Feeling the pinch of holiday time? Think back to your previous holiday season, did you feel rushed? Disappointed? Worn down? Sick? Regret? Have you ever thought about health choices that could make this year the best year ever? Make steps to enjoy your holiday this year, with just a few easy tips.
Schedule time to move, to stimulate yourself physically, and energize mentally. Enjoy a walk outdoors to snoop around the neighborhood or take in nature, any activity or exercise that speeds up your heart a bit, indoors or out. We do so many things that we must, try doing something you don’t have to do. Rest your mind and stimulate your body. You don’t even need to leave your house. Even short activities produce great benefits in just a few minutes! Did you know that brief breaks to take slow, deep breaths will reduce anxiety and do great things for your mind and body?
Schedule time to rest. Activity does build energy capacity, but you need rest to refill your reservoir. Equally important is time for rest, contemplation and meditation. Did you know that trouble sleeping is often due to worry, and troubled thinking at bedtime? Setting time for silence, mindfulness and rest several minutes before bedtime will lead to a more restful sleep. For stressful, busy days or a late night, consider taking a brief midday nap. Proper sleep hygiene will prime you for regular cycles of refreshing sleep. Try asking your pharmacist about ways to address insomnia.
Give yourself time, forgive yourself always. Remember a holiday is a holiday for you too. Share preparations, and aim for fun not perfection. Laissez-faire, a relaxing attitude will comfort everyone around you and keep you grounded. Have a relaxing bath the night before an event, and don’t forget to plan for relaxation after the event too. Build in buffer times to address the unexpected, it’s the clever thing to do.
Try a bit of spice. Add on your own seasonings, whether it is salad dressing, salt or sugar, have it on the side so that you and others can control servings of added calories. Herbs and spices are healthier, more complex and flavourful. Look for healthier recipes and alternatives to fats, sugars and salt. Healthy food choices during holidays can be challenging. Encourage others to bring healthy sides and snacks if you are hosting or bring healthy choices to gatherings that you can graze on.
Drink water – and get used to it. Don’t like water, try having fresh, cool water handy. Have water within reach, and it will reduce the times you grab snacks. Always have a full glass of water as part of your meal setting. Did you know that sugar and alcohol can slump your physical and mental wellness? You can manage a holiday season littered with beacons of sugar and spirits. Make it harder to have sugary drinks, pop, and alcohol. Best if you just don’t buy it, next best is to have small amounts, or make it difficult to access it. This is one part of your grocery list that you want to avoid buying in bulk. Want to toast? Choose drinks with less sugar. Avoid malted drinks, beer, wine, or sweet concoctions. Try using soda water and a citrus wedge for mix.
Holidays are a time to relax but don’t relax your better decisions. Healthy holiday choices will lead to a new year with few regrets – you can do it!