Disclosure :: this post is sponsored by Touro Infirmary.
5 Tips to Maintain Wellness During the Holidays
While the holiday season is a wonderful time to celebrate with family and friends, for many of us, it can become a time for overeating, weight gain and stress. The change from your everyday routine can cause you to neglect your health. These five simple tips can help you avoid overindulging and overdoing things and instead have a happy and healthy holiday season.
Plan time for exercise!
During the holidays, our activity levels usually change as exercise routines get interrupted. However, exercise helps relieve stress and prevent weight gain. A moderate, daily exercise can help partially offset increased holiday eating. First, don’t give up cardio exercise just because you don’t have time to do your usual daily workout. Steal 5 minutes here and there a few times a day to get close to your goals. Try opting for the most convenient choices, like running in place wherever you are, taking those two flights of stairs instead of the elevator, or walking around the mall a few times before you complete your holiday shopping. Don’t forget to engage your family in fitness. For example, go for a family walk after dinner or play a game that involves physical activity.
Practice emotional health!
It’s easy to become overwhelmed this time of year, especially if you believe something is lacking in your holiday celebration. Below are a few stress-relieving tips:
- Take a few minutes throughout the day to practice deep, relaxation breathing. This helps calm your central nervous system.
- Take a break from demanding tasks. Do something that you enjoy that nurtures you, like a taking a bubble bath or going out for a quick walk.
- If you can’t be with your family, plan to be with friends or volunteer to help others who may also be separated from their families.
- If your finances are stretched, don’t be afraid to scale down on gift giving. Your family and friends will understand.
Know yourself and your limits. The keyword is balance. If you are someone who finds pleasure in having a slice of pie with your holiday meal, then have that slice and embrace it. If you have already had three slices of pie, then think long and hard about that fourth slice. Know yourself and determine what is acceptable for you and what is not.
Remember the importance of protein, fiber and healthy fats. We tend to overindulge sugar during the holidays and skimp on the foods that keep us full and satisfied. Make sure you have vegetables and protein on your plate to help regulate your blood sugar and keep you feeling full longer. This also helps you to have a clearer mind when passing the dessert table.
Another tip is to snack before you eat. If you are heading to a holiday party, eat before the party. Try a light snack, such as raw vegetables, fruit or a granola bar to curb your appetite, and limit your portions on the high calorie party food.
Lastly, make your home a safe haven for you and your family. Assume that what you have in your house will eventually go into your body. Keeping unhealthy food around puts thoughts and temptation in your mind and is simply too difficult for anyone’s willpower. Send the extras home with others or make a drop off to a family in need.
Aim to keep your family balanced as well!
Make family and friends your focus. The holidays are a time to relax, slow down, and catch up with those you love. Consider a family game night, spending time outdoors, or volunteering at a community center.
Children are especially vulnerable to becoming overstimulated during the holiday season. Here are some ways to keep them grounded:
- Include kids in the preparation phase. Let the children help you decorate and bake, even if it means your creations aren’t perfect.
- Teach children the meaning of giving. Adopt a family in need and let the kids help make a meal for them. Suggest that your children buy a gift for an underprivileged child with their own money.
- Consider implementing new family traditions.
Enjoy the celebration … in moderation!
If you overindulge at a holiday party, simply get back on track.
Don’t consider yourself a failure if you eat more food than you anticipated. Diet slips are a normal part of life. Avoid negative thoughts and try to do better the next time.
Remember the importance of not drinking and driving. Designated drivers are always a good idea. As an alternative, transportation options are just a click away on your phone these days.
Be safe out there and have a healthy and happy holiday season!
About Dr. Brianne Anderson
Dr. Brianne Anderson specializes in OB/GYN at Crescent City Physicians, Inc., a subsidiary of Touro Infirmary. After earning her medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Dr. Anderson completed residency at University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS. Dr. Anderson is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Anderson values the physician / patient relationship because she strives to understand what is important to her patients and become a confidant to guide them through varying stages of life.