that can cause more digestive gases," says Jenny. Suffering? After a warm bath, massage your tummy in a circular motion to relieve wind, suggests massage therapist, Andrea Valls.

On the 10th day… A bright outfit for instant energy

Guests arriving and you need a speedy energy boost? Still wondering what to wear on Christmas day? A quick change into more colourful clothing may work wonders. "Wearing items in vivid colours, like cherry red or cobalt blue, instantly makes you feel more energised," says stress expert Professor Cary Cooper. Not keen? Try switching up your nail colour instead. Bright nails are a timeless nail trend.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

On the 11th day… Beat hot flushes

It’s the last thing you want when cooking up a feast. Feel a flush coming on? Coherent breathing is an effective way to manage menopausal hot flushes, says breath coach Stuart Sandeman. Breathe in for four seconds, and breathe out for six – gently. Repeat for 10 minutes.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

On the 12th day… A carol (or two!) to relieve tension

Not in the mood? Singing releases endorphins, which give us a sense of euphoria; oxytocin, to make us feel connected; and serotonin, to help with sleep and digestion – which is especially important at Christmas, explains Emma Baylin, founder of "Singing while cooking Christmas dinner or encouraging a few carols when family tensions rise can really help."

Ultimately, the festive season can often be a time of excess, and the best thing you can do is to take care of yourself. Not feeling like socialising? Take time to spruce up your guest room or to curl up on the sofa with one of the best feel good Christmas films. Maybe your best way to unwind is to go cold water swimming - if so, make time for a dip!

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