- Dr. Eric Carlsen
Holiday Stress? Try Our Top 5 Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season
If the holidays sometimes leave you feeling overwhelmed and out of control, you’re not alone. And if the Grinch has stolen your spirit and good intentions, try some of these tips to reclaim your ho-ho-ho and stay happy and healthy.
1. Keep up healthy habits.
Make a pact with yourself during the holidays. For example, decide that you’ll move more and do something active every day over the next three weeks. Take it a step further, and pledge to start the day with a healthy breakfast, limit the sweets and get at least seven hours of sleep each night. If you don’t completely give up your healthy habits, you won’t feel like you have to start over once the holidays are over.
2. Beware of seasonal sweets.
The holidays often dish up extra helpings of less-than-healthy treats. Try preparing healthy snacks that are ready to eat when the urge to snack strikes. If you’re hosting a holiday party, challenge yourself to make delicious and healthier options using our recipes and cooking tips.
3. Stay active.
Instead of beating yourself up about missing a workout, sprinkle some healthy activities into your daily routine. For example, if the weather isn’t too frightful and you’re working from home, ride your bike around your neighborhood during a lunch break. If dinner is going to be a feast, opt for a light lunch, then take a vigorous walk. And keep the family moving. When the kids are home from school, squeeze in some active chores and trips to the park.
4. But not too active.
Give yourself the gift of peace. If you need some downtime to recharge, declare a “me-treat” and do something that relaxes you. Try yoga, meditation, or spending time in nature.
5. Make a plan for the new year.
Your poinsettia’s pooped and the gifts are all gone. Now what? It’s a great time to reset for the new year – but don’t go dashing through your to-do list too fast, or you might not stick to your plan. Layout realistic, sustainable steps for the months ahead. For example, start a daily walking routine and sign up for a virtual Heart Walk before you set your sights on that marathon.
Credit: American Heart Association