Holiday Reading Guide: Staying Healthy over Christmas and Celebrating with Chronic Illness

Holiday Reading Guide | The Health Sessions

 

The holiday season is the perfect time for reflection, getting inspired for the new year and recharging your batteries by catching up on some reading. Here’s a collection of articles to help you stay healthy over Christmas, reduce holiday stress and celebrate in style no matter your physical condition.

 

Healthy Living 

 

  • In need of some last-minute inspiration for your Christmas feast? Green Kitchen Stories came up with an entire vegetarian menu, including a finger-licking dark chocolate mousse. Jamie Oliver’s vegan mushroom, chestnut and cranberry tart also makes a great plant-based alternative for roast dinner. To satisfy your sweet tooth, try Tasty Yummies’ gingerbread smoothie or munch on these festive raw cranberry cheesecakes from Spoonie Sophia.
  • Do you want to fully enjoy the festive season without feeling bloated, hungover and tired? Deliciously Ella shares her best tips to stay healthy through Christmas.
  • We’ve all heard it: sitting so much is wrecking our health. But as Jonathan Mead rightly points out, sitting is not the real enemy; static living – the prolonged holding of postures, like sitting – is the real killer. How can we reverse the damage of our  stationary lifestyles?
  • On that note, here are 7 fun ways to stay active this winter. #2 is definitely my favourite!
  • Did you know that regularly exposing your body to cold temperatures can actually improve your blood circulation, boost your immunity and release feel-good endorphins? Well, one man, Wim Hof, has taken cold conditioning to the next level, by climbing Mount Everest in just his shorts and staying in ice baths for hours. A superhuman accomplishment, but what’s even more spectacular is that his meditation techniques to conquer the extreme cold gives us amazing new insights to how we might all be able to consciously control our nervous system and our immune response.
  • But hey, if embracing the cold is really not your thing (and I totally get that), try one of these 16 tricks to keep warm this winter without cranking up the thermostat.
  • Speaking of interesting scientific discoveries: How one researcher found out that coffee reorganizing his brain.

 

Psychology

 

  • Is the holiday season with is family obligations, shopping for presents and prepping elaborate dinners making you feel a little overwhelmed? Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal shows you 7 ways to channel stress into a positive outcome. A must read for navigating modern life!
  • And since we’re on the subject: With all the information overload these days, how can you stay focused on what truly matters and minimize overwhelm? Try adopting these 10 small habits to better handle digital stress and distractions.
  • Good point from Mark Sisson: “Research has shown (that) regular (meditation) practice for even just a couple months literally changes the brain’s structure and confers a whole host of health advantages. But what about the application of a mindful approach to everyday life rather than a particular “practice”?” Read more on the what, why and how of dispositional mindfulness here.
  • Some days you just need to press the pause button, retreat, take a deep breath and rest in the nothingness of the moment. That’s what Marthe Hagen calls “gentle strength“. Here are 5 soft practices for a powerful life.
  • According to Danielle LaPorte, self care is a divine responsibility. And as always, her truth bombs make perfect sense.

 

Celebrating with Chronic Illness

 

  • Unfortunately, for many people with chronic illness, joining in on the festivities can be challenging, if not impossible. Here are 28 things people with fibromyalgia wish others understood during the holidays.
  • So how do you make it through Christmas when you’re in pain? Blogger Princess in the Tower shares solid advice on how to celebrate in spite of chronic illness.
  • Still feeling lost and lonely? Don’t underestimate the power of great stories to help you feel better. Pick up one of these 23 classical reads to lift your spirits and help you through these tough times.

 

I wish you all a merry Christmas and a joyful, loving and inspiring 2016!

 

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