9 Tips for Happy and Healthy Holidays
We are deep in the midst of the holiday season. Things are rapidly picking up steam in terms of places to go and people to see. At this point, it is easy to fall into the trap of feeling stressed out and unhealthy. I am fighting that urge as much as possible. This year, I’m using simple steps for happy and healthy holidays until the ball drops on New Year’s Eve. Well, healthy-ish. You can be sure I’m not turning down a piece of my favorite pumpkin pie.
Savor the seasonal treats
This time of year, I make an extra effort to stick to my normal eating habits. Just because it’s the holidays, doesn’t mean I need to eat all the food. On the same front, I’m not willing to deprive myself of all the treats that are around. My rule of thumb is to stick with the treats that are special to this time of year. I can have a chocolate chip cookie any day of the year. It’s not often that I get pumpkin pie or gingerbread cookies. When I eat those once a year goodies, I savor each bite.
Be conscious of mindful eating
There is an obscene amount of food surrounding us this time of year. It is easy to start munching on a handful here and a handful there, without really thinking about what we’re eating, or if we’re even hungry and truly want that food. Before I grab that dessert or go for the second serving of food, I stop and take a second to think about my actions first. There’s nothing wrong with eating that sweet treat, but think about it first.
Exercise when and how I can
My motivation and time to exercise is at an all time low come December. Still, I try to make an effort to get some activity in when I can. While I might not stick to my normal fitness routines, I make an effort to get to the gym for shorter workouts. If I’m shopping at the mall, I’ll walk an extra loop around the perimeter before I start shopping. I have a dance party while I’m working in the kitchen. It might not be the normal intensity that I’m used to, but something is better than nothing.
Keep sleep a priority
The holidays can be exhausting and I think that’s a big part of why people tend to get so stressed out and unhappy. I make an effort to stick to 7-8 hours of sleep as many nights as possible. When I’m well rested, I’m much happier and ready to take on the fun events of a given day.
Take some “me” time every day
While this might be indicative of my introverted nature, I think it’s healthy for us all to take some down time every day. Personally, my favorite sources of “me” time are relaxing with a hot bath and a glass of wine, or reading for an extra hour before bed. Having time to just be quiet is so restorative, after the draining nature of constantly being on the go and entertaining.
Things don’t have to be perfect
This goes against my perfectionist, Type-A tendencies, admittedly. If I don’t wrap the gifts just so or frost the sugar cookies like they are off the assembly line, that is 100% okay. The odds are, I’m the only one that will notice anyhow. It’s the thought behind the effort that counts.
I’m generally pretty good about remembering to drink water most of the year. When things get busy, it can get easy to forget. It’s particularly easy to get dehydrated at the holiday parties when the drinks start flowing. Drink a big glass of water before every meal and another one with the meal, and you’re off to a great start. When you’re having alcoholic beverages, drink responsibly first and foremost, but try to have one glass of water for every one drink.
I don’t have to do all the things
There are a lot of events and parties to attend. They’re all fun, shiny, and exciting, but I don’t have to do it all. I make an effort to prioritize the invitations I’ve received and know that it’s okay to say no to some of them. People will understand; if they don’t, that’s their problem, not mine. They’ll be happy and healthy holidays only if I myself am happy.
Have fun and celebrate the season
At the end of the day, I think this is such a fun and wonderful time of year. It is easy to get so caught up in everything that I forget to enjoy this season! I want to celebrate, to embrace the lights, the decorations, and the special treats. I love watching The Santa Clause, Love Actually, and Elf. Giving gifts to the people in my life is one of my greatest joys. It’s a magical season and it lights up my heart.
I am going to unabashedly enjoy these few weeks! With these nine tips for happy and healthy holidays, I know I will get to the New Year with a smile.
Photo(s): Negative Space