When it comes to the holidays, it’s just a shame that people often end up feeling more stressed as opposed to less. It’s the holidays for crying out loud, and if there’s any time you deserve to feel your happiest or most content, it’s definitely now.
However, because of all the indulgent foods, gatherings and seemingly endless expenses, this period of time tends to feel like a spiral out of control for many.
Instead of barely feeling like you made it to the next year, take a look at some healthy holiday tips to help you enjoy the season while staying sane and balanced.
1. DON’T Deprive Yourself
The worst thing you can do during a big holiday is tell yourself, “It’s just lean protein and spinach for me!” There’s no reason you should feel like you totally have to block yourself off from all the yummy foods and drinks. You certainly can have stuffing and bread rolls – if you want them! If you have no desire to eat them – not even an inkling – then I commend you for being superhuman. Otherwise, it’s probably healthier to stop being so rigid with yourself by associating foods with such negative thoughts.
2. DO Practice Moderation
The key to it all? Moderation! If you want one of each thing on the holiday dinner menu, go ahead, but make sure your portions are appropriate. Don’t eat until you feel sick. Then it’s not fun anymore! Know your limit so you can continue enjoying your night and wake up the next day feeling a little less groggy.
3. DON’T Drink To Excess
From the hot mulled wine to spiked cider, there is plenty to drink, but a lot of the drinks are incredibly high in sugar. We think if you’re going to go overboard on the calories, don’t overdo it on drinks as you may be adding several hundred calories unknowingly. Of course, have a cocktail or two (maybe three), but drinking until you’ve had your body weight in liquor can’t possibly end well. Factor in your hangover and hangover cravings and we’ve got a 3-day recovery process on our hands. Yikes.
4. DO Drink A Ton Of Water
While I wish egg nog was a sufficient substitute for good ol’ H20, it certainly isn’t. You should continue drinking 2-3 liters of water on the daily throughout the holidays as they will hep curb cravings, keep you full(er) and flush out all that extra salt and sugar you’ve been ingesting. The bounce back and recovery is much faster if you make water a priority.
5. DON’T Beat Yourself Up
If you don’t drink as much water as you’d like or eat half a pie, oh well. There are probably worse things that could happen in the world, but you have to put it all into perspective. Beating yourself up over insignificant things like this will only breed more negativity in your life and that’s the last thing you want during such a supposedly joyous time.
6. DO Make Time For Exercise, Meditation & Self-Care
Instead of feeling negative or stressed, continue working out and doing things for you throughout the holiday season. I like to joke that November and December are the best times to hit the gym because no one is there and it’s absolutely true, but don’t let that be you! While I make it a rule to give my self a break on Christmas and Thanksgiving day, I continue working out on the day before and the day after so the bounce back is less arduous than it would be if I totally gave it up for weeks on end. You’d be surprised how much endurance you feel like you lose if you take even a week or two off!
7. DON’T Feel Like You Have To Accept Every Invitation
You will surely get a lot of invitations. Friendsgiving, Second Friendsgiving, Office holiday parties, SantaCon (if you’re into that kind of stuff)…. Don’t feel like you have to accept every single one – especially if you’re overwhelmed. If you are anything like myself, having to go out all the time makes you feel stressed as opposed to energized and like the life of the party. Go to events you really feel like you should be at and decide which ones you will be indulging at the most. Going to every single holiday event and going all out at each one will leave you more and more exhausted.
8. DO Make Time For Family & Friends
This is NOT to say that you should become a hermit and not go to anything. This is only a short period of time throughout the year that you have an excuse to get together with all your loved ones and just be merry. Even if it’s something cheesy like having your girlfriends over for a sleepover where you give each other holiday-themed manicures and listening to Christmas music, it’s a great time to reconnect.
9. DON’T Spend Frivolously
Expenses accumulate this time of the year. From presents to Thank You gifts, from nights out to buying the perfect party dresses for any and every occasion, the bills certainly do add up. We all are guilty of occasionally turning a blind eye to our bank and credit card statements, but this is not the time for that. Ignorance sure isn’t bliss in this scenario.
10. DO Make A Budget
Try to make a budget. There are some things you will need to spend money on – like gifts for the ‘rents – but understand that this may mean cutting back on the amount of meals you are eating out or the impromptu shopping trips when you’re bored. This will keep you more level-headed about your finances and, who knows, perhaps create some healthier spending habits!
All these tips will help keep a head on your shoulder during this whirlwind time so you can reach the next year in one peace. Wouldn’t that be something!?
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What are some healthy holiday tips you swear by?