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12 Ways You Can Stay Healthy Over Christmas
This the season to be jolly, but is it possible to stay that way? There is no doubt that the Christmas season is one that so many of us look forward to, but it is also a time of stress. There are presents to buy, so many delicious foods and goodies tempting us, and a race to the finish line to get decorations up, guests invited, presents wrapped, cookies baked, and a lovely dinner on the table by the ever-looming 25th day of December.
With all the rushing around, exposure to more crowds (which puts us in the presence of a whole new group of people who are sick and should be home in bed!), and a shift in our regular eating and drinking routines, is it possible to make it through in one piece? Awareness and preparation go together here and with the following 12 suggestions, not only can you make it through alive, you can stay healthy and enjoy yourself at the same time.
1. Be prepared
Just a few minutes of preparation ahead of time could mean the difference between gliding through this season with ease or ending up rundown, stressed out, and compromising your usual healthy self. Try to remain as true to your usual schedule as you can. That will make you feel in control and remain confident that everything really will be okay. Little things can quickly become larger than life if we don’t have a plan.
2. Don’t sacrifice your sleep
Yes, it is a busy season but that is no reason you shouldn’t get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. The only thing that getting less rest will get you is more stressed. Instead, facing a busy day is much easier to tackle when you are well rested.
3. Drink plenty of fluids
By fluids, we mean water. People tend to drink more alcohol during the holiday season. Beer, wine, and cocktails will just dehydrate you even more if you don’t keep a bottle of water in your hand as much as possible. Dehydration can be a serious condition but it is also one that is so easy to prevent.
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4. Make plenty of lists
Yes, you have tons of things to do. So does everyone. The best way to get through this is to keep an ongoing list. When you are already short on time, why add to it by having to run back to the store for one little thing that you forgot? Besides, the best part of making a list is the sense of accomplishment you get as you strike through each item and watch your to-do list begin to disappear.
5. Start your day off right
Begin each morning with a healthy breakfast and you will be setting yourself up for success. You wouldn’t jump into your car and expect to get far without putting any gas in it. Just keep in mind the feeling you have when you know you have a full tank of gas and your car is in good working order. You are more able to face the tasks at hand with ease knowing you don’t have to sweat the small stuff.
6. Keep a stash of emergency healthy snack foods on hand
Having a small cooler in your car or at your office means you can always have a healthy snack right at your fingertips. Keeping your blood sugar levels on an even keel will keep you cool, calm, and collected. Foods like almonds, walnuts, raisins, and granola bars don’t even need to be refrigerated. Cheese, yogurt, and power drinks can help refresh you within minutes and can last all day in an insulated bag or cooler.
7. Make time to exercise
You probably think you don’t have any time to exercise but this is the time you need it the most. Making time to follow your regular routine would be ideal. If that doesn’t seem to be a possibility, try taking a 15-minute walk at lunch time. Create a quick list of 5 stretching exercises you can do at your desk that will keep you limber. As a last resort, throw yourself a quick dance party when you get home – turn on some music and dance as if no one is watching for 5 – 10 minutes.
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8. Never show up hungry
You will be much less likely to overeat foods that could make you feel bad later if you don’t show up to a party in a ravenous state. Eat a little protein before attending any get together that is serving food and you can choose wisely knowing your blood sugar levels are on an even keel.
9. Become a germapho
This is the time of year when you will be in the presence of more people than usual. Make sure to wash your hands often and carry around hand sanitizer so you can keep as many germs at bay as you can. You will be surprised at the number of people who don’t cover their mouths when they cough or wash their hands after they sneeze and then want to shake yours.
10. Don’t skip any meals
If you think that skipping lunch will mean you will eat less at the dinner party that night, think again. Being hungry will put you in a stressed-out position and you will have already eaten more than you would have for lunch and dinner before your hunger feels satisfied.
11. Choose wisely
Yes, you are going to be faced with some tempting foods and beverages. And no, it doesn’t mean you have to go cold turkey and deprive yourself of just a taste here and there. (You’re just setting yourself up for a major binge later to make up for the sacrifice you made.) Decide which items are worth the calories and which ones are not and just take a nibble.
12. Relax, it’ll be over before you know it
Don’t get so caught up in the hubbub of the season that you don’t enjoy it. Relax, take a deep breath, and try to be mindful of the moment and enjoy every second. It will be over before you know it. It’s up to you as to what kind of memories you make of it.