T’is the season for overeating, over spending and stressing out! During this time of year most of us are running around trying to find the perfect gift for friends and family. We get overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, attending holiday parties, cooking holiday meals, all the while getting stressed out, eating unhealthy and putting on the dreaded holiday pounds. But it doesn’t have to be utter insanity! That’s not what the holidays are for. You can have a wonderful holiday season that is healthy and less stressful, by following theses simple strategies.
Here is a list of 10 tips to help you have an enjoyable, healthy and less stressful holiday season.
- Keep it simple: Most people appreciate small, thoughtful gifts just as much as expensive ones. It shows you put some thought into it and it makes the gift more personal. Making crafts, homemade baked goods, framed photos with an added personal touch, homemade recipe book, or a book you know they wanted to read. These are simple gifts that are inexpensive and come from the heart.
- Eat in Moderation: You can still enjoy all the food at the party including the sweet stuff if you eat in moderation and try not to eat too late.
- Breathe: When you feel yourself starting to get stressed, the easiest and quickest way to reduce it is by breathing. The proper way to breathe to help you relax is by breathing in deeply, so much that your lungs expand for 4 seconds, then hold your breath for 4 seconds then breathe out completely through your mouth for 4 seconds. Do this for 3 or 4 rounds and you will start to feel your stress melt away. You can do this in your car, in your bedroom or anywhere. It will take you less than 1 minute to regroup.
- Stick to Your Regular Healthy Habits: Continue with healthy lifestyle habits. Be sure to not skip meals or workouts, get enough sleep and stay well hydrated. These are the simple things that will help you stay energized and able to enjoy the holidays without burning out.
- Avoid Excuses When it Comes to Exercise: This is the time of year when we create every excuse in the book not to exercise. We say we are too busy, we have no time or it’s too cold to go to the gym. You don’t have to go to the gym to exercise. Take a walk after dinner, pop in an exercise dvd, take the stairs, park the car further out at the mall parking lot so you have to walk, or dance at the holiday party instead of being a wall flower.
- Relax Every Day: Find at least a few minutes during each day for some healthy relaxation. Be it meditation, reading a book or a warm bubble bath, are all are terrific ways to unwind for a few minutes. Be sure to get at least one relaxing activity in each day.
- Drink A Lot of Water: Drinking water will help you feel full. Add a little lemon for flavor or have a flavored sparkling water. Try to stay away from sugary soft drinks. Sugary drinks will increase cravings and make you feel hungry.
- Creative Visualization: When you feel stressed-out take five minutes to visualize your special place. Close your eyes breathe and see yourself travel to place of relaxation. Be it a beach, laying by a relaxing fireplace or in a cabin with your special someone. Do visualization for five minutes and feel the stress disappear so you can move on with a less stressful day.
- Don’t Drink Like A Fish and Drive: Go easy on the alcoholic drinks. Remember we want to make it to the New Year. If you plan on drinking make sure you have a designated driver or a way to get home safely. Drinking in moderation is always the safest and healthiest way to go.
- Do Something Special For Yourself: We do so much for others during this time of year and often we forget to do things for ourselves. Treat yourself to a massage, a manicure, a pair of new shoes, or something as simple as a movie. Doing something special for yourself during the holiday season helps you feel happy and less stressed, plus you deserve it!
These are just a few simple strategies that you can use to make things go smoothly for you. The holiday season should be one to enjoy with your friends and family. Too much stress and too much overindulgence will come back to haunt in the New Year. Happy Holidays!