Six Simple Tips to Make Healthier Holidays
The holidays are a happy time of year, but we all know it’s not all mistletoe and jingle bells. If healthier holidays are on your wish list, I’ve got some tips for you!
Make a List and Stick to It!
- I’m talking at the grocery store, online and at the mall. One of the greatest stresses over the holidays is financial worry. All of a sudden, you need to spend a lot more money than usual, and there is always that pressure to spend MORE. Instead, make a list of all the people you need to buy for and how much you want to spend and stick to it! One of my problems at the holidays is forgetting last minute gifts–you know the ones for the neighbors, your doctor, party hostess, etc. It’s a great idea to find something you like and stock up on it. This year I found a cute honey pot at Crate & Barrel, which I ordered 10 of! I’ll either fill with red and green chocolate kisses, or if time allows, make some orange-infused honey to put inside!
Don’t Bite Off More than You Can Chew (Literally and Figuratively!)
- At the party buffet, everything looks SO good, you want to fill your plate with it ALL! Then guess, what, you’ll also want to FINISH it all, even though you might be feeling full. Instead, do this: On the first go round at the buffet, put only the healthiest foods on your plate–salad greens, raw veggies etc. After filling up a bit on this, go back and be choosy, putting on your plate small bites of everything else.
- I have this tendency to think I can squeeze more in my schedule than I really can. Sound familiar? Note the idea above I had of making orange-infused honey for friends. I love making gifts in the kitchen, but sometimes I set myself up for failure (and another stress) because usually I really don’t have time! So now if I have a creative idea I’d like to pursue, I also make a plan B. Hence the idea above about filling those honey pots with kisses instead.
Eat Your Fruits and Veggies!
- Worried about holiday weight gain? Aren’t we all! I can almost guarantee you won’t gain any weight this holiday season if you make sure to eat at least 6 servings of fruits and veggies every day. You also need to eat them at the right time. When’s the right time? Before or at the beginning of a meal, and especially when on your way to a party or restaurant. This curbs your appetite a bit so you won’t be as tempted to overindulge.
Stretch, Breathe and Walk
- If you’re like me, your exercise schedule may go out the window with the first December cold front. Instead of beating yourself up over not going to the gym, find ways to incorporate some daily exercise into what you’re already doing. Hello shopping! Take a lap around the mall before you dig in to your wallet. Shopping online? Do 5 minutes of cardio between purchases. While your coffee is brewing or your tea is steeping in the morning, do a few minutes of stretching, toe touching, arm circles etc. It’s amazing how just a few minutes of stretching can help you start your day off relaxed. Speaking of coffee and tea–instead of pouring it on in large mugs throughout the day ( which in the end just increase anxiety), try to do something active. Go outside for a minute or two–cold weather can definitely make you more alert! Take the stairs–going up and down for a few minutes gets your blood pumping and wakes you up.
Watch Your Spirits
- During the holidays, you need to watch both types of spirits. Your mood of course, because sometimes the holidays bring up sad memories. it’s not uncommon to be surrounded by festivities yet feel sad and lonely. That’s a good time to talk to someone or do something nice for someone else to raise your spirits. Watch out for the other spirits too–the type served at holiday parties. It’s easy to overindulge, which temporarily lift our spirits but can ultimately push our mood even lower. Especially the morning after. Don’t drink alcohol to quench your thirst. Drink a glass of water before and while drinking alcohol. Find my post about alcohol-free cheer here!
Have an Attitude of Gratitude
- Have an attitude of gratitude. I recently read this post 4 Ways Gratitude Improves Your Health. It reminded me to be thankful for the little and the big things in life but also revealed the science that says being grateful can actually make you healthier. As I started thinking of things to be thankful for, it made me start to take a virtual walk in other’s shoes. I found myself going out of my way to do something nice for others. In addition to the everyday niceties of holding the door open and things like that, I thought about a way I could make someone’s life easier, if just for a little while. It brought my attitude to a whole other level of positivity! And what a splendid way to make healthier holidays!