Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s – the holiday season is supposed to be a time of celebration, joy and togetherness; however, the stress and business of the holidays can truly affect our physical and emotional health. Here are some simple, effective tips for staying healthy and happy this holiday season.
- Eat healthy. The snacks and feasts of the holiday season are not easy on our waistlines. When you are home during the holiday season, opt for healthy eating options for your family, and when visiting others, bring a healthy dish to share. It is okay to indulge in your favorite holiday snacks such as Christmas cookies or pumpkin pie, just do so in moderation. At holiday parties and dinners, try to take the focus off of the food by bringing fun games along for everyone to play. Also, be aware of liquid calories, including New Year’s cocktails, eggnog or hot chocolate.
- Stay active. Between Christmas shopping, vacations and holiday parties, your schedule is packed. It is very important that you set aside time each day for exercise. With the cold weather, leaving the house to exercise is the last thing many of us want to do. Try planning days throughout the week where you carpool with friends to your local gym. Having a support system will make staying active a lot easier and even more fun. Exercise can be fun and recreational, such as ice-skating, rock climbing or sledding. Setting aside time each day for physical activity will not only benefit your physical health, but will help you distress and improve your mental health as well.
- Prevent illness and injuries. During the winter season, the risk of injuries and illnesses are high. Be active in your physical health by washing your hands frequently and dressing warm when you are outside in the cold. Be sure to shovel sidewalks and driveways, and be cautious of icy patches. Assist the elderly, as they are at an increased risk of falls and other injuries. Always give yourself plenty of time to drive in case of bad weather conditions and holiday traffic. If a severe winter storm strikes, stay off the roads and indoors if possible. Keep a bag of blankets, clothes, water and food packed in your car in case of an emergency.
Following these simple tips can make for a happier and healthier you this holiday season. It is important to always remember what the holidays are truly about: celebrating friends and family. The shopping, parties and dinners aren’t what matters; spending time with loved ones is what really matters.