10 Ways To Stay Happy & Healthy During This Holiday Season
Nothing compares to the high spirits and colorful atmosphere during November and December. From Thanksgiving to Hanukkah, to Christmas and the New Year, the holidays are a time for family, fun, and food. But cozying up with that eggnog and proceeding with one more caramel delight can promote the dreaded holiday weight-gain and can further enhance the stress of the holidays.
How do we stay physically healthy when seasonal treats are only here for a limited amount of time? How do we maintain our mental clarity if we have particular family, conversations motivated by politics, or quarterly work deadlines approaching?
The good news is that there are several ways you can uphold your health, whether it be mental or physical. Here are 10 ways to keep yourself motivated, positive and energized, despite any tension in your life, cabin fever, or a multi-flavor popcorn tin calling your name.
1. Meal Prep
This one is a given as our number one. Meal prepping not only saves time and money, but it will help you maintain proper nutrition and food intake. A good tip is to meal prep one day of the week, so for the rest of the week, you do not have to stress about what meals you need to make.
2. Limit Alcohol
Despite all of the gatherings that call for a celebration, try to keep the drinking to a minimum. Let’s be honest, hangovers are never fun. Alcohol also lowers our immunity, making it harder for our body to fight off colds. If you do choose to drink, always drink in moderation and know your limits.
3. Get Proper Sleep
A lack of sleep heightens stress levels, increasing the likelihood for us to get upset over something that normally wouldn’t trigger such a reaction. Lack of sleep also can cause fuzziness in the brain, leading to a lack of productivity within your everyday life. Staying well-rested is key to stress management and ensuring full consciousness and presence at all times, physically and mentally. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that the average adult should get 7-9 hours of sleep to maintain a balanced mind (so put down your phone and go to bed!).
4. Practice Self - Control
Your body is your temple and your safe place. It is perfectly fine to indulge, especially during the holiday season, but practice moderation. Enjoy your holidays, but do be mindful of what you are eating and how much of it you are eating. Sweet treats are a great reward, but steer clear of making them a daily (or hourly) habit.
5. Recite Gratitude
Take a moment and think about all of the people who love you and all of the incredibly positive things that are going on in your life now. Try to take time each day to give thanks for the relationships you have and the joy that is shared among them. Let these people know. Recite your gratitude for your health, job, or any other blessing you feel.
6. Support Immunity
Depending on your environment, the weather is most likely shifting and this is the time of the year when most people are hit pretty hard by the flu or even just the common cold. But do not let it overpower you and control your life. When you feel the slightest bit of the symptoms of sickness, invest in Emergen-C or try the old ‘sweat it out’ trick (our personal favorite is the Weighted Speed Jump Rope). Get the flu shot, take your supplements, maintain your nutrition, and by doing all of this you will keep yourself happy and healthy all winter.
7. Make To-Do Lists
Making to-do lists may seem a bit cliché, but it is sound advice that works every time in relieving stress. It is so easy to forget what you’re supposed to accomplish, and these lists help keep your priorities in order. It is also stress-reducing when you can cross items off of your list and that list gets smaller and smaller.
8. Stay Active
Sure, it may be cooler outside, but exercise is good for your body and the soul. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes a day, whether that is using a Body Sport Ab Wheel or layering up and enjoying a walk through the neighborhood to glance at the beautiful holiday décor. Staying active is the best way to relieve stress and aid in burning extra calories so that you can enjoy all those holiday goodies.
9. Treat Yourself
This may seem a tad bit contradictory to the statements above, but this is referring to honoring thyself. You are you, and the only single you in the world. While you’re out reflecting on all the gratitude that consumes you, give yourself some credit. Take some time to bake your favorite meal, watch your favorite movie, re-read your favorite book, or visit your favorite coffee shop. Treating yourself is practicing self-love and nourishment, allowing you to pause and take time to appreciate your growth and individuality, so you can reciprocate with others.
Take time and just breathe. Seriously, whether you breathe through meditation, yoga, or simply at standstill - make sure you take time to do it. Deeply inhale and exhale, and place one hand on your chest with the other on your stomach and feel the diaphragm move and feel your body flow. This is calming and will remind you that every little thing is going to be alright.
By honoring these 10 rules, you will remain happy and healthy this holiday season. Always take care of yourself, reflect, and rejoice!