The holidays are a delightful time of year, filled with cheer and goodwill. It’s a time of gifting and receiving. It’s a time of merriment. But sometimes, too much of a good thing doesn’t feel so great – or look so great – when your favorite outfit barely fits after one too many gingerbread cookies.
Fear not! Here are a few tips on how to enjoy the season without completely overdoing it:
#1) Make time to exercise. Even if you don’t go to the gym as often as usual given your extra social schedule, don’t blow it off completely. Stick to at least twice a week. And if getting to the gym feels like a feat in itself, then replace the treadmill with a walk outside the office at lunchtime or take the stairs instead of the elevator at work. These small measures do make a difference.
And moving your body isn’t just about burning calories, it also benefits your mental health. Let’s face it, while the holidays can be joyful, they can also bring up issues that leave you feeling down. Fortunately, exercise can help because when you run, walk or Zumba, you usually release feel-good hormones, endorphins. In this way, exercise is also a natural stress reliever.
#2) Get ample sleep. It’s amazing how many issues can be resolved simply by a good night’s rest. The key, however, is to get a good night’s rest consistently – that gives your body time to fully reboot.
#3) Watch your alcohol intake. While imbibing might initially feel like a mood-enhancer, alcohol is ultimately a depressant.
#4) Don’t go crazy with sweets. Of course, ‘tis the season to indulge more than usual, and that’s ok – just try to keep it in check. One tip to make this easier is to eat a healthy snack, like a piece of fruit or hummus and carrots, before you go to your party. That way, you’re not eating dip and chips for dinner.
#5) Lend a helping hand to someone in need. This could be a sibling, parent or friend. It could also be a stranger, such as an elderly person in a nursing home who is lonely. Spend an hour chatting, reading or watching television with them. You will make their day – and it will probably be the most meaningful holiday present you can give yourself.