10 Top Ways to Cleanse Your Body (and Mind) After Holiday Indulgence
Feeling a little off-balance after a few steady days of holiday indulgence? If your answer is yes, then know you’re not alone. For so many of us, consuming sweets and heavy foods are what the holidays are made of, and it’s only natural to feel a little sluggish afterward.
But never fear! There are some very easy ways to detoxify your body and feel your best after the holidays. Your lymphatic system, lungs, intestines, liver, and kidneys are all superstars when it comes to naturally removing toxins from your body, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t use a little help.
Before we get started, I want to note that the best ways to cleanse your body after indulging during the holidays look different for everybody. What works for one person in creating a healthy, balanced lifestyle might not work for the next person, and these tips are all about helping to find the best methods for you.
Further, this isn’t about dieting. Cleansing your body after the holidays is about acknowledging fun times over the holiday season and then taking steps to move forward into the New Year feeling your best and full of energy.
Which leads me to my first point…
1. Let Go of Guilt
Let’s be honest, when we think of indulging over the holidays, we often relate it with “bad” foods or foods that we feel guilty about eating. However, I like to think of the foods we eat over the holidays as fun traditions that bring our families and communities together.
Sure, it may not be a healthy idea to consume these foods all year round, but when enjoyed with loved ones in the spirit of the holidays, these indulgences should inspire happy times.
So, with this in mind, I want you to shake off any guilt or shame that you may be feeling over what you consumed over the holidays. You’re human, and you’re allowed a treat every now and then – in fact, it’s essential in living a balanced lifestyle.
Instead of being led by guilt, try and come up with some positive motivators to help you move forward in cleansing your body – having more energy and feeling better are two great ones!
2. Start Small
With any of the habits listed in this article, it’s important to cleanse your body and resume your regular habits one step at a time, especially if you’re someone who finds making these kinds of changes difficult.
Implementing one healthy habit at a time will give you a greater chance of sticking to them and set you up for success throughout the year. Personally, I like to pick one habit and do it consistently over a week. Then, once that habit is firmly in place in my schedule, I’ll stack another habit on top of it.
Some examples of one-step-at-a-time habits are making sure you get at least one plant-based meal per day, planning your meals at the start of the week, or making sure you’re consistently getting enough protein so you feel fuller longer.
And, you know, any of the below tips…
3. Drink Plenty of Lemon Water
Have you had a glass of lemon water today? Not only is lemon water delicious, but there are so many health benefits to drinking it regularly as well. Lemon water is great in promoting hydration, it’s a great source of Vitamin C, it aids digestion, and it helps prevent kidney stones.
All excellent reasons to enjoy some lemon water after the holidays!
4. Take an Epsom Salt Bath
I’m sure I don’t need to twist your arm on this one, but there’s really no downside to taking a long bath filled with Epsom Salts. The main ingredients in Epsom Salts are magnesium and sulfate, two ingredients that help stimulate detoxification.
Keeping in mind your recent holiday indulgence, an Epsom Salt bath can strengthen the walls of your digestive tract and draw out toxins. Additional benefits include soothing irritated skin (it’s great for eczema and psoriasis), providing muscle pain relief (the magnesium takes down inflammation), and it can even help promote your body’s production of melatonin which can help you sleep better.
5. Eat Mindfully
If the holidays had you over-consuming some of your favorite foods and you’re struggling to get back on track, then consider implementing mindful eating to your routine.
Mindful eating means sitting at your dining room table and eating every morsel of food with intention. Taste your food, smell your food, chew slowly, and listen to your body as you do so. Notice how your body feels as you eat and stop eating when you feel full.
Further, make sure you eat completely free of distraction. Take your phone out of the room as you eat, and turn off the TV.
According to studies, people who eat mindfully report fewer incidences of binge eating, emotional eating, and are less responsive to attractive food marketing.
Personally, I’ve found that mindful eating has led me to enjoy my food more, enjoy cooking more, and it leaves me feeling way more mentally and physically satiated than ever before.
6. Be Aware of the Sugar in Your Food
Given that so many of our favorite holiday indulgences are jam-packed with sugar, to help kick-start your cleanse, start taking note of just how much sugar is in your food.
Of course, it’s easy to call something “sugary” when it’s a cookie or cake, but I want you to take this one step further and notice hidden sugars in not-so-obvious foods as well. These days, so much of our diet is made up of processed food that’s easy to hide sugars in.
In fact, chances are if you bought it at a store, everything from bread to salad dressings to tomato sauces are loaded with sugar. The bright side is that there are alternatives to these processed sugary foods that often come at a lower cost. It just takes a little effort!
Lately, I’ve started to make my own pasta, pasta sauces, bread, and salad dressings – I know each and every ingredient that goes into what I’m eating and I make sure they’re sugar-free.
7. Take a Caffeine & Alcohol Break
If your holiday indulgence meant drinking a little too much coffee in the morning and having one too many drinks at night, then consider doing a mini alcohol and coffee detox.
Apart from the long-term risks associated with overindulging in caffeine or alcohol (which is for another article altogether), studies have shown that short term over-indulgence in both substances may give you heartburn, higher blood pressure, worse sleep, and dehydration.
While there’s nothing wrong with having a cup of coffee in the morning or a glass of wine at night, try abstaining for a week or two and keep a log of how you feel along the way.
8. Eat Plenty of Green Vegetables
While eating a lot of vegetables is always a great idea, introducing more greens is an excellent way of cleansing your body after the holidays.
Because they’re high-alkaline foods, that’s why.
High-alkaline vegetables are excellent to use in a cleanse as they help to detoxify your body, provide your body with lots of antioxidants, and give you some very-good-for-you phytonutrients.
Some of the best high-alkaline greens are kale, spinach, spirulina, broccoli, celery, green bell pepper, and even parsley.
9. Sweat It Out
One of the easiest ways to cleanse your body of toxins? Sweat it out, baby!
Many studies have proven that many toxins can easily be eliminated through your skin pores, helping out your liver and kidneys in a big way. So, whether you want to go to a hot yoga class, spend some time in a sauna, or get your heart pumping through exercise, getting sweaty will help you feel better fast.
10. Implement a Sleep Regimen
We’ve mentioned time and again here on The Wellness Project just how important a great night’s sleep is for you. But, if you’re anything like me, your sleep routine went totally out the window during the holidays.
If staying up late and sleeping in was the name of the game this past while – giving you either not enough or too much sleep – then it’s probably time to implement a more steady regimen and make sure you get at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night
Getting an adequate amount of sleep will help you stay on track with healthy eating, exercise, or any of the other habits listed.
For more sleep tips, check out our article on 10 Easy & Effective Ways to Get a Better Night’s Sleep.
That’s it for our top ten ways to cleanse after holiday indulgence! While there is no shame in having a little extra during the holidays, taking steps to feel great in the New Year is pretty good too. Let us know the steps you’re taking to cleanse your body in the comments!