We all know there’s no place like home for the holidays. But for the holidays, nothing beats making sure you and your family stay happy and healthy throughout the season. That’s the stuff holiday dreams are made of, especially with all the “over the river and through woods” and shopping malls and office parties and school functions and…, well you get the picture.
It gets so busy, it can be hard to make health a priority. But we’re here to help with some healthy tips and tricks for the season!
As you’re making all those lists and checking ’em twice, don’t forget to put these health tips at the top.
TIPS FOR A HEALTHY HOLIDAY SEASON
Keep things merry and brightly colored
With all the parties and family gatherings it can be tempting (and easy) to let nutrition take a back seat. Think of all the bright lights and colorful decorations as a reminder to add a little color to your diet. Bright reds and greens (and yellows and oranges) can keep your nutrition needs met during this busy season.
Making time for family meals can also help keep everyone going strong. Balanced meals not only keep everyone healthy, they also provide an opportunity to check in and see how everyone is doing.
Handle with care
There’s no way around it, the holidays can be stressful. That doesn’t mean you’re doomed to be the Grinch. Keeping your stress in check can be as simple as scheduling in some meditation, taking a walk around the block, or practicing a little mindfulness as you’re mixing up another batch of cookies.
Don’t forget that kids deal with stress during the holidays too. Keeping them engaged and involved in holiday traditions can help to subside their anxiety -and yours, too.
Jingle and jog all the way
Sneaking in a jog or a brisk walk can add some merry to a harried day, and making it a family affair can make everyone’s day a little brighter.
When the days get busy, use it as an opportunity to get creative with your exercise. A holiday shopping excursion, a family snowball fight, or dancing to some holiday tunes while cleaning or decorating the house are great ways to get your blood pumping too.
Dashing to the doctors
With so much dashing through the snow, it can be tempting to let a few items slide off your to-do list. Don’t let doctor appointments be any of them, though. Keeping on top of scheduled appointments can help keep everyone healthy and happy through the new year.
They can also help you stay on top of annual immunizations so the season’s greetings don’t turn in to the flu season’s greetings.
Settle in for a long winter’s nap
Late nights of shopping and gift wrapping may seem like an unavoidable holiday tradition, but making sure you get a full night’s rest will make everyone’s holidays happier. Of course, reality can sometimes have different plans. When late nights happen, a power nap can help you keep alert and focused during the holiday rush.
Be sure to have the kids are nestled all snug in their beds too. The holidays can be an exciting time for children, but they still need at least nine hours of sleep to be at their merriest and brightest.
The heart of the holidays
Time for a not-so-fun holiday fact—the risk of heart attacks and strokes increases during the winter months. This is due to multiple factors including diet, activity levels, and stress. It means that keeping track of your health and medications should be a top priority.
If you’re taking medication for your blood pressure make sure to stay on top of your daily doses. Scheduling an appointment with your doctor can also help to keep you on track for a heart healthy holiday.
Spread holiday joy not germs
Before you share your holiday spirit, be sure to make sure you aren’t sharing anything else. With all the greetings and meetings, the holidays are a great for sharing your time and, unfortunately, your germs.
Thankfully, your best defense against holiday illness may in fact be the simplest one. Washing your hands before and after certain activities can help to protect you and others from the spreading germs.
Don’t Forget to Enjoy!
Keep these tips in mind, but above all, remember to actually enjoy the holidays. After all, they only come once a year!
Beating yourself up over perceived slip-ups, like enjoying a seasonal treat, isn’t good for anyone. And a little indulgence here and there won’t negatively impact your health too much, but stressing over it might.
So, be sure to slow down, savor the season, and enjoy your health and the health of those around you.