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Tips for a Healthier and Less-Stressed Holiday Season

Surviving the holiday season with our bank accounts, sanity, and waistline intact can be challenging. Although the holidays are meant to be a time of celebration, togetherness, and joy, they often bring many challenges to our overall health and wellness.

December is usually synonymous with over eating accompanied by a lack of exercise. Although the holidays are a time for celebration and family, our overall health and wellness should still be priority.

If this time of year often leaves you feeling overwhelmed and out of control, you’re not alone… Don’t let your well-being go in a downward spiral while trying to keep up with the added demands of the holiday season.

Tips to Make Your Overall Health a Priority this Holiday Season

  1. Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. It seems logical: Forgo earlier meals; leave more room for stuffed mushrooms and cheese balls at the office party later. But in actuality, arriving starved may result in overeating. Eat normally during the day, and be strategic at the buffet. Don’t bother with things you don’t absolutely love.
  2. Only go for your holiday favorites. Splurge on the dishes you typically eat only during the holiday season. Love sweet potatoes but don’t much care for the corn casserole? Choose reasonable portions of the dishes you love most and leave the others on the table.
  3. Plate everything before you eat. Even if you go back to the snack table several times, you’ll be more conscious of the quantities you’re consuming if you see it all on a plate first.
  4. Wash your hands. Don’t let everyday germs get the best of you this holiday season. Help avoid being held up in bed by washing your hands more often.
  5. Do less, enjoy more. You may find yourself overdoing it with all the festivities the holidays bring. Try and choose 1-3 holiday activities per week (work holiday party, shopping for gifts, writing cards) and just say “no” to all the rest.
  6. Stay active while giving yourself a break from the gym. According to a Gallup poll, the percentage of people who exercise regularly is lower in December than at any other time of the year. So don’t beat yourself up—but try to stay active every day in other ways. Speed-walking with shopping bags, cleaning the house, etc. are great ways to be active while also keeping up with your holiday to-do list.
  7. Get active as a family. Take the family for a walk, go sledding, or play a game of tag football. Get some exercise in while spending quality time together – it’s a win-win.
  8. Remember to breathe. When you are feeling overwhelmed, find a quiet place, breathe in for 5 counts and out for 10 a few times, and center yourself.
  9. Make a budget and stick to it. The season for giving can create a financial burden for many. Avoid spending the next year paying off holiday shopping debt. Figure out what you can afford, and remember – it’s the thought that counts.
  10. Focus on the spirit of the holiday. Remember the true meaning of the season, whatever that may be to you. Be it a spiritual time, a family time, or just a relaxing break – MedicAlert wishes you a healthy and joyful holiday season!
MedicAlert Team Member