The New Year is almost here, and with it comes party planning and resolutions. Whether you are celebrating over drinks with friends, or quietly spending the night in, I have some tips for you to uplevel your first day of the new year.
If You Are Celebrating At A NYE Party:
We all want to have fun, but avoid waking up feeling like we've been hit by a tequila truck. A little bit of planning can allow us to party into the new year without waking up on January 1st with a horrendous hangover.
1. Hydrate with water AND minerals - Drinking suppresses antidiuretic hormone, which is responsible for telling the body to conserve water by reducing the amount you urinate. This is where the expression "break the seal" comes from. Breaking the seal depletes your water stores and also the electrolytes in them, contributing to the headache and brain fog of a hangover. Do your best to hydrate in advance and continue to drink water as often as you can throughout the night. Try having a glass of water for every drink or two of alcohol. In the morning, add a few grams of himalayan salt to a liter of filtered water. The trace minerals boost electrolyte levels and hydration. Continue to drink salted water until you've urinated a few times during the day, which indicates you are restoring the body's water and electrolyte balance. Unpasteurized coconut water can be a great tool to use to rehydrate and replenish as well.
2. Boost your molybdenum - I find it interesting that this mineral often shows up on the optimize wellness test for those who have been drinking alcohol regularly. Molybdenum is a mineral that helps the body produce chemicals that assist in regulating acetaldehyde (a toxic byproduct created when the body has to metabolize alcohol). Its levels can become depleted when we become dehydrated from drinking alcohol. Have you ever had a craving for burritos or hummus when you've been hungover? It's your body's way of telling you it needs molybdenum as it exists in high amounts in beans. The minerals calcium and magnesium have also been shown to help support acetaldehyde metabolism. This is one of the many reasons why I'm a big fan of full spectrum mineral supplements, such as Concentrace, especially during the holiday season.
3. Use activated charcoal - From emergency rooms to pool filters, two unique properties of activated charcoal make it one of my favourite products to neutralize toxins. Every molecule of activated charcoal is lined with millions of tiny pores, and each tiny granule has a surface area larger than a football field. Since it also has a strong negative electrical charge, the large surface area acts like a magnet to attract and bind any toxins that carry a positive charge. The activated charcoal also binds to bile in the gut, helping excrete fat-based toxins before they can be re-absorbed and re-circulate throughout the body. Activated charcoal can trap up to 300 times its own weight in toxins before passing through your digestive tract, taking the contaminants with it. If you take it before you go to bed and again when you wake up in the morning, it can be very effective for preventing a hangover and minimizing the damaging effects of poor food choices.
4. Have a morning matcha - Matcha is potent in the amino acid L-theanine, which mimics the effects of GABA. GABA is a brain chemical that slows the brain down and is important for relaxation. As a depressant, alcohol increases the brain's production of GABA, leading to the relaxed feeling often achieved from drinking. After the brain receives a GABA bath from excessive drinking, the body releases high amounts of glutamate in an effort to restore balance. Glutamate is the opposite of GABA. It is excitatory to the brain and is often the reason for feeling anxious the day after drinking. A bit more GABA in the system during this time can actually be a good thing, and explains why drinking a little more during a hangover can bring relief. The L-theanine in matcha provides the effect of GABA without costing your brain or liver any more damage.
If You Are Celebrating With A Mellow Night In:
I encourage you to try a reflection and intention setting process to release and manifest for the upcoming new year. This will be my third year of practicing this new year ritual and I have been enjoying the process more and more each year.
1. On New Year's Eve, set aside at least an hour of uninterrupted time for yourself. Create some ambiance by lighting a candle, getting cozy, and putting on your favourite relaxing music. Begin by writing a summary of your year. Month by month recall events that happened - people you met, places you visited, lessons you learned, accomplishments, highlights, challenges, funny moments, etc. Ask yourself in what area did you grow the most, what area do you want to develop more, what word would describe the past year, did you raise your vitality, did you surround yourself with energy fuelers or vampires, who inspired you, and what things did you do that don't align with your best life? By looking at the year this way, you are able to notice how you have grown and appreciate all the things you have learned. You can also see where you focused your time and energy and what you'd like to change.
2. Look for any patterns, and consider the behaviors, beliefs or habits that you’d like to leave behind. On a separate paper, write down what you would like to leave behind in 2018. Example: Bad eating habits, being obsessed with an ex, going to bed too late, laziness, limiting beliefs, negative thoughts, overuse of social media, self-criticism, road rage, swearing, etc. When you complete this list, take a moment to really look at it. Decide to commit to releasing what is on the list. We often become attached to our negative behaviours as they are comfortable and are serving us in some way. Once you have acknowledged this, burn the list or rip it up into tiny pieces to really let it go.
3. Say a few words of gratitude for 2017, declare you are letting it go, and blow out the candle you lit. Celebrate releasing what no longer serves you.
4. After midnight or sometime on January 1st, begin to manifest what you desire for 2018. Light a new candle, set the mood, and meditate for 5 to 15 minutes. If you have never meditated, the first day of the new year is a great day to start! All meditation requires is being still and listening to the sound of your breath. If your mind wanders, just bring it back to the breath. Meditation is important to do before you manifest so you visualize and create from a state of clarity, authenticity, and connection to your highest self rather than the ego. Guided meditations (I often use Insight Timer) can be helpful if you are not comfortable with meditating in silence.
5. After your meditation is complete and you are tuned into your most authentic self, you are ready to start visioning your 2018! Begin by getting a blank sheet of paper. Write at the top, “This or something greater for the highest good of all.”
6. Write down anything and everything that comes to mind that you would like to manifest in 2018 without over-thinking or analyzing. Be specific, be creative, and think big. Consider how you want to feel in 2018 and write based on what you can do to feel that way until your brain is empty. Focusing on your desired feelings morphs your goals and creates liberating energy instead of heavy to-dos. Note: Write everything in the present tense using “I am” or "I have" form.
7. Choose a place to display your list where you can see it regularly. Treat it as something sacred. You might also choose to add pictures that are symbolic to you.
8. Throughout the year, review your list. Everyday is ideal but at least review it once per week. Read what you wrote aloud and feel free to add to it. January 1st is not the only day of the year you can manifest what you want. Think about your list frequently and believe in the possibility of manifestation.
9. Observe with gratitude as things in your life begin to manifest. Don't get discouraged over what is not happening. Focusing on what is abundant in our lives already is the best way to generate more abundance. Gratitude will create more things to be grateful for, and keep in mind that sometimes our time-line and the Universe’s time-line may be different.
10. Decide to live your life in alignment with what you really want to manifest. Stay committed. Manifestation takes action, thought, and belief, so decide this year to take action steps toward living your best life.
Now I’d love to hear from you. Are you going out to a party or having a peaceful and quiet New Year's? Have you tried these tips or rituals before? What was your experience? Share and let me know!