Blog Post: Staying Healthy Over the Holidays
The end-of-year holidays can be a joyous, exciting, and fun-filled time for many. Unfortunately, however, they can also be full of calorie-laden dinners, illness (like the flu), financial stress, and relationship stress. Read on for our tips on how to stay healthy, both physically and mentally, this season.
1) Eat healthy!
It’s no secret that many people celebrate major events such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve with huge, indulgent feasts. If you have lots of extended family and friends, this may mean more than one unhealthy meal. Some tips for a healthier diet during this season include:
· When faced with a large selection of foods to eat, choose the healthier choices (e.g. fresh, unprocessed foods that are grilled, steamed, baked or broiled). Take a small portion of food to begin with, and minimize sauces and marinades that may be high in fat and sugar.
· Or, if you prefer to indulge yourself on Christmas dinner, try to make healthier choices on the days before and after Christmas.
· Offer to bring a plate to dinner, then bring something low-fat and healthy – this way, you will be guaranteed at least one healthy option to choose from.
· Drink lots of water – this will keep you hydrated, which is good especially if you are planning to drink alcohol. Drinking water before and during meals may also help you feel fuller, and result in you eating a little less.
2) Ward off the germs
Large gatherings (either at home or in public), or perhaps lots of traveling, coupled with the winter season, may put you at higher risk of getting sick during the holidays. Follow these tips to help minimize your risk of a nasty infection:
· Drink water regularly to keep hydrated and help prevent sickness.
· Get the flu shot.
· Use disinfectant wipes when traveling, especially on planes and trains. Surfaces, like tray tables, may not undergo regular cleaning, and may harbor lots of nasty germs.
· Wash your hands regularly.
· Carry alcohol-based hand sanitizer in your bag.
3) Keep fit and active
One way to stay healthy, amidst all the unhealthy meals and germs going around, is to keep yourself fit and active. Some ways to add activity to your life include:
· Opt for healthy activity – it may be tempting to stay inside in cold weather, but can you play in the snow, go for a walk (dressed up warmly), or go to the gym?
· Try to make it a point to do some daily exercise, even if it’s just going for a walk or jog around the neighborhood.
· Choose gifts for your family members that encourage fitness, e.g. gym memberships, skipping ropes, Frisbees, kites, or sports equipment/balls.
4) Take care of your mental health
For many, the holiday season can be a stressful time. People may struggle with the financial strain of buying gifts, the pressure to balance work duties with time off, and the stress of friends or family members who do not get along. To minimize the stress of the season, try some of the following tips:
· Set a budget for Christmas gifts and stick to it. Look for free/cheap places to spend time with your family, and consider giving homemade gifts.
· Don’t feel the need to say “yes” to all invitations – commit to a fixed number of meaningful gatherings if necessary, to ensure you have enough time for any work duties and enough time to rest and relax at home over the holidays.
· Do treat yourself! It is the holiday season after all. Do something that is special and fun for you. Setting aside time to read a book, get a manicure or go somewhere you’ve been wanting to go for ages.
Most importantly, don’t lose sight of what the holidays are about – spending time with those you love. Focus on the positive aspects of this time of year and don’t let the stressful aspects overwhelm you. Remember that your Amicus Physicians are only a call away – get in touch with our staff today if you need assistance staying healthy this holiday season.