Erica’s top tips for surviving and thriving this Christmas season ️🎄

A healthy Christmas is not just about brussel sprouts and broccoli!

Find out how to feel amazing this Christmas with a little help from hormone Oxytocin to give you that warm fuzzy feeling and how creating a dream factory can be part of your gratitude rituals - it isn't just for kids!

Here’s how you can help spread good cheer and feel amazing yourself too!….

1. Be nice or Santa won’t bring you gifts! Nurturing bonds with the people you love (or complete strangers - but obviously not in a weird way!) is a great way to both support your immune system and to grow your own happiness. Human connection and sociability (even just recognising faces) prompts us to release the hormone oxytocin, a well-known anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune-modulator. It has been proposed that low levels of oxytocin may lead to the multi-system, remitting and relapsing nature of long-COVID symptoms and oxytocin therapy is being investigated as an adjunct therapy for people who suffer with that. It is thought it may even have a place as a direct antiviral in the fight against covid. So we have everything to gain and nothing to lose by taking measures to boost our own natural oxytocin levels: yoga, music, massage, cuddling and meditating have all been shown to increase oxytocin, as well as social activities such as spending time with friends, telling people how much we care, cooking and eating with people we care about, making love, doing something nice for people, stroking our pets and – get this - listening intently during our conversations – perhaps something that is needed now more than at any other time in our human history.

2. Plan like the Elves. Have you seen the film ‘A Boy Called Christmas’? (If you haven’t, then you really should.) If you have, you’ll know that breaking a positive thought can have absolutely disastrous consequences for a flying reindeer - I knew it! After all my research on the mind-body connection, finally, last night whilst cuddling my young nephew (refer to point 1 above), I landed on real evidence that our thoughts actually change our reality. Just know