There are an untold amount of articles full of advice on how to eat healthy during the holidays. While it is very important to formulate a plan on how to approach a buffet during this season of sugar, fat and salt, it is also a time to focus on keeping up with other aspects of your health.
As we travel, change our routines and load up our to-do lists, many aspects of our life that should be top priority can drop in importance. While it’s fine to miss a couple yoga classes or stay up late one night talking to friends, completely abandoning all your routines can have a negative impact on your health. To avoid a complete destruction of normalcy, start planning your new routine for the holiday season.
Here are some ways to stay on top of your health this season.
We can all admit that the holidays can be a stressful time. Your routine is thrown off, there is a long list of tasks, demands from friends and family, budget worries and the pressure to be jolly. While you cannot control time and skip to January, you can be master of your own stress level.
Heightened emotions during this time can lead to overindulgence in things like alcohol, caffeine and/or food. Know that it is OK to be emotional during this time. Acknowledge your feelings and find ways that work for you to relieve that negative emotion.
Ideas for combatting stress:
Refresh time blocks – Take time to stop what you are doing and take some deep breaths. Clear your mind and feel your body and brain relax as you concentrate on your breath. Set alarms throughout your day as a reminder.
Write it down – Write a list of all your tasks and set priority level. Break it down into hours, days or weeks – whatever works for you. Remember to add in things that are good for you like exercise times, reading breaks or a phone call to a friend.
Set a budget – Your bank account can take a hard hit during the holidays. Setting a budget is a good way to take some of the stress out of this financial burden. Make a list and mark which costs are priority (e.g. flight back home or gift for a child) and then look at your other costs and see if you can find ways to lower costs.
Love the Zzzs
The holidays seem like the perfect time to get cozy under those fluffy blankets and get much-needed rest, but somehow this never seems to be what happens. Usually, our schedules get so overloaded, time spent in dream land is the first thing sacrificed. Make this year the season of rest.
You need to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night to stay healthy. Sleep is a time when your body is restored, so skipping bedtime can have a cumulative negative effect for your whole body. Work hard to stick to a sleep schedule.
Pack the Legwarmers
You do not have to resort to using your mom’s old workout tapes when home for the holidays, but you might need to change up your exercise routine. Since your schedule likely will be different, it makes sense to adapt your exercise routine, too. Try walking after meals, finding new running routes, encouraging your family to be active with you, setting a new challenge or making a workout pact with a friend.
Whatever you do, just make sure you actually do it. Exercise will help you stay physically healthy and help improve your mood by reducing stress, fighting fatigue and releasing tension.
Call the Doc
Get ahead of the New Year’s resolution health curve by seeing a physician before the end of the year. Discuss health goals and how you should best approach them with your physician. You should also get a flu shot while you’re in the office if you haven’t already been vaccinated this year. Nothing drags down the holidays like the flu.
You can make this time of year one you look forward to with a bit of prep and focus. Remember to keep both your physical and mental health a top priority throughout the season. Most things you can do yourself, but when you need some help, we are here for you.
To find a physician and make an appointment, please call 903-596-DOCS.