As the holidays come around, weather gets colder, flu season begins, and the stress of family events starts to affect everyone. All of these things can lead to feeling run down and tired, but that is no way to spend the holidays! It is better to keep active and happy this season—and make it your best one yet. Here are some tips for keeping physically and emotionally healthy this holiday season for a healthy holidays.
Heathy Holiday Rule 1. Focus on family and not on food
While it is easy during holiday parties and family gatherings to just keep eating and load up on your mom’s famous casserole, try to concentrate on your family. Make having good conversations and playing fun games the priority—not eating.
Heathy Holiday Rule 2. Learn how to say no
You don’t have to attend every single holiday party. Prioritize and don’t stress yourself out. By saying no to some, you can more enjoy others. This will keep your stress levels down, and also allow you to indulge a bit more at the events most important to you.
Heathy Holiday Rule 3. Plan a future walk or run
Although around the holidays exercise might be the last thing on your mind, try to plan a run (like a 5k or fundraiser walk) to keep you motivated to exercise. If those aren’t your thing, then plan workouts with your best friend after large holiday meals.
Heathy Holiday Rule 4. Reduce portion size
One of the best ways to keep healthy during large holiday meals is to watch portions. You can still enjoy all your favorite dishes, but try to have small bits of high-calorie dishes. Grab more of the vegetable dishes, and have them take up lots of room on your plate.
Heathy Holiday Rule 5. Watch what you drink
Having a few drinks during holiday parties is usually a must—but watch out for them. Liquid calories can be hard to keep track of, and are a secret contributor to holiday weight gain. Try to drink a non-alcoholic beverage in between drinks—it will help with calories and with that holiday hangover.
Heathy Holiday Rule 6. Bring a healthy dish
To make sure there is something healthy at a holiday event, bring your own healthy dish! It not only gives everyone in attendance a healthy option, but you can grab a big portion of something you know is nourishing.
Heathy Holiday Rule 7. Wash your hands often
With all the hugging, handshaking, and passing of plates—holidays season is germ central. Make sure to wash hands often throughout parties and dinner—way more than usual. It will keep you and those you care about from getting sick.
Heathy Holiday Rule 8. Get plenty of sleep
Non-stop parties and time with family and friends can be stressful and tiring. Stay in one weekend to rest up if you need it—it is important to get lots of sleep to keep your immune system strong during the winter. You don’t want to find yourself sick and missing out on making memories with your family.
Heathy Holiday Rule 9. Be realistic and don’t try to lose weight
This holiday season isn’t the time to try out a new diet plan. Make you goal to stay the same weight—not to lose it. That is what New Years resolutions are for! Let yourself indulge a bit during the holidays, and don’t put yourself on a strict diet that will make you feel envious of everyone enjoying holiday cookies.
Heathy Holiday Rule 10. Don’t feel guilty—but be proactive
If you eat too much during a meal with friends and family—don’t beat yourself up over it. Don’t feel guilty, but feel inspired to be proactive. Spend the next day eating especially healthy and go on a long walk. Or if it is too cold, do some indoor workouts. Load up on healthy food for the next few days, and you will feel so great you won’t even remember the super unhealthy meal you ate days before.