December is a time of joy and celebration for many, but can also be stressful. When your routine is disrupted and you are surrounded by indulgent food, it is more difficult to make healthy choices. Here are some ideas to stay well this holiday season.
Depriving yourself of holiday treats can backfire and lead to over-eating. Instead, have a small portion of your favorite dish or dessert without seconds. Try substituting starchy and fattening side-dishes with a vegetable dish such as green beans. In between large meals continue to have regular, small meals with fruits, vegetables and protein.
Making time for exercise will increase your energy, improve your mood and help with digestion. Taking a short walk or practicing yoga for a few minutes has the added benefit of clearing your mind from holiday stress.
If you like to enjoy alcoholic beverages at parties, the US Department of Health recommends limiting alcoholic beverages to 1-2 drinks per day. Choose wine or light beer which are lower in sugar and calories than cocktails. Also, try alternating a glass of water with each alcoholic drink to counteract the dehydrating effects of alcohol.
The holidays are a chance to connect with family and friends for some but can feel lonely for others. If you don’t usually celebrate with family, consider reaching out to friends or neighbors. Volunteering can also make you feel connected to your community while improving your own sense of gratitude and well-being. On the other hand, if you find yourself spread too thin with obligations, it is okay to say no to certain events. It’s important to take time for self-care such as reading, taking a bath or meditating.
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can interrupt your medication routine. It is important, especially for those with chronic conditions to remember to take their medication as this can lead to serious complications. You may find it helpful to set a daily alarm as a reminder or set medication bottles next to something used daily, such as your toothbrush, water glass or your nightstand.
This time of year is also the peak of the cold and flu season; therefore, it’s important to take steps to prevent the spread of infection. Remember to wash your hands frequently, and remind every family member over the age of 6 months to have their flu shot.
Consider these ideas to keep your holiday celebrations a little bit healthier and enjoy the season!
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.