How to Stay Happy and Healthy This Holiday Season

Despite the fact that the holiday season is supposed to be a time of cheer, many of us walk in with a smile and emerge feeling like we’ve gone a dozen rounds in a boxing ring.

Let’s face it: The holidays can be tough, and in our rush to please everyone else and do everything that’s crammed into our schedules, we tend to forget to take care of ourselves. This year, make a commitment to not only survive, but enjoy, the holiday season by staying healthy and happy. Here’s how:

Don’t overindulge. If there is a holiday party tucked into your daily schedule, begin your day normally with a breakfast high in fiber and protein. Throughout the day, be mindful of your caloric intake, and before the party, snack on foods that help satisfy the appetite, such as almonds, grilled chicken and string cheese. Have a plan for what you plan to eat and drink once you arrive, and then follow through with your strategy. Be especially mindful of limiting intake of high-fat foods, cream soups, dressings, red meats and baked goods.

Give yourself a break. The holiday season places additional deadlines and stresses on us, so if you don’t make it to the gym or you miss an occasional run, that’s okay. Go easy on the guilt by allowing yourself to make it to the gym when you can versus sticking to a strict schedule. Instead, find innovative ways to work out beyond the gym floor, such as parking at the back of the parking lot or taking a stroll to check out the holiday lights.

Walk away. Despite the pressing deadlines and the incoming rush of emails at work, you need to get up and walk away every now and again. The same is true when you need to get away from overbearing family members. Excuse yourself, and then take a few minutes to stretch, get a drink of water and even squeeze in a short walk. This gives your body the chance to move around, plus you can focus on your breathing, realign your thoughts and regain your composure before plunging back into your work or family obligations.

Have a financial plan. Studies have shown that generous people are healthier, happier, live longer and become wealthier over time, but that does not mean you should spend money you do not have. Rock-bottom deals are only good deals if you need the items on sale. If not, you’re just spending money. Before you dive head first into the holiday season, budget for gifts and holiday expenses, be aware of how much money you have saved up for the holidays, know what your credit card limits and interest rates are and make lists of what you actually need to buy. Having a plan helps people maintain frugality while shopping, and knowing what they need to buy keeps impulse purchases to a minimum.

What is your strategy for making it through this holiday season happy and healthy? Join us as we talk about other ways to beat holiday stress on Wednesday, December 8, at 6:30 p.m. Reserve your seat today.

REFERENCES

 

Tips to Help Alleviate Holiday Stress. Active.com. Retrieved December 7, 2010 from http://www.active.com/nutrition/Articles/Tips_to_help_alleviate_holiday_stress.htm.

Toth, Heidi. Avoiding Holiday Season Pit Falls to Stay Healthy, Wealthy, Sane. HeraldExtra.com. (November 25, 2010) Retrieved December 7, 2010 from http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/article_b1ae0f96-6ed3-5614-a725-e28f0a44e952.html.

Wellington, Chrissy, M.S., C.N.S., L.D.N., C.P.T. Maintain Your Health and Fitness This Holiday Season. Active.com. Retrieved December 7, 2010 from http://www.active.com/nutrition/Articles/Maintain-Your-Health-and-Fitness-This-Holiday-Season.htm.

Thank you!