The holiday season is upon us, and the festivities often bring a mix of excitement and stress. Balancing work commitments, social engagements, and personal wellbeing may seem challenging, but fear not – you can still party hard without compromising your health.
As we all navigate the lead-up to Christmas and New Year we thought we’d share some hosting and recovery strategies from the three wise women and founders of SISTERLY to help you sidestep festive stress and anxiety, host a party like a pro and shimmy your way into 2024 with composure and true SISTERLY style.
It’s very easy at Christmas time to put yourself and everyone around you under pressure to perform. Our SISTERLY advice is to feel grateful for your family and friends, the people that can drive you crazy but you wouldn’t be without. The in-laws can be naughty or nice, your parents or kids demanding, your partner precious, your friends flaky but find a way to appreciate every single person in your tribe. The best gift you can give them is you in good humour so put the whole show into perspective and enjoy it.
Hosting a gathering can be both exhilarating and nerve-wracking. To minimise pre-party stress, start by delegating where you can and allow yourself to enjoy the celebration. Embrace the spirit of collaboration – whether it's assigning specific responsibilities to friends or if possible, enlisting some external help - sharing the load is key to keeping stress at bay.
There’s an interesting study from Harvard, published by the American Psychological Association which reveals that when people, who were experiencing increased anxiety about an event, said out loud ‘I’m so excited’, their nervous systems stopped over-producing the stress hormone cortisol and they experienced improved performance outcomes. So, if someone or something is stressing you out, give this stress strategy a whirl and openly declare your excitement!
Set the scene for magic to happen and for your guests to feel relaxed and welcomed. Fairy lights are a wonderful way to create that little bit of evening sparkle and party atmosphere.
Get your guest's olfactory senses stimulated by creating a festive aroma to get everyone in the party spirit. SISTERLY loves Keep Kissing scented candle from www.roads.co, strategically place this underneath some mistletoe, and you could spark a festive romance!
Keep it simple, yet deliciously exciting. Our SISTERLY drinks strategy is to offer some bubbles and if you want to up the fun factor, create one or two Christmas cocktails – for recipe ideas head to BBC Good Food, we love their Festive Rum and Ginger Punch made with homemade Mince Pie Rum.
If you don’t have time or the inclination, then just take a click to www.lockdown-liquor.com for a fabulous array of premium blended cocktails. What’s not to love about their Hail Mary. And let's not forget the new wave of sober curious and sober serious guests that for a variety of reasons prefer to party with low or no alcohol, not to mind the designated drivers. SISTERLY recommends the ever so pretty, limited edition, zero alcohol, Sakura Paloma for notes of strawberry, cherry blossom and rosehip alongside lime and grapefruit. Simple mixology, just add a splash of soda and finish with a slice of pink grapefruit. Ta Da!
If you are not a natural cook, then now is not the time to experiment! If you love cooking, then know your limits! Keep it simple, make what you can the day before and buy in some show-stopper favourites. Ask your friends or family to bring a few items to take the pressure off and most importantly, make sure you have options for everyone. Remember to ask if your guests have any dietary issues. It doesn’t need to be complicated, remember, as a baseline, most people can eat roasted nuts, crisps, hummus and vegetable crudites! You can style it up from there.
If you want to impress your plant-based guests, then SISTERLY asked LA-based ‘chef to the stars’, Caroline Cameron for her festive vegan centre-piece recipe.
A Vegan Mushroom Wellington is both beautiful and satisfying enough to take centre stage on any celebration table. It can be prepared a day ahead of time, with only minimal work before baking, allowing you to focus on getting ready for hosting and more importantly to spend time with your guests on the day. Find the full recipe here.
If you are pushed for time before your guests arrive or you have just a moment's notice to style up your outfit, the addition of a good quality nail colour helps convert daywear to party wear. SISTERLY loves this season’s Mystique Red because nothing says ‘I’m ready for Christmas’ like an iridescent deep cranberry breathable polish from www.nailberry.co.uk.
Here’s what top stylist Jess Colivet recommends for an instant SISTERLY glamour fix…
- Transform your LBD with a hint of metallic magic – whether it's a chic shoe or a glam handbag.
- Elevate your look effortlessly with statement earrings – perfect for transitioning from day to night glam.
- Infuse festive vibes into your party wardrobe! Add pops of radiant red and luxe textures like velvet or silk to carry you through the season.
If you have been taking The Elevator, then many of the nutrients found in this daily nutrition supplement work hard to put fuel in your party shoes and counterbalance those not-so -health party antics. For example, molybdenum helps support enzymes found in the liver that are tasked with clearing alcohol, magnesium helps relax the mind and body, all B’s support your energy while you are strutting your stuff on the dance floor. Zinc and vitamin C help prep your immune system to ward off any bugs that hitch a ride with your guests.
Remember to pace yourself when it comes to alcohol consumption – alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated and in control. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to step away and regroup. Practising mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing, can also help you stay centred amid the festivities.
Have a good healthy lunch so that you are not starving hungry on arrival or if you are hosting then eat a decent meal before the event. This helps keep blood sugar levels nice and even, provides you with the fuel you need to be energised and prevents your nervous system from launching into hyper-drive and getting stressed.
It’s not unusual to feel wired after an event, a mug of Pukka Night Time tea helps your body and mind unwind and get ready for bed. IHydration is also key to offset hangovers so drinking a big glass of water before bed helps the liver process alcohol. How do you rehydrate fast after drinking? If you have some to hand, then adding some electrolytes to your water helps fast-tracks that hydration process. Lack of sleep can affect your mood, energy levels, and overall sense of wellbeing, if you have trouble sleeping then hit play on a meditation app or do some breathwork. It’s all about those precious Z's.
The Morning After
If your first thought when you wake up is - what is the fastest way to repair your liver? Forget the hair of the dog as your best hangover cure! The SISTERLY strategy here is to grab yourself a detoxifying green smoothie, add a sachet of The Elevator and you’re good to go! The 24 vitamins and minerals very quickly get to work supporting every system in your body. And with generous levels of CoQ10 your energy reserves are replenished so you can get that buggy to daycare and clock into the office on time, on form and in style.
By adopting these strategies, you can navigate the lead-up to Christmas and New Year with warmth in your heart, energy in your stride and a relaxed mindset - ready to not only survive but thrive during the festivities.So go ahead, party like a boss, embrace the joy of the season, and let your wellbeing shine brightly with The Elevator cheering you on into 2024!
Happy Christmas and wishing you all the best of health for the New Year,
Aoife, Jenny and Louise + the SISTERLY team.