Living Strong and Well this Holiday Season

By on December 8, 2011

By Jocelyn Anne –

While the holiday season can be one of the happiest times of the year and is typically filled with new activities, new festivities and new opportunities to create memories of a lifetime, it’s also a time that can be both physically and mentally exhausting. We typically get less sleep, eat less nutritionally valued meals and find ourselves worried about a host of things, from what the proper gift is for a loved one, the social environment at the upcoming gathering or simply the idea of getting everything checked off our list that’s calling our name. This season, as you prepare for the countdown, consider some of these tips to walk you through it living well and living strong – healthy physically and mentally.

Eat Well

One of the number one things you can do for yourself during the holidays is to eat well. Eating well will give you the energy you need to power through every day, keep your body loaded up with the minerals, nutrients and vitamins you need to fight off getting sick (the flu in particular) and help you eat less of the “goodies” that are so abundant during this time of year. Most (if not all) of these treats will lead to sugar highs and lows and can even leave you feeling depressed about an uptake in calories/carbs/sugars, etc.

How does eating well happen? For starters, it means planning out nutritional meals well in advance. Try to plan a week’s worth of meals at least one week in advance. This ensures you don’t have to any last minute stress about finding a meal, you can guarantee to get all necessary shopping done, and if you need to make a meal in advance on the weekend for a night you won’t have time, you’ll be ready. When it comes to the sweets and treats, set balanced limits. If you struggle with saying no but know you’ll regret the extra later, then decide which treats you can take a bite of and say no to afterwards. Add those to your “safe” list and eat in moderation. For those that you know one bit will lead to 20, just avoid them altogether. There’s no reason to avoid the holiday treats altogether, as long as they are enjoyed in moderation with a nutritionally balanced meal plan. You can also find easy ways to make healthier options. Use applesauce instead of oil and sweetener. Swap out half the white flour for whole wheat. Add nuts for boosts of protein and fiber.

Feel Well

The flu, unfortunately, is hard to avoid this time of year. The cold, dry weather is the perfect environment that not only allows to flu virus to stay airborne longer, it also allows it to survive in a more stable state, making it all the stronger and easier to reach you. In addition to a flu shot, consider a couple extra tips to avoid the flu

1)  Sanitize like crazy! Because the flu is most often contracted from direct contact, sanitizing your hands and common areas in your house that guests touch most frequently can go a long ways in keeping you healthy.

2)  Consider a humidifier. If your nose becomes dry, this can also make you more susceptible to the flu. Keeping your home and especially your room environment humidified can help you fend off the virus.

3)  Sleep and rest. Maintaining a sleep pattern that meets your needs is especially vital during this time of year. Your body needs ample time to repair itself and rebuild during those precious hours to keep your immune system strong. Exercise can also build up your immune system, so try and add in some extra time doing physical activity as you can.

Give Well

Focusing on others and your giving during this time of year is one of the easiest ways to give you peace of mind. It’s not the big gifts nor the expensive gifts that really have lasting impact, it’s those that show your love and thought and personal investment. Make this season special by putting your time into homemade sentiments like baking or crafting or even giving your own time. To me, nothing is more therapeutic than baking a batch of cookies, and nothing gives me more satisfaction than delivering them to someone who is guaranteed to take great joy in receiving them. For you, it might be running errands for a neighbor in need, delivering a Christmas meal to the family down the street, or even volunteering to watch the grandkids and giving the parents a date night/shopping trip.

Prioritize Well

Most of us have an “I-can-do-it-all” attitude when it comes to the holidays and the festivities. And most of us probably “can” do it all, but at what price? Rather than going to every invite you possibly can, prioritize. Choose which you are not willing to miss and those which you could skip. Instead of grabbing just “one more shopping trip,” take some time for you to relax and do something that will help you re-boost, like a spa trip or an hour of yoga. The less you do, the more you will likely be able to enjoy those things that you do opt to participate in and the easier you’ll find it to navigate this holiday season without feeling run down or exhausted.

With the right focus, you can sail through the holidays gracefully and healthily. Don’t let your own well-being take second stage, or soon you will find yourself in bed with the flu and unable to help or make an appearance anyway. And when it comes to giving, just give yourself. It will be guaranteed to leave a more lasting memory than anything you can put a dollar amount on.

Freelancer Jocelyn Anne currently works as an online content writer for Air & Water and is passionate about sharing tips for healthy ideas regarding living well and staying content at every opportunity she is given.

About Jocelyn Anne

Freelancer Jocelyn Anne currently works as an online content writer for Air & Water and is passionate about sharing tips for healthy ideas regarding living well and staying content at every opportunity she is given.

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Living Strong and Well this Holiday Season