How to Have Happier, Healthier Holidays

Sunday December 1, 2019 comments Tags: holidays, holiday stress, holiday eating, healthy

The holidays are upon us and we’ve concluded there is a reason so many people make health-conscious resolutions come New Year’s Day. It’s because, after all of the unhealthy activities of the holidays, you need a few weeks to detox your body to get it back on track.

It is, however, possible to have a healthier holiday so you don’t have to fix things, like your diet and your mental health, when January rolls around.

Here are ways you can have a healthier, happier holiday this year;

Handling Holiday Stress

Stress can be a big problem during this time of year, so fix that issue with the following tips:

  • Find your stressors—One of the biggest things you need to do before you can handle the stress of the holidays is determine exactly what your stressors are. This will go a long way toward helping you figure out how to avoid them. If you know the traffic of holiday shopping drives your blood pressure up, consider cutting back on spending so much or simply do all of your shopping online and skip the busy malls. If you break out in hives at the thought of trying to cook a huge holiday meal, find a caterer to handle the cooking or coordinate responsibility sharing with other family members so you can all enjoy a less stressful experience.
  • Take time for yourself—The holidays are all about selflessness and giving to others, but don’t forget about yourself. Take the time to do something which brings you joy and relaxes you. This can include just a simple night with friends relaxing or something silly like chilling out on the couch with a classic, feel-good, holiday film like It's A Wonderful Life or A Christmas Story (You'll shoot your eye out!).
  • Exercise—You might think this one is crazy. Who has time to exercise during the holidays? But this can serve two functions. First, it’s a great stress reducer during this really anxiety-fueled time of year. Second, it can help you with handling the extra calories that pile up during the holidays. That leads us to our next point, how to eat better this holiday season.

Eating Healthier During the Holidays

This one is a big problem for many people. We rationalize all of the overeating as just putting on our “winter weight.” But the abundance of carb-heavy foods and holiday parties can take its toll. This year, you can try the following:

  • Stay hydrated—Drinking water, especially right before a party or big meal, can help you fill up more on something that won’t add calories. Also, drinking lots of water can help you stay healthy in general, so it’s always a good idea to keep a water bottle handy throughout the day.
  • Drink responsibly—One of the biggest sources of calories during holiday parties are not on your plate, but in your glass. This year, try to cut back on drinking too much. This will not only help with unnecessary calories, but it will also cut down on those post-party hangovers.
  • Moderation in eating—It’s just crazy to say that you are going to completely avoid the “bad foods” on the dinner buffet or holiday party tables. No one is going to make it through the holidays with the celery sticks from the veggie tray. Don’t cut out these sweet treats, but just cut back on portion sizes. If you get a slice of cheesecake, cut it in half and share it with your partner or a friend.

Perhaps the biggest tip that we can offer you this holiday season is to spend time with your friends and family and enjoy yourself. Get out of the house and go cruise around town and check out the local lights and tacky holiday displays. Do as many “fun” things as you can and let others worry about stressing out this holiday.