Have a Healthy Holiday Season
As the holiday season approaches, it can become hard to stay consistent with a healthy routine. Your favorite foods are being served, chocolate is abundant, and you may pick up a few bad habits out of the fear of missing out.
Instead of going into the holidays without a game plan, we’ve decided to share some tips to help you have a healthy holiday season. We know how difficult it can be without one.
We’ll share some best practices to help you stay healthy during this time. Keep reading to learn more!
Although exercise may be hard to come by during the holiday season, it’s wise to try and fit it into your schedule, even if you just go for a light walk or a run around the neighborhood.
Finding time to exercise is crucial in maintaining your health - especially during stressful times like the holiday season.
Depending on what you’re doing at this time, you may be experiencing a lot of stress due to planning and scheduling. Exercise is good for physical and mental health. It can help relieve stress, and it can also help you:
- Manage weight
- Reduce the risk of disease
- Strengthen bones and muscles
As you know, food is often abundant during the holidays. And because of this, you may consume more calories than usual. If you exercise during this time, it can help manage your weight easier by burning calories and keeping your overall calorie intake lower as a result.
The holiday season is a fantastic time to socialize with friends and family. There are many benefits that can come with socializing. Some of these include:
- Better mental health
- An improvement in brain health
- A sense of safety, belonging, and security
So whether you’re getting together with friends or family or you guys are too far apart to do so, try your best to socialize during this time.
Whether it’s in person or through the internet, get connected with the most important people in your life, and enjoy healthy and fruitful interactions.
Healthy eating can be especially difficult during the holidays with your favorite desserts, foods, and candies served at the dinner table.
Finding a way to keep up healthy eating habits could be the difference between an overall healthy holiday and one that’s a detriment to your well-being.
Here are some tips for eating healthy during this time:
- Tip 1 - Add more vegetables and fruits to your plate. By eating more vegetables, you can reduce your risk of heart disease, lower your blood pressure, and more.
- Tip 2 - Eat slowly. By eating slowly during a meal, you give your stomach more time to signal to the brain that it’s full. This may prevent overeating.
- Tip 3 - Control your portion sizes. To make this easier to do, try using a small plate or try to only eat healthy food during dinner.
- Tip 4 - Consume foods with fiber. By eating foods with fiber, you can move things through your digestive tract easier - helping the overall process of digestion.
Make a Plan
Because the holidays can be such a stressful time for many of us, it’s wise to come up with a plan of action. This will help you stay organized, and it can aid you in keeping a calm headspace through the holidays.
Here are a few tips that could help with your plan:
- Tip 1 - Create a budget. By making a budget for the amount of money you’re going to spend, you can prevent any financial stress and avoid going over the amount you set out to spend.
- Tip 2 - Make a bucket list. The holidays offer a wealth of different activities for you, your family, and your friends. By creating a bucket list, you can set priorities and decide on the most practical activities for you.
- Tip 3 - Set a schedule. If you schedule certain days for shopping and days for preparing holiday recipes, you give yourself a better chance to make proactive food choices and reduce the overwhelm that comes from trying to do a million things at once.
Make Time for Yourself
It can be incredibly hard to find time for yourself during the holidays. You may find yourself going to several holiday parties, or even hosting a holiday party of your own. However, it’s vital that you do carve out some time for yourself, as it can help you lower stress levels, reduce overwhelm, and gain clarity.
A few ideas that could help include:
- Reading a book
- Going for a walk
The key is to choose something you enjoy, and something that’s easy and convenient to do on the fly. That way, even with the business of the holidays, you can still make time for it.
Get Your Sleep
It’s easy to let your sleeping habits slip during the holidays. Family get-togethers take up a lot of your time, and you may be staying up later during the break. It’s important to do your best to get a healthy amount of rest.
We’re all familiar with the grogginess and overall moodiness that poor sleep may cause, but it can also cause:
- Memory issues
- Increased blood pressure
- A weakened immune system
It’s recommended that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep a night, and teenagers get 8-10 hours of sleep per night.
Following a few healthy sleeping habits can help you get a good rest and avoid a restless night’s sleep:
- Try to go to bed at the same time every night.
- Stay active during the day by walking, working out, or running.
- Avoid or limit alcohol, caffeine, and large meals close to the time you go to sleep.
- Make your bedroom a relaxing environment by making it dark, quiet, and comfortable.
- Create a relaxing nighttime routine that helps you relax and destress before bed.
If you’re looking for additional support for your nighttime routine and sleeping troubles, BetterSleep has a wide range of relaxing techniques you can try. Try them out, and let us know what you liked best.
Find a Balance
Balance may be the key to a healthy holiday season. While it’s ok to enjoy yourself and eat some sweets, enjoy a bigger meal, or even indulge in your favorite desserts, finding a way to create balance can make it both sustainable and healthy.
If you go too far to one side with your diet one day, try to lean more to the healthy side the next day. If you get a rough night’s sleep one night because of staying up late and waking up early, try going to bed earlier the next night.
It’s hard to find that balance. But if you can, you can counteract those habits that affect your health poorly and you can work to create a healthier version of yourself - even during the holidays.
The holidays are a time for big dinners, family, and gratitude. It can be easy to start letting your good and healthy habits slip during this time, but it’s important you stay patient and kind to yourself and do your best to start making healthy choices.
Whether it’s finding time to exercise, eating healthy, or avoiding an alcoholic drink close to bedtime - there are plenty of ways to maintain your health during this time.
Allow yourself the space to enjoy yourself, and set rules for how much you’ll allow. Find a balance that works for you. Work towards maintaining your health physically, mentally, and emotionally during this time.