The holidays can be a mix of both cheer and stress. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the pressures of hosting your family, organizing times to get together and all the while trying to remain in good health. While it is stressful, the holidays can also feel like a sort of “vacation,” in that you get roped into believing that you don’t need to take as good care of yourself than usual (i.e., eating things you probably shouldn’t, slacking on exercise routine, etc.) This is simply not true. You still have a responsibility to yourself to keep up healthy habits.
Here are a few tips to reduce stress and stay healthy during the holidays:
- Make healthy decisions. Nobody wants to – especially during the holidays – but everyone should. Going for the veggie platter rather than the cookie jar, eating proportionally and knowing what foods might come back to bite you are a few examples of healthy decision-making.
- Follow dietary restrictions. Don’t just do it to stay out of trouble with your doctor. Realize that these restrictions are for your benefit and will help you live a longer and healthier life!
- Stay hydrated. This is really important; getting dehydrated can lead to hospitalization… Who wants to spend Christmas in the hospital? Staying well-hydrated will keep you far from harm.
- Keep exercising. To make it more fun, take family members with you! If it is too cold or the sidewalks are icy, head to the mall and do some laps while window shopping.
- Rest after traveling. It’s important to remember that we aren’t all as young as we once were. Traveling or simply being active for hours on end can be exhausting! Remember to take a break every now and then to breathe and relax. Play a slower game with your grandkids or read a book.
- Share the love. Gifts are one of the biggest stress-causers at this time of year. Worrying about what to get people, how much to buy, if it will be good enough… The list goes on and on. This Christmas, switch up the gift giving by trying these alternatives:
- Think small. There is no pressure for a jaw-dropping, perfect present. Lots of family members can be happy with a smaller, yet meaningful gift.
- IOU. These are great options if you don’t have a gift now. Use a “$20 from Grandma” coupon, and let the relatives pick!
- Group-giving! Give one larger thing that the whole family can enjoy! Things like a new X-box, a trip to the movies or a day at the museum can be great ways to give one thing.
- Don’t do it all by yourself. If it’s your family’s tradition to spend Christmas at your house, but you don’t feel up to it this year – ask! Talk to your kids or grandkids and see if they’d be willing to host Christmas at their house. Sometimes it’s fun to change up traditions. If no one else can do it, have a few of them come early to help clean, cook and set up! Don’t carry all of the pressure alone.
Hopefully this list has been helpful to you, and you will heed our advice this holiday season. Remember that the holidays are ultimately about spending time with family and creating memories together, so try not to get bogged down by the pressures of the season. Merry Christmas!
What are some ways you de-stress during the holidays?