As the holiday season draws closer, you may find yourself indulging more than usual on sweets, rich foods or alcohol. While the holiday season is certainly a wonderful time to break bread with friends and family and share in delicious, seasonal fare and refreshments, it's always helpful to remain mindful of your body's needs to help prevent holiday burnout or illness.
The cumulative effect of too many late night holiday parties, home baked cookies and celebratory glasses of champagne can wreak real havoc on your body. While you may enter the holiday season filled with joy and excitement, after overindulging, you may find yourself run down, bloated, tired and chasing the blues.
Believe it or not, it is possible to enjoy and celebrate the holidays fully without overdoing it. If you stay connected to your body, make sure to get proper rest and incorporate healthy nutrients and invigorating exercise into your days, you're sure to stay fired up all season long. We've compiled a list of 10 ways to keep your health on track throughout the holiday season. Keep it handy when you need it, and make this year's holidays your healthiest yet!
- Sleep. There's no way to get around it-our bodies need sleep to function optimally. During the holidays, when we're balancing busy work, family and social schedules, sleep becomes the fuel that helps keep us going. Get rest, and make it your number one priority.
- Exercise. While it may be hard to drag yourself out of bed on cold mornings, moving your body is more crucial now than ever. Exercise will help to balance out holiday overindulgences, while also boosting your mood and supplying you with needed energy.
- Eat Clean. Certainly, you'll want to leave yourself room to enjoy holiday dinners and seasonal treats from time to time, but make sure to exercise moderation when you can. Make a point to eat as clean as possible throughout the week to help keep your brain and your body alert and healthy. Incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into your meals while avoiding processed foods.
- Make Time for Quiet. Carve out time to cozy up in your happy place and get connected. While it might seem counterintuitive, the holidays are a perfect time of year to slow down and be quiet. Make time to reflect on the year and all that you have to be grateful for, and you'll find yourself feeling more fulfilled than ever.
- Set Up Emotional Support. Let's face it-for some, the holidays can be a stressful, challenging and emotional time. Don't try to go it alone. Instead, reach out to those who can provide you with emotional support to help you weather rough days.
- Balance Spending. Holiday shopping can be a exciting, and giving to the ones we love is certainly rewarding. Overspending can leave us with a case of sticker shock come January, and going into debt is never a great way to start a new year. Exercise moderation and balance spending with a budget you can stick to.
- Get Outside. As the days grow shorter, our need for a dose of Vitamin D will only grow. Shake up long days spent inside with a short walk outside, and soak up warm, natural light and invigorating, fresh air.
- Keep a Journal. Stay connected and present during busy times by keeping a daily or weekly journal. Reflect on the year or simply write about your gratitude.
- Limit alcohol. In the midst of an exciting social calendar, remember the rule of moderation when it comes to drinking alcohol. Overdoing it can quickly zap your energy and leave you feeling low (alcohol is a depressant).
- Limit sugar. Much like alcohol, when overdone, sugar can leave your body feeling wrecked and run down. Focus on balance and pay careful attention to how much sugar you bring into your diet.