The holidays are just around the corner, and we all know what that means. A break from regularly scheduled programming when it comes to healthy habits.
By the end of the year, most people just need a break, especially these days when nerves are more frazzled than usual and the feeling in the air is often uncertainty. The holidays are a chance to unplug, unwind, and undo the top button on those pants after another big meal.
While we all need time and space to relax and recuperate. That often means sharing food with friends and family and eating all that baking and delicious holiday chocolate that seems to appear out of nowhere. But going to far into the waters of indulgence (and staying there for too long) can have adverse effects on our health, and it can lead to a crash once we return to regular life.
So we would like to offer some healthy hacks to get you through the holidays. And don’t worry — we are not puritans, nor do we think that a life free from decadent things is good for you either. Some indulgence, like on quality chocolate, is definitely on the list.
Some Healthy Hacks to Get You Through the Holidays
1. Find Ways to Exercise Every Day
Sneaking exercise into your life is a great healthy hack to keep you body and mind functioning at a high, energized rate. Instead of turning on the tv after you’ve done the dishes, take a stroll around the neighborhood and check out the light displays, or park at the end of the parking lot and get those steps in. Walking is also a great way to bond and have conversations with family and friends without distraction.
2. Limit Sugar and Alcohol
It is so easy to go all in with these things during the holidays because they are everywhere and possibly even served with every meal! But the toll on the body and mind can be very taxing, especially once your body begins to expect that sugar will come multiple times during the day. So set some boundaries — whatever works for you. With sugar, you can promise yourself only dark high quality chocolate, and have only drinks on the weekend, for example.
3. Drink Lots of Water
We all know the rule — eight glasses a day. Well, the holidays are a great time to really up your water intake and give your body a good flush, especially if you are going to be overloading it in other ways. If you’ve had drinks the night before or know that the night ahead is going to be a big one, prepare your body by giving it some hydration.
4. Add Fruits and Vegetables
One good trick is to look at your plate and see how much color is on it. Green and orange vegetables are great colors to consume, they generally contain high fiber, vitamins and minerals. Fruits, too, can help quench a sugar craving — an apple is better for you than a cookie!
5. Prioritize Sleep
One of the great things about holidays is that there is usually extra time to catch up on some sleep, but it also may mean late nights. To stay healthy during the holidays, make sure you are giving yourself time get a full cycle of sleep every night. And why not throw in a midday nap if you get the chance?
6. Give Great Gifts
Gift giving is a wonderful way to bond with your people, and giving gifts that make other people happy is often more fulfilling for the gift giver than the gift receiver. If you want to fill your cup and feel good, giving a great gift is surefire. One amazing, never fail gift is customized chocolate — high quality chocolate that is engraved with a special personal message directly onto it. And the best part? They will probably share it with you.
7. Be of Service
Along this same line is being of service to your friends and family — nothing really works the same to keep you feeling grateful and happy. And it’s the little things that often go the longest way, help prepare meals or clean up (without having to be asked), check in on your neighbors and the people who might be spending the holidays alone, volunteer at the local food bank, or show up for someone in a way they weren’t expecting. Small acts of kindness warm the soul and will keep you, and your community, healthy.
8. Stay Home if You’re Sick
If you’re not feeling well, it’s very important to stay home and rest and to keep those germs to yourself. After these last couple of years, colds and other bugs can spread quickly, and you don’t want to be responsible for that. Plus, if you can get ahead of it, you can hopefully prevent yourself from getting too sick. If you feel a tickle in your throat, take it as an opportunity to stay in and watch that movie you’ve been meaning to, or to pick up that book that’s collecting dust.
9. Practice Mindfulness
Each of these health hacks have one thing in common — they require you to stop and pay attention to where your body is at and how other people are doing. That’s basically what mindfulness is all about, have the awareness of what is needed in any given situation. Sprinkle a morning meditation onto your mornings and you will feel extra good!
Really, it’s about taking care of yourself and your community, whatever that looks like, so that you can enjoy your time to the fullest. Make it good! If you’re going to have chocolate, you might as well invest in some delicious high quality stuff that really feels like a treat!