Holly Jolly Health: 10 Tips for Balanced Living In The Holiday Season

As the holiday season approaches, the festive spirit brings joy, but also challenges to our health routines. Balancing the demands of family, travel, and feasting isn’t easy, but maintaining your health and wellness during this time is essential. Here are some tips to help you navigate the holiday festivities without compromising on health and vitality.

  • Embrace Moderation, Not Deprivation!

During the holidays, culinary temptations abound. But deprivation isn’t the key—moderation is. Aim to enjoy your favorite holiday treats in small portions. Remember, a slice of pie or a glass of eggnog won’t derail your health goals if enjoyed in moderation.

  • Stay Active Amidst the Celebrations

Life can get hectic any time of year, but especially during the holiday season. Remember, you can’t fill from an empty cup! Try to stick to your normal exercise schedule, but if you can’t make it to your usual classes, a brisk 30-minute walk can help you maintain strength, and boost your mood. On the big day, physical activity can be a festive affair. Organize a family hike or a friendly game of football before the feast. 

  • Prioritize Sleep

With long nights and busy days, it’s tempting to skimp on sleep, but rest is crucial. The National Sleep Foundation advises 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults. Good sleep hygiene —like a dark, cool bedroom and a consistent bedtime routine—can help ensure the quality rest needed to balance the holiday hustle.

  • Mindful Eating

Mindfulness can extend to mealtime. Slow down and enjoy each and every delicious bite. This not only enhances the dining experience but research shows it can also prevent overeating. 

  • Manage Stress with a little downtime

The holidays can be stressful. Dedicate time for self-care activities that promote relaxation—like reading, taking a warm bath, or practicing meditation. You’ll find some great apps that can help too, we really like the Calm or Headspace App.  

  • Hydrate Wisely

With changing seasons and busy schedules, hydration can take a backseat. Yet, H2O is vital for digestion, skin health, and energy levels. And while holiday cocktails are a delight, remember that alcohol can dehydrate. Alternate with water or a soft-drink to stay hydrated.

  • Plan Ahead for Health

Meal planning can be a lifesaver during the holidays. Preparing and freezing healthy meals ahead of time can help resist the urge to indulge in less nutritious options when in a rush. 

  • Be Selective with Social Commitments

The calendar fills up quickly during the holiday season. Be selective about commitments. Prioritize events that are meaningful to you and politely decline others. It’s ok to say no – this is a marathon not a sprint!

  • Connect with Community

Social connections are a cornerstone of holiday festivities. They are also vital for mental health. Intentionally participating in community (consider linking to reserve a spot to your holiday event if applicable) activities that balance you will help you through the holiday season and keep you sane! Why not bring a friend to class or take a brisk walk together

  • Take Time to Reflect

The end of the year is a perfect time for reflection. Take stock of your health and wellness journey over the past year. This is a great time to set your intentions for the new year and celebrate all that you are grateful for right now. This is a wonderful activity to do with your favorite people too!

The bottom line: 

The holiday season is a time of joy, reflection, and, let’s face it, a bit of indulgence. But, maintaining your health and wellness during this time is entirely possible too. By focusing on balance, moderation, and self-care, you can enjoy the season’s festivities without compromising on your wellness. So, embrace the holiday cheer with an empowered and balanced approach to your well-being! Enjoy!

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