Healthy Holiday Tips
Nov 21, 2019
Tips to Stay Healthy this Holiday Season
It’s easy for your healthy lifestyle to get derailed during the holidays. There are parties, celebrations and gatherings galore. To stay on track, make a point of implementing the following tips.
Rest and Recharge
- Do your best to get 7+ hours of sleep a night. The proper amount of sleep will have a positive effect on you both physically and mentally.
- Schedule quiet time into each day. Decide on a time of day that works for you and stick to it. You only need to set aside about 15 minutes. Use that time to relax and reflect.
- Consider doing one of the following: meditate, write or recite what you are grateful for, listen to a motivational or inspirational podcast.
- Identify and participate in relaxing activities. Make a point of planning and doing things that are fun and bring you joy. Think of activities that you enjoyed during the holidays when you were a kid. Make a point to do them and share them with someone.
- Schedule a massage, manicure, pedicure, or an entire spa day.
- Use essential oils to support your mood and emotions. Are there scents that bring back fond memories or make you feel calm. Diffuse them, apply topically, or add to a bath.
Eat and Enjoy
- Eat Well. Plan meals in advance and prep meals ahead. Have food items on hand like frozen vegetables and fruit, precut vegetables, spiralized vegetables, and etc. to make quick, healthy meals. Make use of an Instant Pot or Crock Pot.
- Practice portion control. Don’t overeat at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah, or dinner/holiday parties. Take only enough food to fill you up. Stop eating before you feel full.
- Use a smaller plate. You will eat less when your plate is smaller.
- Avoid seconds. Are you really still hungry?
- Eat low calorie foods like vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. They will make you feel more full than calorie dense foods, like highly processed fast foods.
Sweets and tempting treats
- Make a conscious decision to limit the number of treats you eat. There are so many delectable temptations around the holidays. Pie, cookies, cinnamon buns, chocolates, and more.
- Choose one cookie, piece of fudge, peanut brittle, or handful of Chex mix instead of multiple.
- Pick your favorite, eat it slowly and savor every bite. Be mindful and present when you’re eating.
- Sit down and slow down when you eat. Engage in conversation around the table and turn off or put away all electronic devices.
- Keep a log of the sweets or treats you eat each day. Having a visual can work as a deterrent.
- Don’t deprive yourself of enjoying something that you have waited all year for!
- Don’t give yourself a guilt trip because you overindulged or ate things you shouldn’t have. Be kind to yourself but recommit to do better at the same time.
Make substitutions when cooking or baking
- Change up recipes by substituting healthier ingredients or adding less of certain things like sugar and salt.
- Search online for healthier versions of traditional dishes.
- Keep family traditions but seek healthier, delicious alternatives. For example, try something different with your family’s lasagna recipe. Use whole wheat noodles, add spinach or substitute some of the noodles with thin slices of zucchini or eggplant.
- Start new traditions by cooking and baking using different, healthier recipes.
- Incorporate more whole foods into your daily diet especially when you know you’ll be attending an event or going someplace where the food choices may not be super healthy.
- Bring a dish to share when attending an event so you have at least one healthy choice.
- Make time to exercise
- Keep up your current fitness routine. Don’t let up. You will feel better if you are active, getting your heart rate up and burning calories.
- Get a partner if you’re afraid you'll slack off. If you don’t currently have an exercise routine start one now with a family member or friend. You can keep each other accountable.
- Sign up for a class like Yoga or Tai Chi.
Engage in alternative exercise
- Park farther away from the store when you go shopping.
- Use the stairs any time that you can.
- Vigorously clean the house.
- Shovel snow.
- Play with children outdoors and in.
Limit the number of commitments
- Keep the December calendar visible. Assess every invitation you receive. Are there already things scheduled for that day or night? Decide which event is more important or more fun.
- Don’t be afraid to say no. You don’t need to go to every event. People will understand. Don’t stress yourself out or spread yourself too thin. You may end up sick.
Take a proactive and intentional approach to your health this holiday season. Be in charge and in control. You will feel better both mentally and physically. Have fun and enjoy time spent with family and friends!
Enjoy life, choose happiness, and be your best every day.