5 Tips to Stay Happy and Healthy During the Holidays
The holiday season is here which means you’ll be spending time with family and friends, shopping for gifts, and doing some good eatin’. It’s a time to give thanks and show appreciation but the holidays can be insanely stressful. From entertaining 15+ people in your tiny apartment to finding the perfect gift for Auntie Pam, it can be hard not to stress eat during the holidays. But there are some simple things you can do to continue feeling great throughout the rest of the year. Here are 5 tips to keep yourself happy and healthy during the most wonderful time of the year*:
Tip 1: Eat anything you want!
Yep I said it. I’m a firm believer in eating whatever the hell you wanna eat! Within moderation, of course. The holidays are a difficult time to stick to your normal routine when you’re spending time with family and friends or having ice cream socials at work (oh how I love my job). But just because you have a full buffet in front of you that doesn’t mean you have to devour everything in sight. Try picking 1-2 items that you know you’ll want to indulge in and be diligent about not eating more than you decided for yourself. It’s okay to have a small piece of pie as long as you can control yourself. If you don’t think you can control yourself then don’t touch it. For some people, this is easier said than done, I know. Everywhere you look there are people telling you what, how and when to eat. But it all comes down YOU.
Tip 2: Put on some music!
I don’t know about you but I love putting on some of my favorite music and just dancing in front of the mirror. I can just be goofy, have fun and sweat off some of those calories! Whether it’s dancing, doing an intense kickboxing session or going ice skating, find something that gets you up and moving. After Thanksgiving dinner take a walk around the neighborhood with your family (it helps make more room for pie). As you know, even small amounts of exercise can help reduce your chances of getting a multitude of aliments, including heart disease, but it can also improve your mood and give you more energy to do some holiday shopping. Adding more exercise is definitely something I need to work. I’ve noticed a sharp decline in my energy once I stopped working out to concentrate on grad school. Staying fit isn’t my top priority but maybe it’ll be my New Year’s resolution. So don’t worry, you’re not the only one slacking honey pie.
Tip 3: Up your fluid game!
After you danced for half an hour, you’ll need to replenish with some good ole H2O. Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is needed to flush out toxins, carry nutrients to your cells and keeping the fluid levels balanced in your body 1. When I changed jobs and could no longer keep a water bottle by myself I noticed a big increase in the dryness of my skin. So make sure you get a good amount of fluids each day. Other things such as coffee, tea, juice and even fruits and vegetables count toward your daily intake but H2O is your best bet.
Tip 4: Scurrrt, stop right there!
Take some time to just relax, be present and aware of what’s going on in your surrounding moment to moment. This practice, called mindfulness, has been shown to decrease anxiety, cut binge eating, and even increase self-esteem and optimism. Sounds freaking awesome to me. Personally, I’ve seen a difference in how I react to stressful situations when I started practicing mindfulness. While everyone else is stressing out about what to do with the overcooked turkey I’m just taking in the moment and not letting it overwhelm me. It does take practice so Mindful offers a few key steps to developing mindfulness. Try it out and see some of the stress melt off you like a slab of butter on a hot biscuit!
Tip 5: Give back to the community!
Whether you serve a meal at the community kitchen or help young children improve their reading, find some time to do something for others. I for one have many things to be grateful for. So share your own gratitude by spending time with others in your community. Volunteering has great health benefits as well. A report authored by the Corporation for National and Community Service presented research showing that volunteering has been shown to increase life expectancy, decrease depression and even lower pain intensity for those with chronic pain. Overall, giving back has a immense impact on the climate of the nation. As a former AmeriCorps member I’ve seen this first hand. Being involved in the the community is a key start to bettering the community.
Do you have any tips that you use to keep happy and healthy during the holidays?? What else would you add to this list? Leave a comment and share your tips below!
*Sidenote: Let’s be real for a sec. Summer is the best time of the year here in Chicago! I looooove the holidays but I’m not trying to lose my fingers and toes in this cold a** weather lol