As the holiday season approaches, stress rises and the frequency of illness increases. There is no doubt that there is a strong connection between those two facts. However, by intentionally making certain changes in how you do things this holiday season, you can keep yourself healthier and happier. We have found some tips to help you get started.
Refocus to Eliminate Stress
Instead of focusing your energy on your own stress and lists of things to do, take some time to refocus your energy on others. We found a Random Acts of Kindness Christmas countdown calendar on the site CoffeeCupsandCrayons.com that will help you refocus your energy. It has a suggestion for every day from December 1 – 24 of free or very low-cost acts of kindness that will reframe your thinking and make you feel great for having done something kind for someone else.
Eat Right to Feel Better
With treats, sweets, alcohol, and seasonal gotta-haves, eating right is a challenge this time of year. Maintaining some kind of balance in what you eat will help you feel better, minimize weight gain, and give you the energy to keep up with the demands of the season. Strategically plan a low calorie, low fat, vegetable laden meal daily. This will help to balance the other not-so-healthy choices. A great source of vegetable based recipes is the website ForksOverKnives.com.
Exercise to Improve Sleep
Finding time to exercise can be a challenge any day, but when the holidays are upon us, it is even more so. Plan to do it first thing daily, so it doesn’t get rescheduled by something more fun. A good tip I recently heard is to wear your workout clothes to bed, so you just need to get out of bed and into your shoes and you are good to go. Not only will it improve your health, it will reduce stress, help you sleep better, and the endorphins released will improve your mood.
Ban Germs to Stay Healthy
This time of year, colds, the flu and other illnesses abound. Staying healthy means paying attention to germs. Use hand sanitizer more regularly, and disinfect surfaces in your home and workspace. Give a little extra space to anyone who is obviously ill. By doing so, you can reduce your chances of picking up a bug that may keep you down when you want to be enjoying the holiday season.
Use these tips, and put luck on your side when it comes to staying healthy this holiday season.