My Top 5 Steps to Stay Healthy this Holiday Season

My Top 5 Steps to Stay Healthy this Holiday Season

Whether 2023 has been a ‘good’ year or ‘bad’ year for you. I think it’s fair to say that the holiday season is going to look different for the majority of us. 

Whether it’s not going out socializing as much, not seeing loved ones, or not running off to escape like you usually do, for each of us is probably going to be different than what we had planned.

This year has officially lasted approximately 3,237 years, and we're all ready to take a break and unwind for the holidays. But that doesn't mean we should take a break from our health routines. After all, this year has done a great job of teaching us how important health and hygiene really are (insert eye roll).

For a lot of us, the holidays mean overindulging in food, drink, and merriment. We all know about the extra weight we tend to pick up at this time of year, and no doubt we know where it's coming from. Although this holiday season is already very different from previous years many familiar pitfalls are likely to come up.

So let's be proactive! 

Here, I’ve put together 5 easy and practical steps you can take this year. These actionable steps will help you get through to the New Year without sabotaging your health and wellness (too much) along the way.

But the BEST part is that they won't ruin your holidays, either.

After all, we need some holiday cheer more than ever this year.

Side note: There are no quick fixes here.

Before we get started. These aren't "life hacks." There are no quick fixes here. I am not offering you a magical solution that's going to let you eat every one of those cookies or to have several bottles of wine to yourself with dinner.

Instead, this is focusing on practical habits and rituals that you can easily stick to. These will help you maintain a) more mindfulness and b) simple, healthy routines that help make up for any blind spots you might have in your lifestyle.

Follow these steps to have a healthy holiday season!

1) Stay active (any way you can). Don't overburden yourself trying to get a head start on 2021, and allow yourself to enjoy the holiday season. A quick HIIT session, walking, or even a yoga session, will work great. Just make sure that you're regularly getting up, moving, and enjoying at least one session of physical activity a day.

2) Eat mindfully. 'Tis the season of the food coma. We have a tendency to distract ourselves while we eat, especially when the family gets together to share a festive feast. Even if this year's dinner parties are happening online, we can still get caught up in the revelry. When we do, we overeat beyond when our body has stopped sending us its hunger signals. Instead, try to pause after every time you swallow your food and tune into your belly. What's it telling you? Do you need to continue eating, or is it time to start stocking leftovers in the fridge?

3) Drink mindfully, too. 'Tis also the season for festive cocktails and, let's admit it, too much wine. Instead, I want to encourage you to practice the same mindfulness we just described. Pay attention to your body (and your mind) and do your best to honestly read your signals; you do know when you've had enough. 

4) Manage stress. This can be hard for many, but managing your stress levels is vital to your physical and mental health. Unhealthy levels of stress, or chronic exposure to it, lead to high cortisol levels in your body. Stress can also lead to anxiety, depression, and unhealthy weight gain or loss. You can also take steps to reduce your stress levels by meditating, listening to your favourite music, or reducing your caffeine intake. This is different for us all, for me it's building lego and gaming.

5) Don't rack up a sleep debt. Many of us tend to have a hard time sleeping at this time of the year. It could be changing the season, work pressure, or an ingrained habit we kept from staying up all night waiting for Santa to show up (this is my excuse). Whichever the case, you should be careful not to build up a sleep debt. 

Happy Holidays

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