Can I Stay Healthy During the Holidays? How to Keep Balanced

We’re on the verge of Xmas, and good times and goodies permeate our every turn.  While we want to indulge, it seems every holiday season presents a particular health quandary: How can I enjoy the food and the company, yet not let myself go? In this article, we offer you tips to do both simultaneously.

If we had to select one word for focus, it would be “keep.” Here are several tips to “keep” healthy during the holidays, and in fact, year round.

  1. Keep doctor’s appointments. Since there is more going on during the holidays, we are inclined to delay or even cancel doctor’s appointments. It can wait, we tell ourselves. But if it can wait, then why did we make the appointment in the first place? Even if an appointment could be delayed, it makes us feel better to just go ahead and do it. By addressing the health issue, we are better equipped to engage in the holiday activities without the guilt of procrastination. So, consider leaving that doctor’s appointment as scheduled, even if it’s on December 24th or 31st.
  2. Keep exercising. Hello, endorphin release! An exercise regimen is by far one of the most effective means to not only keeping healthy, but also to being in a good mood. Imagine arriving to the New Year’s party after having worked out that day, as opposed to skipping the gym. If you have worked out, you’ll feel better about yourself, which can make you feel more sociable. In addition, the calorie counting is now in your favor for the champagne.
  3. Keep eating healthy foods. Everyone has their preferred holiday foods, and they’re likely not a red pepper or a banana. An easy way to enjoy the egg nog and fruit cake is to eat the healthy foods first. Fill up on the fresh salads, the whole grains, and the protein, and then move on to dessert. It’s when dessert becomes a meal that things go awry, so if healthy eating comes beforehand, food choices are in balance.
  4. Keep taking breaks. Even if times are good, we are often rushing from one thing to another. During holiday times, many of us still have our regular jobs and family responsibilities, and even if not, just being on vacation can present stresses. Be sure to take breaks for yourself – a brisk walk, a TV show, meditation, knitting, the classic coffee break, etc. Even just a ten minute break can serve to revive us for whatever we need to accomplish.
  5. Keep focused on the fun. Parties and family gatherings, while deemed fun, can present social issues, to say the least. If this is the case, try to focus on one fun thing going on during the event, and emanate this feeling as you talk with others. The positivity will go a long way, and might even work to dissipate any ill feelings, helping keep mental health intact.    

The main challenge of the holiday season is keeping up the routine aspects of your life which are healthy. By maintaining healthy practices, you will be able to more fully enjoy the additional foods and socializing that come with the holidays. Season’s Greetings!