Your Health and the Holidays: How to Reduce Stress, Enjoy the Parties, and Have a Happy New Year
The holidays are stressful. Yes, they're a lot of fun too, but it's too easy to forget to take care of yourself when you're running around from party to party or fretting about wrapping gifts. This means that tiny problems can snowball into bigger issues when it comes to your health.
In order to get the most out of this holiday season without getting yourself rundown and sick, we've compiled these ideas to keep you healthy and happy.
Image: Vinni via Flickr
Make sure you build tiny moments into your day to sit and do nothing. Free apps such as this Yoga Nidra one in the iTunes store come with a ten minute guided meditation. Just find a quiet room to get away from all the holiday noise and take a short break for deep breaths.
Image: Shannon Kringen via Flickr
It's tempting to meet up with friends who are in town at a cozy coffeehouse or restaurant. But skip the additional calories and take a walk instead. You can talk while you circle the neighbourhood, looking at the decorations.
Image: CherryPoint via Flickr
Make sure that you leave time for your exercise routine. Keep it sacred as the one activity that you must do every day, even if it means cutting short Christmas movie watching time or asking others to help you with preparations. A half hour of endorphin-releasing exercise can do wonders for your attitude and help you roll with the stress of the day.
Image: Katie via Flickr
There are 223 calories in a tiny cup of eggnog, and who drinks eggnog on its own without a few sugar cookies? After you've had your one taste of the 'nog for the season, switch to calorie-free drinks such as water or lower-calorie alcoholic beverages. Save your calories for food that will make you feel full.
Image: Javorac via Flickr
While a lot of grocery stores will be open for a few hours on Christmas Day, make sure you've checked all your prescriptions and filled them because pharmacies often be closed. You don't want to have a lapse in your medications over the already stressful holiday season so check those levels this weekend before pharmacies or doctor's offices close for the holidays.
Image: Chris Hunkeler via Flickr
With all the running around to get the house ready, the meals cooked, and the presents wrapped, don't forget to sleep. It sounds silly but too many health issues crop up when you're not hitting the pillow early enough, especially if you keep up a busy pace night after night. Set a limit for yourself and turn off the lights at the same time each night regardless of how much still needs to get done. You'll be able to tackle it better in the morning when you're well-rested.
Image: Arlington County via Flickr
No, we're not talking about showering. (Though that's good too!) Wash your hands every time you enter your house and several times throughout the day. The CDC calls it a Do-it-Yourself vaccine, and this simple step goes a long way in protecting your immune system from viruses and bacteria you may pick up at all those holiday parties.
Image: R4vi via Flickr
While you're putting all those decorative flowers in water, make sure you also pause to water yourself! Drinking water throughout the day will not only help you to eat less at those parties by giving you a sense of fullness, but it will help boost your immune system.
Tell us about the healthy choices that get YOU through the holidays.
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