Holiday health, and stress

It happens to the best of us.  Holidays are meant to be about loved ones, and happy times, but they almost always result in stress, anxiety, and over indulgence. 
If the holidays sometimes leave you feeling overwhelmed and out of control, you’re not alone. And if the Grinch has stolen your spirit and good intentions, try some of these tips to reclaim your ho-ho-ho and stay happy and healthy.

1. Keep up your healthy habits

Make a pact with yourself during the holidays. For example, decide that you’ll move more and do something active every day over the next three weeks. Take it a step further, and pledge to start the day with a healthy breakfast, limit the sweets and get at least seven hours of sleep each night. If you don’t completely give up your healthy habits, you won’t feel like you have to start over once the holidays are over. Wash your hands—often!

About 80% of infections are transmitted by touch. The CDC estimates that up to 49,000 people die from the flu or flu-like illness each year. Hand washing is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of infections. You can spread some germs from touching another person, and you can catch a cold or other infection by touching contaminated objects or surfaces and then touching your face (mouth, eyes and nose).

2. Beware of seasonal sweets

The holidays often dish up extra helpings of less-than-healthy treats. Try preparing healthy snacks that are ready to eat when the urge to snack strikes. If you’re hosting a holiday party, challenge yourself to make delicious and healthier options using our recipes and cooking tips. Lose Liquid Calories

Wine, mixed drinks, eggnog, caramel lattes, hot chocolate can add hundreds of calories to your daily intake. One way to keep pounds down is to make a commitment to skip the high calorie drinks and opt instead for unsweetened teas, no calorie colas, and water. As for beer, wine or liquor, have a drink and celebrate the season, but keep alcoholic beverages in check (1-2 per day for women).

3. Stay active

Instead of beating yourself up about missing a workout, work some healthy activities into your daily routine. For example, if the weather isn’t bad and you’ve got 10,20 minutes, take brisk walk in the neighborhood.  If your dinner is going to be a feast, opt for a light lunch.  Any movement counts so take walking breaks, go out dancing, or enjoy a yoga class – anything that gets you moving counts toward your activity goals.  And keep the family moving. When the kids are home from school, squeeze in some active chores and trips to the park. Keep moving!

4. Treat Yourself

The holidays are considered the giving season, but make time to take care of yourself too. Treat yourself and relieve stress with a massage, manicure, or simply enjoy a few days’ rest. Take the time to do the things that make you happy. Make moderation your mantra and be aware of your choices, because you don’t want to feel like you restricted and missed out, but you don’t want to feel like you indulged in something that wasn’t worth it!

5. Get plenty of zzz’s

Getting a good night’s sleep can be one of your best defenses against getting sick any time of year. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that people who slept at least eight hours nightly were about three times less likely to catch a cold than those who snoozed for less than seven. You’re not being a Grinch by skipping a party when you feel worn-down; you’re being smart. Think of it as preventive medicine.

Cheers to a happy and healthy holiday season! For more great tips and hints, visit the blog