For many, the several weeks can produce extra stress, a breakdown in healthy eating habits and even depression. But you and your family can take on new traditions that may help reduce the season’s stress and make your holidays healthy and happy.
Take Care of Your Physical Health
Healthy habits are often put aside as the demands of the holidays build up. And stress can put additional demands on your body. Here are some tips for maintaining your health during the holiday season:
- Don’t do too much. Give yourself time to relax and just enjoy the holiday.
- Share the workload. Let everyone play an active role; make the holidays a family affair so you’re not doing all the work.
- Establish priorities. You can’t do everything; say no to some demands on your time.
- Simplify your life. Be less elaborate this year. Relax your housekeeping and holiday preparations.
- Continue to exercise. Don’t let your regular regimen lapse, but also find ways to inject a little fun into your scheduled exercise.
- Eat healthy foods. Limit your intake of high-calorie holiday treats (including alcoholic beverages) and find holiday treats that fit into your healthy lifestyle. Serve healthy fare at your family’s holiday party.
Keep Your Emotional Health in Check
It’s easy to become overwhelmed this time of year. Here are some ways to create new holiday traditions that will help level your emotions:
- Don’t try to create the “perfect” holiday or compare yourself to other people’s “perfect” holiday. Wearing yourself out can cause elevated stress and even trigger depression and anxiety.
- Ask yourself if you really enjoy all the holiday traditions. Identify what traditions and rituals are meaningful to you and what has just become a habit. Try adopting less elaborate traditions of holidays past.
- Avoid worrying about holiday debt by scaling down gift giving.
- If your annual party is too much to handle, postpone it until after the holidays. This will give you more time to prepare and will help alleviate post-holiday letdown by giving you something fun to anticipate.
- If you’re unable to be with your family, get out around people. Plan to be with friends or volunteer to help others who also may be separated from their families.
Join the conversation. What are you doing to ensure a healthy and happy holiday season?