The most festive time of year should be a time of joy, gratitude, celebration and “holiday spirit,” not remorse, regret, sluggishness and “holiday insanity.” Easier said than done, you say? With a little planning, striking a holiday balance may be more simple than you think. Here are some quick tips to a healthy, "holiday you":
1. Create a holiday season stress management plan.
The holiday season is the busiest time of year. Our daylight hours are at a minimum and our “work” demands at a premium. How can we offset this imbalance? Find 15 minutes each day and book an appointment with yourself! Relax and breathe during this “chill” time to help boost your immune function by lowering cortisol levels, otherwise known as your stress hormone.
2. Stay active.
Often times our exercise time is sacrificed for our growing “to do” list. Create balance in your body by staying active during the season. Exercise will help reduce stress, making you feel lighter and happier. You don’t need to commit a full hour at the gym. Dust-off the sneakers, throw-on a warm jacket and get outside for some fresh air on your face. A simple walk around the block will do your body (& mind) good.
Sleep is the ultimate “reset” button for your body. With the festive demands of the season, it’s important to protect your immune system and commit to a consistent sleep schedule. Most adults need at least 8 hours of sleep each night, and children need 10.
4. Drink water - (lots of it).
It’s easy to remember to hydrate in the heat of summer, but during the chilly dark days of the holiday season, filling-up your water bottle may be the last thing that crosses your mind. Water helps remove the toxins from your body, keeping you healthy and energized. Sip on water and herbal tea throughout the day and drink a glass of water before your meal to help regulate your appetite. Stay hydrated to have a healthy holiday.
5. Surround yourself with healthy foods.
Sweet treats, delicious gifts and tempting rich foods are all around. Holiday parties and office snacks are more abundant than ever. All of these delicious foods are part of the fun of the season, but how can we be careful not to overindulge? A great way to help maintain your weight during the festivities is to create a healthy food zone in your house. Pack your refrigerator with fresh fruits and vegetables, keep your blender on the counter for quick smoothie making and “treat” yourself to the treats at events in moderation. Travel with nutritious snacks like nuts, an apple, carrots or whole grain crackers for quick healthy grab.
With a little planning, having a healthy and happy holiday season is easy. Get yourself into a healthy holiday groove and thoroughly enjoy all this festive time of year has to offer.