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It’s that time of year again… Shopping trips, presents, decorations, parties, family get-togethers, ugly sweaters, and decadent treats are everywhere you turn! While it’s certainly a joyous and jolly time, it doesn’t come without its share of stress. You might start the holiday season in high gear, full of energy and momentum, only to end it feeling like a busted can of biscuits. To combat this, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help keep your holidays happy AND healthy! There’s no reason why you can’t make the most out of your holiday season while also keeping yourself feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the new year. Read on!
As a child, I remember entering the Christmas season feeling almost beside myself with joy and excitement. Throughout the entire month of December there wasn’t much that could bring my energy or mood down. However, I also remember observing my older siblings and parents, and wondering how they couldn’t possibly be as excited as I was. On Christmas morning, how could they bear sleeping in when there were piles of presents waiting to be opened?! How could anyone conceivably be in a “Grinchy” mood when there were so many magical things taking place?
Well…now as an adult I see the holidays a bit differently. Are they fun and exciting? Absolutely! But, holy cow, can they be stressful and exhausting! Let’s face it, for just about every happy aspect of the season, there can also be an underlying factor that wears you out. With gift-giving comes fighting off masses of bargain shoppers, and trying to figure out what in the heck to get your in-laws this year. With a house full of sparkly decorations comes dragging totes and boxes out of storage and cleaning up quite a mess. With the beautiful snow fall comes remembering to wake up early enough to scrape off your car without being late to work. With a plethora of parties comes a plethora of treats and beverages that may make your waistline super full of holiday cheer. And with family get-togethers comes seeing that one relative who always has a way of making you want to deck a little more than the halls.
At the risk of sounding like a giant Scrooge, let me just say that I really do love the holidays, but when it’s all said and done, the season can leave me feeling pretty bloated and bushed. So, why not take some measures now to try and fight the inevitable alternative? If you’re in the same boat as me, try the tips below to keep your holidays both healthy AND happy!
You might think it will be a quick shopping trip, only to find hoards of fellow shoppers, long lines, and making more stops than you bargained for. The next thing you know, the stomach growling starts to set in, along with that hangry feeling we all know too well. What do you do—visit the food court or nearest fast food restaurant for a quick and necessary pick-me-up. However, it’s extremely difficult to find or willingly choose healthy food choices at places like these, especially when your blood sugar is dipping, along with your mood! Do yourself a favor and don’t shop on an empty stomach. Have a healthy meal at home beforehand, and even pack some healthy snacks to keep you going. Trust me, the emergency granola bars that reside in my purse have definitely come in handy!
While it can be tempting to indulge in more sugary beverages (or those of the adult variety) during the holidays, don’t forget to keep up on your water intake as well! You have a lot to do this month, and you’re going to feel so much better doing it if you’re well hydrated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), not only does drinking water help with managing body weight and reducing caloric intake, but it also prevents dehydration, which would otherwise leave you feeling confused, unhappy, overheated, and constipated. It’s also great for keeping your skin healthy and refreshed when the temperatures dip. Simply put, water just makes your body run better, look better, and feel better. So, get that holiday glow going, and keep the water coming!
Does it seem like everyone around you is slowing coming down with the bubonic plague? Do you hear a chorus of sneezes and nose-blowing wherever you go? This time of the year is good for that. While you can’t put yourself in a bubble to keep the germs away, you can ward off a lot of the nastiness by simply practicing good hand hygiene. Conveniently enough, December 3rd-9th is National Handwashing Awareness Week, so what better time to get in the know? Check out these handwashing tips and data from the CDC for more helpful information. Also, if you have kids at home, Henry the Hand, along with his free resources, will prove to be useful. The holidays are always more enjoyable when you can breathe through your nose and still have a voice to carol with!
The idea of giving up any and all holiday treats this month just seems cruel and way too difficult. However, with the overabundance of treats that will inevitably be at home, at work, and at every festive gathering, we’re very likely to graze on too many…even the ones we might not truly enjoy! So, if you’re trying not to throw your diet completely off track, or just don’t want to overdo it, pick your favorite treats and stick with them. Think about the few that you look forward to the most during this season, and treat yourself in moderation. Don’t let yourself have too much junk, but don’t deprive yourself either. A good balance will leave you feeling less bloated and more confident when 2018 rolls around.
During the holidays, it’s vastly important to think of others, and make their needs a priority. We want our loved ones to have a Christmas full of happiness and joy, and we often take time to do charitable acts for those in need. However, in the midst of all this, it’s still important to leave some time and room for a little self-care. Be sure to fit in some “me time”, stay rested, and don’t run yourself ragged. You are, ultimately, a better family member, friend, and community member when you are also feeling well and taken care of.
Make this holiday season one for the books! Try out these five tips and see if you notice a difference. Soon enough it’ll be time for those resolutions again, but these strategies just might give you a head start!
Do you have any additional holiday health tips? Share below—we’d love to hear from you!
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Author: Michelle Adams