The holidays are a great time to catch up with family and friends, take part in traditions and reflect on blessings. However, the holiday season can also bring other things with it including stress, depression and weight gain.
Check out these healthy holiday tips! They are a great way to help you keep your physical and mental health on track while celebrating over the next couple of months.
Embrace moderation during meals
Overeating and the holidays go hand in hand. However, overeating isn’t healthy and can lead to discomfort as well as unwanted weight gain.
Here are a couple of tricks to help you avoid feeling completely stuffed during holiday meals:
- Slow down – Eat your food at a slower pace and take time to engage in conversation. This will give your stomach and digestive enzymes time to do their job.
- Listen to your body – A good rule of thumb is to stop eating when you feel about 80 percent full.
- Think before you eat – Are you eating because you are hungry or because you are bored? Consider this question before popping a couple of extra treats in your mouth.
Keep a balanced diet top of mind
Maintaining a balanced diet during the holidays can be a struggle. Party dishes is notoriously rich and high in calories as well as fat. Filling up on these foods all season long won’t allow you to get the variety of nutrients your body needs.
Prior to heading to a holiday party, snack on some foods high in protein and fiber. Some good options to consider are nuts, fruits and veggies. This will not only help you avoid overindulging, it will also give you the nutrition and energy you need to stay healthy. Additionally, always be sure to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
Find time to stay active
The holidays are busy, and the weeks fill up quickly. With everything going on, it is easy for exercise to fall to the end of your to-do list. However, one of the most important tips is to not put your exercise routine off until the new year. This is because staying active not only helps with your physical health, it is also great for stress relief and is important for your mental health.
Go for a walk, take a jog, do some stretching, or stop by a yoga class. Better yet, bring a family member or friend along for the fun. It can be a great way to spend some individual time with a loved one.
Make mental health a priority
Despite the hustle and bustle of the season, it is critical to take time for yourself. This will allow you to handle stress, avoid getting burnt out and, overall, be happier during the holidays.
Here is a quick self-care check list to consider:
- Don’t sacrifice sleep – Not getting enough sleep has a profound effect on both your mental and physical health. Aim to get six to nine hours a night.
- Take time to relax – This might be something as simple as drawing, reading or journaling. Whatever it is, make time for an activity that helps you unwind after a long day.
- Keep a positive outlook – The holidays are a great time to focus on the love around us, rather than the imperfections. Keep this in mind when dealing with any difficult family members.
- Leave time for yourself – As you holiday calendar starts to fill up, don’t be afraid to say no to a few invitations. Make sure you have enough time to focus on yourself and self-care.
Keep seasonal germs at bay
The holiday season and flu season unfortunately go hand in hand. However, there are a couple of steps you can take to avoid coming down with an illness. First and foremost, wash your hands multiple times a day with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is critical when it comes to preventing germs from spreading.
It is also a good idea get your flu shot prior to attending parties and being around lots of people this holiday season. Schedule an appointment with your primary care physician to learn more.
If you do become sick, stay at home to rest and to avoid spreading your illness to those around you.
We hope these healthy tips help you enjoy the holidays just a little bit more this year. From all of us at Mercy Health, we wish you a stress-free, happy and healthy holiday season!