Self-Care Advent Calendar (Week 1)

We know that December can be a hectic and stressful month and that it's easy to neglect your health (both mental and physical) amongst the chaos! Faith has put together a simple self-care calendar to follow throughout the month to help you stay in control and to keep stress levels at bay. Here's the first week...

December 1st

Today is Friday. Perhaps the end of a busy week and perhaps you are gearing up for a busy weekend. From today, life seems to go up a gear in terms of speed, social gatherings, shopping, school nativity plays, Christmas fayres, outings, parties and so on. This is great but it also means that there is never a more important time of year to focus on looking after yourself; recharging those batteries before they go flat and taking a little time to ensure that you reach Christmas day in great shape, physically and mentally.

Today’s challenge is to make yourself a smoothie. Lets start this month by flooding our amazing bodies with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and healthy fats.

Either pick your favourite one or try the following combo:
1 apple
1 handful of mint leaves
1 chunk of cucumber
½ avocado (sounds weird but do try it!)
A handful of frozen mango

Just top up with water and blitz!  

December 2nd

Today is a harder challenge. It doesn’t sound hard but I bet many of you will struggle with this one...
Block off 30 minutes in your day. It doesn’t matter what time but take 30 mins with a cup of tea and your favourite magazine. Snuggle up on a comfy seat somewhere peaceful and just enjoy peacefully flicking through the pages. Put your phone on silent or quiet and turn off the TV. Just enjoy being in the moment, not worrying about everything that you have to get done later today. 

December 3rd

Today is all about getting some fresh air. Get outside, rain or shine, and get moving. Research has long shown us the positive impact that time in the great outdoors has on our general sense of wellbeing... not to mention the other benefits (mentally and physically) of being more active and getting the heart pumping. Choose a nice park, a favourite path or route that you can walk along safely... get wrapped up... and just get outside! 

December 4th

Today is about being kind to your body by making great food choices...
So on this December Monday morning we are focusing on eating a great breakfast.

It’s cold so why not go for porridge, yes there will be a bit of washing up to do, but it will fill you up, warm you up and set you up for a great morning....

½ cup porridge oats
½ cup milk
½ cup water

Gently simmer away, stirring until the porridge is thick and creamy (probably 5-10 minutes, depending on your oats).

Now the fun bit! I like to stir in some raisins whilst the porridge cooks. Add some berries and some nuts and seeds, or stir in some almond butter and half a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup. Or you could grate some apple over the porridge with a big dollop of greek yoghurt and some flaked almonds. This is the beauty of porridge – anything goes!

December 5th

Today’s self-care challenge is one designed to get you feeling in control of what can be a difficult month financially. Today, take 15 minutes to just look at your budget and where you are in terms of  buying gifts. Make a plan to see you through to the end of the month whilst keeping you within your own "limits", whatever those might be. It is easy to get carried away with the consumer frenzy in December, but taking a moment to ensure that you don’t have a horrible shock in January is really worth it. Get a plan together and decide on the final gifts... and if there is a little extra leftover then even better!  

December 6th 

Today is another food based challenge! We want you to pick a new recipe and cook it. Keep it simple and go for one that only requires you to buy the main bits and not hundreds of new spices and sauces. Aim for a recipe with 5 or 6 ingredients and one that will take no longer than 30 minutes to cook. Perhaps you can spend a few minutes flicking through a favourite cookery book, or alternatively have a browse on the internet where you will be spoilt for choice.

We are cooking a salmon curry tonight using some salmon fillets, red thai curry paste, a tin of coconut milk, some carrot strips and some pak choi. Served with rice this should be finished and on the table in 20 minutes.

We hope you all have a fantastic week - we'll be publishing self-care calendar for next week on the 7th... happy December!