By Susan Young, RN, TeamHealth Health Coach
The holiday season can become hectic with holiday parties, travel, and a busy work schedule. It is easy to forget to take care of yourself – leaving you low on energy and feeling more stressed.
Try energizing yourself with physical activity, nutritious food choices, and more sleep. Lower your stress by resetting expectations for holiday activities and allow time to relax. Read on to see what tips you can unwrap this holiday season.
You only need 10 minutes to stay active.
Making time for physical activity isn’t always a priority during the holidays but try to commit to just 10 minutes of exercise a day and add more if you’re able. This can give you energy to get through the day. During colder months it can be harder to stay active. Whether you bundle up to go on a hike with family or go to the local gym to get exercise – each bit of movement counts.
Make smart decisions around holiday food – but don’t deprive yourself.
You don’t have to cut out holiday treats to focus on your nutrition during the holidays. Instead, try limiting portion sizes. Before you go to a holiday party, try eating a healthy snack to avoid filling up on less nutritious treats at the event.
Give yourself the gift of sleep.
Whether you’ve stayed up late to get ready to host, or you are trying to get the last bit of work in – it is important to prioritize sleep this holiday season. Some days this may mean cutting out the last hour of TV at night, eating dinner earlier to start your bedtime routine sooner, or shifting your morning routine to get more sleep after a late night.
Avoid unrealistic holiday expectations and budgets.
Resetting holiday expectations can allow you extra money in the bank and time to do the things you enjoy most. Say “no” to unnecessary activities and stick to your holiday budget. Online shopping or donating to a charity can simplify gift giving. Try creating a family gift swap so you are only responsible for one gift. Find low-cost ways to visit friends such as viewing holiday lights or watching a holiday parade together.
During the season of giving, make sure to take care of yourself.
With all of the excitement and stress that comes with the holiday season, it is important to stay mindful and take time for yourself. Take a few minutes to practice mindful breathing before holiday activities, or go for a brisk walk after a family meal. Allow yourself to take time for you to help put your best self forward during the holidays.
Reach out to those who might be lonely.
The holidays can bring feelings of loneliness and loss for many people. During moments of sadness, it can be helpful to connect with friends or family for support. Being involved in community volunteering, such as helping elderly neighbors, can help you feel more connected. If family gatherings bring conflict, try to settle disputes at a later time to maintain family cohesiveness.