In the past few weeks, I’ve shared some strategies for eating healthfully and keeping the weight off during the holidays. However, staying healthy this time of year is about more than just eating right and exercising. Physical and emotional health both play a part in your overall health status, and the added stress of the holiday season can take a toll on both. Below are some strategies, courtesy of StayWell Online, to help you stay physically and emotionally healthy during the holidays, and all year long:
- Don’t do too much. Give yourself some time to relax.
- Share the workload. Let everyone play an active role; make the holidays a family affair so you’re not burdened with all the work.
- Establish priorities. You can’t do everything; say no to some demands on your time.
- Simplify your life. Be less elaborate this year. Relax your housekeeping and holiday preparations.
- Continue to exercise. Don’t let your regular regimen lapse.
- Eat healthy foods and limit your consumption of high-fat holiday treats. Serve healthy fare at your family’s holiday party.
- Ask yourself if you really enjoy all the rituals or whether they have merely become habits. Try adopting less elaborate traditions of holidays past.
- Don’t be afraid to scale down gift giving. You’ll probably receive a lot of support.
- If your annual party is too much to handle, postpone it until after the holidays when you have more time to prepare. This also will help alleviate post-holiday letdown by giving you something fun to anticipate.
- If you are unable to be with your family, get out around people. Plan to be with friends or volunteer to help others who also may be separated from their families.
The holidays can certainly be stressful, but it’s important not to let stress get the best of you. Employ some of these strategies and enjoy the season as much as you can.
The WellMASS blog will be taking a break for the holidays, and will be updated again the first week of January. Here’s wishing you the happiest of holidays, and a healthy new year!