The holidays are here, and that means a calendar filled with family, friends and festivities. And as wonderful as that can be, it can also make it challenging to stick to the regular routines that help keep us healthy.
To help you have the physical and mental freshness to fully enjoy the season, try these three simple tips for looking after your own health over the holidays.
Say “No” – Sometimes
Parties and get-togethers can pack the short six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. And while that is certainly a great thing, giving us a chance to connect and celebrate with others during the season, it can also be tiring and maybe even a bit overwhelming. When that’s the case, it may be time to start saying “no, thank you” to some invitations. Take time for yourself to re-charge so you can be that much more excited about the next event. And, don’t worry, Aunt Marge will forgive you for missing her afternoon eggnog and sing-along party.
Move Your Body Every Day – At Least a Little Bit
It’s hard to overestimate the overall health benefits of regular physical activity. Plus, the boost in mood it provides can be just what we need during the jam-packed and at-times stressful holiday season. Yet, when they’re presents to wrap, cards to write and food to buy, exercise is often the first thing we let slide. So, it’s all the more important that you make it a priority. Gift yourself the time to fit in a workout, even it’s just a short one. Try a 15-minute walk with your sister to the grocery store, a 10-minute jog around the old neighborhood with your cousin, or a quiet 20 minutes in your bedroom following a yoga video after everyone’s gone to bed. It can take a little creativity, but try to figure out what works for you.
Think Before You Eat
Food – a lot of great food – is one of the defining aspects of the holidays. So, it’s no real wonder that many people put on more weight between Thanksgiving and New Year’s than other times of the year. And it’s not just one or two major holiday meals that are to blame; it’s likely small amounts of overeating throughout. Two extra cookies here. A late-night meal with friends there. The extra daily calories can add up quickly to some extra pounds that can be hard to lose come the new year. Some simple strategies, though, can help keep such overeating at bay. And one of the easiest is to just take a moment to think before you eat. Most of us are prone to automatic eating, especially during the holidays. We often eat without really considering if we’re actually hungry or if we really even feel like eating. Next time you’re at a party or big family meal, try taking a quiet 10 to 15 seconds before you fill your plate or grab that appetizer. That short moment can do wonders, helping you figure out if you’re grabbing food because you really want it – or just because it’s there.