The holidays are upon us and thereâ€™s no turning back. The Christmas lights that keep burning out, the punch that gets spilled, the 3-year-old that unwraps ALL the presents a day early, the relative that wonâ€™t shut up, the roast-turned-dog-chow, and that cough that you just canâ€™t seem to kick. It can all add up to one great big headache.
Holidays are supposed to be fun, but many of us are just counting down the hours until the first of January rolls around. And itâ€™s no wonder. The holidays can be the most stressful time of the year for some people. Weâ€™re all expected to be jolly, happy, healthy, and put together (which is often far from the truth).
This year, give yourself permission to be imperfect. And when the stress starts to mount keep in mind these simple practices for de-stressing and staying healthy throughout the season:
- Keep up your exercise routine. This will help to stave off any holiday weight gain. Plus, it will boost your endorphins and better help you to deal with the daily holiday stress. (Tip: if itâ€™s just TOO crazy to drive to the gym then at least do some lunges, push-ups, stair-climbs, or crunches throughout the day).
- Stick to the veggie-platters and lean proteins. Holiday parties and functions can wreck havoc on your health if you overindulge in fats or sweets (and a sugar high will only lead to a crash that may in turn leave you feeling moody and depressed). Aim for fish, chicken, nuts, and legumes instead of red meats or cheeses. Make a rule to only try the sweets after youâ€™ve filled up on some raw fruits and veggies.
- Watch the booze. Itâ€™s fine to enjoy some of your favorite holiday drinks, but too much can be detrimental for both your health and mental well-being. Do some research before you celebrate to brush up your knowledge on which drinks have the most calories and sugar content.
- Sleep. The holidays are when itâ€™s most tempting to scrimp on a healthy amount of sleep. But this is the time when your body needs it most. Make a sleep plan and stick to it - even if it means leaving the party a little bit early.
- Be realistic. Is your to-do list outrageous? Be honest with what you are capable of doing (while retaining your sanity) and adjust your plans accordingly. Expect things to be a little crazy and plan on going with the flow.
- Focus on what matters. Pay attention to the people around you instead of worrying about how everything looks, or stressing about how many calories you just ingested (whatâ€™s done is done!). Donâ€™t forget to focus on yourself when you need it and give yourself some TLC.