Tips to Stay Healthy Over the Holidays
Being at home with family over the holidays isn’t always joyful. It can sometimes be stressful. It’s not all gingerbread decorating and alcoholic eggnog.
And if it is, stress isn’t going to be the only threat to your health over the holidays. It’s dairy-rich high-carb calories, staying indoors by the fire rather than going to the gym and that plate of cookies and milk the kids left for Santa.
I know what you’re thinking, you’re really just set up to fail at being healthy this time of year. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be that way. Just because it’s the season of giving doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of yourself. Here are our tips to stay healthy over the holidays:
1. Take a break from the work email and schedule in some me-time.
Read. Read that self-improvement book you’re always too tired to read when you get home from work. Find a quiet spot away from everything, leave your phone in the other room, get comfortable, and settle your mind into a book.
2. Focus on the holiday traditions that don’t revolve around food.
Decorate the tree, go through photo albums with family, take a walk around the neighborhood to check out the Christmas lights at night. If you make a conscious effort to stay out of the kitchen you’ll be less likely to be tempted by the plates of pie and cookies laying around.
3. Go on a family hike.
Bundling up and going on a hike or long scenic walk with family can be a great way to get everyone out of the house and working off those big meals, smelling the fresh air and just being present with family can put anyone in a happier mood. It’s also a good idea to get in some walking whenever possible; take the stairs or park further away, a little extra exercise will do you good.
4. Make substitutes with healthier alternatives.
Changing up recipes with healthier ingredients is a great way to keep enjoying your favorites with less of the guilt. Sub out white flour with almond or coconut flour, replace oil with unsweetened applesauce and use real maple syrup, honey or agave instead of processed white sugar.
5. If you do indulge, push yourself extra hard in the gym.
If you’re going to be out of town during the holidays, look into nearby gyms. A lot will offer week long memberships so you won’t need to go without. Talk a cousin or brother/sister-in-law etc into joining with you, and maybe see if they have any classes going on. It can be a fun bonding activity and you can motivate each other to go.
5. Avoid starting off 2018 hungover.
Limit the heavy New Years drinking to one or two glasses of champagne. Or drink a lime soda water in between every drink to avoid dehydration and that awful headache the next day.
6. Assign yourself a project.
When you’ve got work off, and more time on your hands, it’s easy to make periodically eating an all day event. With all the delicious treats laying around it can seem like the most desirable thing to do. But trust us, you don’t want to kick off 2018 with excess weight and self loathing. Instead, assign yourself a project over the holidays. Like laying out your goals and setting up a road map to get there complete with weekly to-dos.
7. Play games with family and get an early night instead of Netflixing the night away.
Winter months are notorious for inspiring lazy behavior. Netflix binging tends to be a huge one. Why not take advantage of being around family and friends and go old-school with a tech-free board game or card game. Then, follow it with an early night and get plenty of zzz’s.
8. Be present, not on Instagram.
Not every holiday occasion is an Instagram photo-op. Not every cute baby niece is a prop for your Snapchat story. Confiscating phones during family time is a great way to stay present and just enjoy the time you have with each other.