It is that time of year again! Many of us forget what the holiday season is really about as we get sucked into the hustle and bustle. It is always important to take care of yourself in the midst of trying to get each thing done. Here are some tips to make your holiday healthy!
- Make a to-do list: Put simple things on your list so you do not forget to do them. When they are done, it is rewarding to cross them off!
- Plan ahead: Don’t procrastinate. Wrap presents as you buy them, rather than doing it all at once.
- Keep a schedule: Try to eat, go to bed, and wake up at the same times every day. Keeping a routine as much as you can will make going back to work and school much easier when the holidays end.
- Keep clean: Wash your hands and wipe down commonly touched surfaces often. Sickness is easily spread, especially this time of year with many indoor gatherings.
- Decorate carefully: Avoid fire risks by removing anything flammable from areas near candles or fireplaces. Check cords to make sure they are not frayed or broken. If young children will be present, remove any unsafe decorations. When using a ladder, be sure it is sturdy and on flat ground before climbing.
- Check the weather: Travel when the weather is good and if there is a chance of bad weather, plan to leave earlier or later. Talk with those traveling to and from your home to be sure they are safe. Always travel with an emergency kit in your car.
- Remember your nutritional needs: Skipping a meal to save time or calories often backfires and leads to overeating. When planning to host or help with a meal, provide a dish that you not only enjoy, but fits your nutritional needs. There are fun ways to substitute ingredients to change the nutritional value. Choose your drinks wisely and be sure to stay hydrated. When chatting, avoid standing next to the food table to prevent mindless eating. Only eat until satisfied, not stuffed. There are always leftovers.
- Watch what you drink: If you plan to drink alcohol, find a ride. Don’t drive impaired.
- Stay active: Find fun ways to get in physical activity; play a family sports game, ask a friend to join you on a walk, or have a dance party. These are just a few of many options!
- Practice gratitude: Remember why you are doing all the extra work during the holidays. Be grateful for even the littlest of things. Thank those who give gifts and are there to celebrate with you.
- Make time for you: You will not be able enjoy the fun celebrations if you do not feel well mentally or physically. Try to get enough sleep, eat right, drink water, and take a break every now and then. Do not push yourself to do more than you have time or energy for. Also, make sure you do things you enjoy.
- Ask for help: Make a list of ways others can be helpful if they ask. When they do ask, give them some ideas. It may not be done exactly how you would do it, but sometimes that is okay.
- Say no: It is okay to say no if there is an event you do not want to go to, treat you do not want to eat, or carol you do not want to sing. Going out of your comfort zone is not always a bad thing, but it is if it makes the holidays less fun.
- Practice good boundaries: If an uncomfortable topic comes up or an unwanted house guest comes, it is okay to stand up for yourself. Have realistic expectations of yourself and others.
- Share grace (for yourself and others): Did you eat more cookies than you meant to? It is okay. Do not beat yourself up. You can go for a walk or play an active game with the kids to work off the extra calories. Do you have a family member that gets on your nerves, or someone snapped at you over a simple thing? Perhaps they are a little stressed and struggling right now.
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