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With Halloween celebrated and Thanksgiving later this month, we are well into the holiday season.
It’s my favorite time of year! The weeks between the beginning of fall and the start of a new year are full of joy, excitement and connection. However, they can also bring stress, unhealthy practices and overwhelm.
Enjoy the best of the season and make healthy choices that support well being, rather than depleting it.
These holiday wellness tips will help!
Holiday Wellness Tips
To maintain the optimal level of health, through the holidays and beyond, into the new year, try these tips.
Practice Healthy Eating Habits
At the end of the holiday season, the number one health regret people have is overindulging. It’s easy to do, with holiday parties, family gatherings, special events and always, an abundance of sweet and savory treats on hand.
Create a strong, healthy eating plan. Write up menus in advance that include extra fruits and veggies. Swap out traditional holiday snacks that are full of sugar and fat for healthier versions. This vegan and gluten free gingerbread is a perfect example.
Make wise food choices during the holidays, saving treats for a few special occasions. And if you do overindulge, forgive yourself, move on with fresh determination and make better choices next time.
This time of year, egg nog, spiked punch and special cocktails liven up the holidays at gatherings of all kinds. Be mindful of the number of alcoholic drinks consumed. They pack calories that can quickly add up. Plus alcohol severely impedes mental abilities, reduces fertility and impairs memory.
Consume adequate amounts of water, especially when drinking alcoholic beverages, as they can cause dehydration. Try hot herbal teas as well during these cold months, to warm up the body and boost health.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is important for health year around. During the holiday season, it’s especially crucial. Holiday induced anxiety increases when we are short on sleep. Adults need an average of seven to nine hours of sleep for the brain to function properly. Plus enough sleep ensures we have the energy and vitality to enjoy all the events special to this time of year.
As much as possible, maintain regular sleep habits. And if you haven’t already, establish a nighttime routine that prepares the body for sleep.
Prioritize Self Care
While busy shopping, creating wonderful holiday meals and decorating the house, don’t forget to take time for you. It’s not selfish. Self care is necessary to reduce stress and anxiety and restore the body.
Set aside at least half an hour a day, to relax. Do something you love such as listening to music, reading, sipping hot tea or coloring. Take a nap. Sit in the sunshine for a few minutes. Do whatever feels restorative to you.
Spend Quality Time with Loved Ones
The holidays are made merrier when we spend time with those we love. It can feel overwhelming, however, trying to make enough time for everyone on your friends and family list.
Don’t overburden your time. Think quality over quantity. Create holiday memories with those dearest to you. Call others, send a text or mail a holiday card with a handwritten note.
And be mindful of those who are alone during this season. A thoughtful message, cheerful phone call or meeting for a hot drink means much to those who are isolated or on their own. If you feel lonely during the holidays, consider volunteering, organizing a get together with others who may feel alone or reaching out to others with a message or call.
Colder weather can make getting enough exercise a challenge. During this season try incorporating normal activities into the holidays. Play with the kids who are home for the holiday break. Go for walks through the leaves or snow. Visit Christmas markets, villages or neighborhoods bright with holiday lights. Clean house and decorate to Christmas music.
Resist the temptation to “hibernate” and eat high carb foods.
The holidays can create stress. Family gatherings, gift buying, financial strain and being off regular schedules all contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety.
Set boundaries to protect your time and resources. Avoid family conflicts. Focus on what you can control…your thoughts and your actions. Create a Christmas budget. Don’t overdo on the sugar. And as mentioned above, practice self care and get enough sleep.
Have Realistic Expectations
The holidays can feel disappointing when expectations are too high. Be realistic with goals and intentions. Plan out the holiday you hope to have. Keep it simple this year, for a change. And know that everything won’t go the way you want. That’s okay. Accept or even embrace imperfections.
Start a new family tradition that is meaningful to you. And most of all relax. Accept what is and go with the flow.
Have a Healthy Holiday
I hope these simple tips help you have the best holiday season ever, full of joy, love, family and robust health. How we finish the year…is how we begin the next one.
Which holiday wellness tip will you adopt this season?
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I am not a medical practitioner. I study health and wellness related topics and share experiences from my own personal healing journey.