Though it is time to give thanks and enjoy the company of loved ones, the holidays are also often the time when people let go of their healthy habits and experience more stress and guilt because of it. This holiday season, keeping your health and that of your loved ones as a priority is achievable with our five tips
- Watch what you eat. The onset of holiday parties, Christmas cookies and sweets, and big, filling dinners can certainly affect one’s waist line. This holiday season, indulge but don’t over indulge. You don’t have to stick to an overly stringent diet, but make sure to stick to your healthy habits rather than giving up for the month. Cookies in your office lunch room? Allow yourself to have one with your lunch, but don’t go overboard and give up on your healthy eating for the day.
- Don’t forget to exercise. Even though most people have vacation time during the holidays, a lack of time is often the reason that our exercise routine gets thrown out the window. Like healthy eating, people give up for the month and start fresh in January with a New Year’s Resolution. This year, make your exercise a priority. And remember that this is a good time to focus on yourself. It doesn’t need to be a marathon workout session; 30 minutes of brisk walking, stretching and weights, or maybe an exercise class is a great way to stay active even when you are short on time.
- Release the stress. We can all be a little on edge during the holidays. Most of us have family visiting or are traveling back home. Christmas shopping for friends and loved ones can cause anxiety to meet expectations. It’s important to help yourself release your stress and focus on the real meaning of this time of year. Each day, remind yourself of one thing you are thankful for and one thing you are doing to help spread the love of the season. Small acts of kindness will keep you focused on happy, loving things. The best gift you can give is a warm, loving home and a compassionate attitude.
- Unplug from technologies. Do you have family or friends home for the holidays? Or maybe your children and spouse are home from school and work for a few days. Making a conscious effort to unplug for a few days to enjoy the company of our loved ones is a much needed respite from our busy lives and can help you feel more refreshed when you return to your normal schedule. You don’t need to mandate a house expulsion of tech gadgets, but encourage yourself and your family to prioritize quality time together. Choose to play a board game one night instead of watching T.V. Make it a rule to leave cell phones turned off during dinner. Little moments of unplugging help to keep us enjoying our present company and better remember the fun memories.
- Spend time with loved ones. Spending time with the people we love is a healthy reminder of what we have to be thankful for this holiday season. While your loved ones are all gathered together, focus on spending time together. While you are all home together, make is a point to share quality time with loved ones. Schedule lunch with an old friend, cook dinner together as a family, or volunteer with a friend group. Whatever the activity, spending time with the ones you love makes the season more valuable.
The end of the year is always a busy time, but it’s important to slow down and put a priority on our mental, emotional, and physical health. Our five ways to stay healthy over the holidays is a guide to slowing down and appreciating the blessings in our lives and focusing on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.