4 Tips For Staying Healthy During the Holidays
Don't Give Up Your Health Goals Now
The holidays are always a busy time of year. Whether you love every second of the season or are more of the “bah, humbug” variety, the holidays are a time when many people experience high stress levels and engage in unhealthy behaviors. This year’s pandemic and social-distancing concerns just add another layer of stress to the season. Follow these tips to stay healthy over the holidays.
1. Make a Plan
Stress is the culprit that leads to most unhealthy behaviors, such as not sleeping, skipping meals, drinking too much coffee or alcohol, or stress eating. Having a solid plan can help you retain some feeling of control, thereby reducing your stress level. This year, take some time before the start of the season to create an actual, written holiday game plan, including which specific holiday activities you’ll be tackling this year and on which day.
During the holidays, it’s easy to feel pressure to do it ALL – see all the movies! Make all the crafts! Attend all the events! Committing these things to a calendar forces you to accept that you can’t do everything. It also helps you prioritize which events and activities matter the most.
Don’t create a jam-packed schedule. Planning your holiday agenda in advance puts you in charge of setting the pace for your holiday season, so don’t over-do it. You and your family will enjoy the festivities more when the pace is relaxed. Plus, they’ll enjoy YOU more when you’re not so stressed. Once you’ve made your plan, stick to it, and don’t let anyone pressure you to do more.
2. Step Up Your Supplement Game
The holiday season means extra stress, decreased sunlight, less fresh produce, and constant exposure to unhealthy food choices. Consequently, there’s a good chance you won’t get everything your body needs to stay healthy from your diet alone. If you haven’t already, this is the perfect time to add supplements to your daily routine. A daily multivitamin is a great idea, along with immune-system boosters such as zinc and vitamin C. You can easily tailor a supplement regimen to your individual health needs.
If that sounds confusing, or if you can’t stomach the thought of a handful of pills, try a dermal-based combination supplement, such as the Thrive Patch. These patches take the guesswork out of supplements and come in different formulas that combine all the vitamins, supplements, and probiotics you need to achieve a particular goal (such as weight loss or increased energy).
3. Engage In Non-Food-Centric Activities
This time of year, so many traditional activities seem to focus on food – and it’s usually not exactly healthy food. Candy-filled countdown calendars, baking and decorating cookies, hot-chocolate-and-PJs night, dinner parties, gingerbread houses – the list goes on and on. Make sure to include plenty of non-food-based activities in your holiday plan. Examples include watching movies, making paper snowflakes (this is much more fun than you think), looking at holiday lights, making greeting cards, and more. Furthermore, when you shift the focus of your family’s holiday traditions away from food, you also provide your children with holiday memories that aren’t just about sugar, and they’ll be more likely to have their own healthier holidays in the future.
4. Modify – Don’t Ditch – Your Workout Routine
Staying active can be particularly difficult during the holidays. Many people attempt to stick to their regular exercise routines, miss a workout or two, then get frustrated and end up giving up altogether. This is bad news: Regular exercise isn’t just good for your waistline; it also combats stress and has huge benefits for your heart and mood. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Create a modified routine for the holiday season. You can always do more if you want, but at least you won’t feel guilty. Instead, you’ll feel proud of yourself for maintaining some sort of routine, making it more likely that you’ll stick to other healthy choices throughout the season.
A stress-filled holiday season is never a healthy holiday season, so don’t let anxiety about diet and exercise dominate your holidays. Aim for moderation, but don’t punish yourself if you overindulge. Instead, focus on being mindful and present for the joy of the season and the people who mean the most to you.