The holidays are upon us! Here comes a time of reunions, lots of delicious food, family and friends, laughter, and…that extra 10lbs, credit card debt, and stress!! The holidays can take a toll on your physical and mental wellbeing and health, but we have found a few tips to help you maintain your optimum health while still having fun throughout the joyous, but hectic, holiday season.
Maintain Your Physical Health through the Holidays
- Start early! Remember to eat breakfast! (This is true always)
- Eyes bigger than your stomach? Certainly enjoy all the flavors of the season, but remember portion size matters most, so pace yourself. Leftovers are just as good! Try eating a mint when you are done to curb your appetite for more.
- Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay energized. It also helps with digestion and could prevent some headaches.
- Be active! As always, try to fit in at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. This could be in the form of an after-dinner walk, early morning jog, Zumba party in the living room, or even a little football matchup outside with the family.
- Sleep! Allow yourself the time to get an adequate amount of undisturbed sleep.
Maintain Your Mental Health through the Holidays
- Pace yourself! Not just with your time, but shopping and preparations. Bring company along when shopping or preparing the house to keep the experience merry. And allow yourself rest or a reward after long and exhausting tasks like that!
- Give within your means. Practice good financial habits to avoid the worry that accompanies over-spending. Set a firm budget and stay within it. Pay cash as you go, or only charge as much as you can pay off within a month or two. And know it’s ok to not get everyone a gift.
- Homemade is from the heart. Consider making gifts to keep your holiday expenses low. Even a handwritten card can mean a lot!
- It’s ok to ask for help! Ask family members to help out when preparing for big dinners, parties, or hosting holiday guests.
- It’s ok to say No. Rather than over-extending yourself, practice saying, “No”, and prioritize the things that are important to you!
- Laugh! Provide plenty of opportunities for laughter, as that is always the best medicine.
- Me-Time. The holidays are filled with people, and sometimes that can be exhausting. So, whenever you feel yourself going over the edge (or even before that), allow yourself some time to be alone and regroup.
- An Attitude of Gratitude. Maintain your mental health with frequent breaks throughout the day to focus on deep breathing, positive thoughts or images, or the peace of doing nothing for several minutes. Make time each day to practice gratitude for all the good in your life.
It’s as simple as this: what’s good for the body, is also good for the mind, and vice versa, so get enough sleep, practice healthy eating and exercise habits, and enlist help when needed. Following these tips will help you maintain your mental and physical health throughout the season. This will allow you to avoid the fatigue and stress that often accompany the holidays and free you to embrace and enjoy the festivities and your favorite people!
“A good conscience is a continual Christmas.”
– Benjamin Franklin