The Christmas holiday season in the United States (and around the world, for that matter) can be one of the most challenging times of the year. Families and friends often gather to celebrate another close to the year during this time, and with celebrations comes more food and, possibly, stress. Parents are juggling work with family event and present obligations. School children seem to have a number of events scheduled just before having their annual holiday break from their studies. In short, there’s just a lot going on. With all of these obligations comes added struggles, including less time to rest, less time to cook at home, and less time for healthy hobbies.
While the holidays bring some challenges, there are actions you can take to enjoy a happier and healthier holiday season. Incorporating even just a few of these thirteen tips will help you make your next holiday season much better.
Avoiding stress altogether is difficult if not impossible. Just face it – stress is just part of life. With that said, it does not mean that you should allow stress to consume you day or night. During the holidays, you may be pulled in many directions, and your schedule may be jam-packed, but that does not mean you should let it get to you. Instead, know that there are only so many things that you can control. If you have hobbies that you often enjoy, it is important to do your best to maintain a bit of normalcy, especially during the crazy holiday seasons.
Get Your Rest
So, because of the holiday season, you now have ten more things to do this week. As a result, you feel the need to cram in more in an already-busy schedule. Can you squeeze two more things into the next hour after work? Holiday season or not, there are still only twenty-four hours in a day. You need balance; you need rest. Be sure to allow yourself some time to rest during appropriate parts of the day. Get your sleep and
Make Time To Prepare Meals
With a busy schedule, it often feels like there is little time to eat the good food options that your body really needs to sustain a healthy holiday season. Often, our holiday season finds us constantly on the go. When we get hungry, we can be without better, healthier food options – unless we are proactive and plan ahead. Set aside some time at night or even once per week to prepare and cook food that you can eat while on the go.
With extra items on your “To-Do” list, you need clean fuel to keep pace. Eating too much at one time (especially if the food selection is not great) can slow you down as your body tries to digest the food. On the other hand, forgetting to take the time to eat throughout the day can add undue stress onto your body and other negative side effects.
Set Aside Time For Exercise
It is easy to let your holiday schedule dictate your personal time, but don’t allow it to eliminate your exercise time. Exercise is a very important part of your quest for a healthier lifestyle, and it is even more important during the craziness that is the holiday season. Even if you only have 20 or 30 minutes to get into the gym on a given day or are only able to walk your dog through the neighborhood in the mornings, be sure to set aside time for exercise. Exercise provides you with many great benefits, one, of which, is improved energy. Who couldn’t use better energy levels throughout each day and night of the holiday season?
Do For Others
While we want to spend time with family and friends and possibly get a few exciting new gifts for Christmas, doing for others during the holiday season can provide even greater inner joy. When you do for others, you will feel better about yourself, knowing that you have made a positive difference in your community. As a result, your holiday season will be more productive and healthier. During the holiday season, there are a number of ways to give back. You could donate items to a food bank, volunteer time at a shelter, help a friend cook a meal for his or her family, or even just taking the time out to open a door for a stranger. No matter how big or small the sharing of time, money, and/or energy, you will find yourself enjoying an even better day!
During the holiday season, it is common to have more chances to drink alcohol. Companies host holiday parties for their employees, families and friends celebrate at bars, and those who are lonely often get the urge to indulge themselves in a few extra alcoholic beverages. While it is important to enjoy yourself during the holiday season, be sure to enjoy alcohol safely and in moderation. Drinking too much alcohol adds greater stress to your organs and often have numerous other dismal side effects. Knowing your limits and tolerance levels can be the difference between having a safe and healthy holiday season and enduring one that is unhealthy, unsafe, or even fatal. And remember to never drink and drive!
Keep a Reasonable Routine
When the schedule gets hectic, it is often easier to manage new tasks if you are already in a routine. Of course, you want to remain flexible to the changes that come with the holiday season, but having a routine already in place gives you an advantage over those who just “wing it!” Set a routine and stick to it. It can help you overcome the obstacles that appear throughout the holiday season.
Wash Your Hands
Usually, the holiday season brings more trips to the store, more interaction with people, and, hence, more chance of getting a cold or flu. By washing your hands regularly, you reduce the risk of getting sick. Don’t just wash your hands in the morning, when cooking, and after using the restroom. Wash your hands after interacting with friends and family, using a shopping cart, and touching public doors.
Stay Hydrated (With Water)
Water is always your best friend, and this is never truer than during the busy holiday season. Drinking plenty of water keeps you more energized, helps with digestion, increases the calorie burn rate (helps with metabolism), promotes weight loss, flushes out the toxins you might have been exposed to, helps improve your mood, and boosts the immune system. Remember that water is your best friend – drink it often.
Make an Appointment With the Doctor
While your schedule might be extremely jam-packed, don’t overlook medical ailments and symptoms. If you feel that you are getting sick, be sure to allow yourself time to visit a medical office. See your family doctor or even go to your nearest urgent care facility. Those medical professionals are there for you day and night. Don’t be stubborn; if you need to see a doctor, take the time to get medical attention. Make an appointment today! Avoiding it usually results in worse conditions and misery.
Leave Early For Events or Appointments
Lastly, the roadways get busier during the holiday season. Many of the people on the roads are in a hurry and trying to get to more places than they can reasonably get to. With more people on the highway, there is always a greater chance of getting into an accident or even being slowed down by accidents along your preferred routes. When possible, leave early and take your time. Have patience and just be sure to arrive at your destination safely. If you are shorter on time, use your mobile navigation options to find the best route to your next destination.
Following these tips, you’re sure to have a healthier and more enjoyable Christmas holiday season.
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