The holidays are here — a happy time to gather with family and celebrate beliefs and traditions. But if the holidays make you as stressed as they do joyous, you’re not alone. For many of us, we run our lives in the fast lane day-to-day, and the holidays add another layer of things to do and remember on top of the details of daily life. You may be looking at these December days wishing you could fast forward to March. While I can’t control the calendar, I can offer you tips to help you stay healthy and sail more smoothly through this holiday season.
- Stay hydrated. It sounds so simple, but drinking water is key to your health. The holidays can keep you on the go. Carry a water bottle with you at all times to stay hydrated throughout the season. Your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste and lubricate joints. Drink up!
- Everything in moderation. Let’s face it – you’re going to encounter sweets. The key is to enjoy in moderation. You probably shouldn’t create your entrée from the dessert table, but don’t beat yourself up for having a cookie or slice of cake. I have two tips for preventing overgrazing at holiday gatherings. First, snack on fruits and veggies to fill you up before leaving home. Second, fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables at each trip to the food table.
- Plan meals ahead of time. With all you have going on during this season, it’s easy to run out of time to prepare healthy meals. Instead of opting for fast food, do the legwork ahead of time. Try creating freezer meals that you can dump in a crock pot in the morning. There are few things better than coming home and having a hot, healthy meal ready for you!
- Get your Zzzs. Keep your immune system working at its best and your energy up by not sacrificing your sleep. Lack of sleep can leave your brain foggy and decrease your ability to juggle your schedule. Aim for eight hours a night to function at your best.
- Keep moving. Work exercise into your routine. You’ll boost your health and keep your energy levels up for all the extra holiday activities on your calendar!
- Address your stress. Face your stress head on and plan to manage it. Perhaps meditation calms you or extra yoga classes. Listen to your body and give yourself what you need.
- Give yourself permission to let some things go. We all have so much going on, and it’s healthy to realize that we can’t tackle it all. Don’t overbook yourself. Accept that sometimes the best thing for you is saying no. Do what you need to enjoy the season.
- Practice gratitude and kindness. Carry the spirit of the season with you and practice random acts of kindness. Look around and realize all that you have to be grateful for. Feeling gratitude and giving to others is a great way to treasure the season.
For more tips or for help working through stress during the holidays or any time during the year, contact me, Karen David. I’d love to help you cope with your stress and live a more fulfilling life.