The holiday season isn’t the time when most people think about their health. Most would likely do the opposite, they’re more likely to throw caution to the wind, leaving their health considerations for January’s resolutions. But the holidays can be even more enjoyable with a few simple strategies to stay healthy throughout the holiday season.
The holidays are so full of events and invitations that it can be impossible to attend everything. And then there are all of the other added holiday responsibilities: shopping, wrapping, cooking, writing cards, and more. With all of the extra tasks on your to-do list, you may be tempted to stay up later or get up earlier to get everything done. But remember that you’ll be more productive, happier, and healthier with a proper amount of sleep. Ensure that you’re getting an adequate amount of sleep—the recommended 7-8 hours if you can—as consistently as possible throughout the holidays.
Many of our holiday traditions are centered around food. And we look forward to our favorite holiday dishes and special treats every single year. But over-indulging can lead to stomachaches, bloating, headaches, or the dreaded “food coma.” To stay as healthy as possible throughout the entire season, stick to any dietary restrictions you may have. While it can be difficult to pass up the holiday treats, keeping healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables readily available can help. If you think you’ll be tempted to over-indulge, have a small healthy meal prior to attending that holiday party.
It can be exhausting to be in charge of the holiday meal every year. Cleaning the house and cooking for a crowd are holiday traditions that you can feel good about passing down to the next generation. Give another family member or friend a chance to shine as host, while you bring your famous holiday dish to the gathering. And while you’re at it, teach the younger members of your group some responsibility by having them help with the dishes.
There are plenty of festive drinks to enjoy throughout the holidays, from eggnog to hot chocolate to fancy cocktails. But before you fill your cup with something sweet, remember to drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is an important part of feeling your best, and sugary drinks and cocktails just don’t do the trick. An easy way to remember to drink plenty of water is to fill up a reusable water bottle and keep it with you. You’re more likely to drink the water if it’s in front of you. If you prefer a drink with a little flavor, add a squeeze of lemon, some mint, or some sliced cucumber to your water bottle for a spa-like touch.
When you haven’t seen your family or friends for a while, you may be tempted to pack your holiday schedule full of as many activities as possible. But trying to visit with everyone, invite everyone over, and travel all across the country or even the globe could leave you exhausted. Instead of cramming your schedule full of every possible activity, be sure to leave some time to rest after traveling or visiting with friends and family.
With just these few tools in your back pocket, you can avoid some of the common health and wellness pitfalls of the holiday season. Enjoy your favorite holiday traditions without sacrificing your health this year!
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