It’s not too late for damage control

Is there a day more detrimental to your willpower than January 2? The steely “I’m never drinking again” resolve of yesterday has faded, usually in a “well, we might as well finish off the Baileys” haze of logic.  There are still stacks of mince pies in the cupboard, and the  only thing green in your possession are those leftover Quality Streets that no one likes (but that will eventually get eaten). By now you will probably feel tired, bloated and slightly pickled – no time to go cold turkey. So how do you restore a glow without quite saying goodbye to the festive cheer?

Too many tipples? It’s not too late for damage control. There are plenty of natural ways to boost your liver function and help speed up the healing process, according to nutritionist Jackie Newson. Foods including broccoli, spinach, tomatoes and garlic are rich in the antioxidant glutathione, and milk thistle is also thought to help protect the liver from all those “one too manys”. Vitamin C is also key in beating a hangover, says Newson. “For those who can stomach lots of fruit and veg on a hangover I recommend a refreshing fruit smoothie, and for those who can’t, make sure to supplement with a really well-absorbed Vitamin C such as Altrient C.”

Tender tummy? All that rich food and drink can leave you more than a little queasy. “Alcohol can be a real irritant to the stomach lining and can increase the production of stomach acid,” says Newson. “Recent research has found that sipping hot ginger tea throughout the day can help counter nausea and upset stomachs. I recommend grating some fresh ginger into a cup and adding to boiling water; leave it to steep for 10 minutes then drink up.”

Festive burnout? By now you  may have only just hit the pause button after weeks of running around shopping, decorating, cooking and cleaning. If you found yourself still picking up scraps of wrapping paper while everyone else was prone in front of the Sherlock special, chances are by now you are suffering major burnout. Send everyone on a special mission to… spend those Christmas vouchers, replenish the Roses, oh look, track down those fiddly batteries, whatever. Run a bath, use all the smellies you were given (anything with chamomile or lavender will help relax you), and polish off the Baileys (oh, why not). Then refuse to come out until that ungrateful lot have done the washing up.

Central heating syndrome? Why oh why does your mum insist on keeping the house at a tropical 29 degrees? A few days cooped up in blistering conditions resolutely sweltering in your Christmas jumper is a recipe for both rows and ruddy skin. Get some fresh air with a brisk walk – it’ll clear your head and give you some much-needed fresh air. Plus the cardio boost will buoy your endorphins, so you can return to the sauna with a smile.

Travel tantrums? You moved hell and high water to make it home in the first place, and now you’re dreading the chaos as you return to the commute. Whether your journey is by plane, train or automobile, make sure you make it as stress-free as possible. Allow extra time for THAT person who is trying to bring their Lynx set through airport screening, and THOSE kids on the train who won’t sit down until they’ve smeared their selection-box-stained hands all over your Christmas coat. Breathe, stick something unfestive on your Spotify list, and grit your teeth. Or, hey, if you can’t beat em, join em. Swipe the Curly Wurly when the brats aren’t looking.