The holiday season is upon us! This time of year is synonymous with overindulgence. Don’t let the holidays destroy the progress you have made in your health this past year. So how do you honor your wellness throughout the holiday season? Here are the best tips for a healthy Christmas season.
Time management skills during the holidays need to be kicked up a few notches. It is so easy to become overbooked between work engagements, the kids’ school and activity commitments, shopping, cooking, time with family… the list just never ends. We start with this tip for a healthy Christmas for a reason—when your energy gets depleted, you are more susceptible to getting sick and feeling depressed and anxious.
Please understand that it is okay, and healthy, to say “no thank you” from time-to-time. You do not have to participate in every event.
What event will fill your heart with holiday spirit? What activities will be memory makers for you and your family and friends? Choose those.
Do you need 200 cookies by Thursday? There is a local bakery that can handle that. Does your child’s Christmas concert costume need new angel wings? There is sure to be a seamstress in your neighborhood that would love to help. Do the things you are best at and farm out the rest.
When commitments and the clock aren’t on your side, take a moment and practice mindful breathing exercises. These exercises can relieve insomnia, improve focus, enhance memory, decrease anxiety, and lower blood pressure when you are under stress.
The Christmas season can be hard on the waistline. Parties filled with sweet treats, alcohol, and carb-laden foods are the norm. Enjoy your favorites in moderation. Here are a few tips for a healthy Christmas to maintain your waistline throughout the holiday season.
Before you head out the door, have a fiber-rich smoothie to keep your hunger in check.
A 16/8 or even warrior style fasting may help you preserve your waistline throughout the holiday season.
Set your limit to two alcoholic drinks per event and choose cocktails with the least amount of sugar. Try vodka and sparkling water with a slice of orange—it is refreshing and low in calories and sugar. Avoid the festive holiday punch at all costs!
Try to eat at least one serving of fruit and one serving of vegetables at each meal during the holiday season; they will help keep you satisfied and your cravings in check. As a bonus, fruits and vegetables may help protect you from the cold and flu by boosting your immune system.
Try roasting nuts to bring to the office or your next holiday party, or create a fruit tray with exotic fruits like Buddha’s hand, dragonfruit, star fruit, and berries that are too beautiful and delicious to pass up.
For Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas dinner, prepare healthy side dishes with foods that are in season and delicious. Choose sweet potatoes over white potatoes, and roasted winter squash over traditional bread-based stuffing. Of course, adding leafy greens to each meal is a great idea. For the holidays branch out of your comfort zone and try recipes that include low-carb vegetables like rapini and Swiss chard, and add watercress and arugula to your salads.
Exercise is one of the best ways to stay sane, and fit, through the holiday season.
Yes, this might sound like an impossible proposition, but try to dedicate 45 minutes a day to exercise. This is one of the best tips for a healthy Christmas season. Exercise will help to burn off the excess calories consumed, relieve holiday stress and anxiety, and help you sleep better at night.
Do you have a fitness tracker? Increase your daily goals by 25% to keep yourself motivated and on track throughout the Christmas season.
This time of year is magical in so many ways. Bundle up and take a late night walk. Appreciate the position of the constellations in the sky and watch for shooting stars.
When you head out to do some Christmas gift shopping or grocery shopping, park in the farthest space from the entry and then walk with purpose at an accelerated pace to rev up your heart rate and metabolism. Of course, this is only recommended for daylight hours.
Be safe! At night, park under the lights in a busy section of the parking lot for personal safety. If you are ever uncomfortable or uneasy, find a security guard to escort you to your vehicle. Most malls and shopping center security personnel are happy to provide a safe escort to your car.
Are you traveling for the holidays? Download trail and running apps before you head off to Grandmother’s house. Trail apps can help you find perfect spots so you can stay active while visiting friends and family. This is one of the best tips for working out while on vacation.
When traveling, pack resistance bands in your suitcase for morning and evening workouts. Or do stretching exercises you can do anywhere. For weight training without weights, use water bottles and download your favorite workout to your tablet so you can stay moving even when you are on the road. Staying active is important and one of the best tips for a healthy Christmas season.
The holidays are stressful—they always have been and they likely always will be. It is so easy to get swept up in the craziness of the season and forget to take care of yourself. Here are our favorite self-care ideas to nurture the mind, body, and soul during the busy Christmas season.
Touch therapy is an excellent way to relieve stress, anxiety, and sore muscles. A hot stone massage is excellent for reducing the day’s stressors while a deep tissue massage will get in there and release tight muscles.
Enjoy time with a good friend whenever possible. Laugh, relax, and enjoy each other’s company while blocking out the rest of the world.
Find a food kitchen or a charity that needs assistance handing out Christmas gifts or food to children. Volunteering is the best way to boost your spirit during the holiday season.
It is so easy to lose sight of what really matters during the holiday season, and practicing gratitude just might be the most important tip for a healthy Christmas. Take time to be thankful for what you have and rid your mind of any chatter about the rest.
Bypass the gift card aisle and choose gifts that speak soul-to-soul. Perhaps the best gift is a spa date, a handmade photo album, cooking breakfast for your sister, or a pair of snowshoes for a joint adventure. Be creative and give the gift you know will make the most significant impact.