Tips to Staying Healthy and Happy During the Holidays



The holidays are supposed to be a time of excitement and happiness, spending time with friends and family, and going to parties.  However, all the extra things can cause you to be stressed out, which can negatively affect your health.  Try these tips to keep yourself in the holiday spirit this season.

Eat well.  It can be common to overindulge and gain weight during the holidays, but you can indulge in treats and special meals without overdoing it.  Keep track of what types of food you are eating, and try to balance the less nutritious meals and snacks with something that’s better for you.  Eat smaller meals throughout the day instead of eating one huge meal.  Try to stick to healthier options at home, and bring a healthy dish with you if you’re visiting others.  Be careful of the calories of alcoholic beverages as well.

Stay active.  Don’t slack off on the exercise just because it’s holiday season.  You should still try to be active at least four to five times a week, if possible with some aerobic exercising every day.  While it might be tempting to stick to inside exercising when it’s cold outside, don’t forget that the winter season can offer unique types of exercise, such as ice skating and sledding.  Make it a fun time with family and friends, and get bonding time as well as exercise time.

Prevent illness and injuries.  The holiday season also means cold and flu season, so make sure to do everything to prevent getting sick.  Make sure you wash your hands regularly, and encourage others to do the same.  Dress for the weather in layers to help keep you warm.  To prevent injuries make sure to sprinkle sand on icy patches, and keep an eye on young children or elderly people who might be more prone to falling down.

Check your heating system.  Make sure your heating system is working properly and safely.  Install a carbon monoxide detector and test it once a month.  Keep grills and generators outside of the house, and don’t run your car in an enclosed garage for any lengthy periods of time.  Most residential fires occur during the winter months; never leave fireplaces, stoves, candles, or electric lights unattended.

Travel safely.  With extra people traveling during the holiday season, make sure to give yourself extra time to reach your destination, no matter what mode of travel you’re taking.  Keep an eye on weather reports, and listen to any weather warnings.  If you’re traveling away from home, make sure to have any medications with you.  Know how to contact your doctor when you’re out of town, and know where the local ER is wherever you are.  Never drink and drive.

De-stress.  While the holiday season can be fun and exciting, it can also be a very stressful time.  In addition to your normal work schedule, there’s also the added pressure of holiday shopping, and extra social commitments to your family and friends.  Finances can also be a major source of stress during the holidays.  Try to anticipate any sources of stress you might have and take steps to manage them.  Committing to fewer events and get-togethers and setting a tighter budget for yourself are just two ways to help manage holiday stress.  Make sure to take care of yourself first.

Help others.  Depression and thoughts of suicide can increase for some during the holidays.  Keep an eye on those around you for any signs of depression, and support those in need.  Invite anyone who is alone to spend time with you, and volunteer and give to those less fortunate.

Treat yourself.  While helping others tends to be the focus during the holidays, make sure to take care of yourself as well.  Even if it’s only something like sleeping in one day, reading a book you’ve been meaning to read, or giving yourself a manicure, take time to do something that makes you happy.