The holidays are upon us which ushers in a host of different emotions from excitement and wonder to stress and exhaustion. With a plethora of traditional foods, events, and social obligations there are plenty of opportunities to not only enjoy ourselves but overdo it as well. There is a way to maintain health and balance while still savoring all the holidays have to offer. Consider the following ways to have a healthy holiday season:
Look at what is going in your mouth
Tis the season for sweets, sweets, and more sweets. Not only that, there are a number of rich, savory dishes that tend to be favorites throughout holidays. Perhaps your traditions prevent you from wanting to completely cut out every indulgence, but consider being more judicious about what you and your family partake in throughout the month. I frequently talk about the damaging effects of inflammation and how foods such as sugar, dairy, and gluten can cause inflammation and weight gain all over the body. Choosing to deflame [link to previous article about this topic] our bodies not only helps with maintaining a healthy weight, but it also helps you feel better overall. Try finding new and delicious recipes to include in your holiday meals and treats – and find a way to not overindulge on the beloved dishes.
Be aware of your stress
Don’t you love it when someone says, “don’t get stressed, it’s not a big deal!” Or, maybe someone suggests an overly simplistic way of eliminating stress, like it’s as easy as saying, “be gone!” The fact is, stress is part of our everyday lives; however, the more we are aware of the stress we feel, or the triggers, the better we can be about managing that stress so that it’s not unhealthy for you and your family. Holidays come with obligations which can lead to added stress on you and each of your family members. Go into this holiday season being more aware of those events, relationships, obligations, etc. that tend to add stress and find a way to approach them differently. When we keep our stress-regulated, we’ll often have greater control over aspects that impact how we feel each day.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention rest. I see the impact that the lack of rest can have on individuals, which is why I’ve dedicated my practice to helping restore comfort and sleep to my patients. Holidays can mean vacation, no school, no work, family sleepovers, movie nights, etc. – all wonderful things. However, make sure you are making rest a priority for you and your family; lack of sufficient sleep will invite illness, fatigue, and irritability – all of which no one wants during the holidays!
Come out of your holiday season feeling better than when you entered it!