The Holiday Season.
What’s your thoughts as you turn the calendar to November and realize that you are now entering the busiest time of the year?
We love the holidays. The weather is cooler, decorations brighten our homes, our neighborhoods, and towns. Cheerful music fills the air and we’re bursting with energy.
We’re on a mission as the holiday season begins. We’ve got events to schedule, menus to plan, invitations to be sent, presents to buy and wrap, decorations to put up, families to please, baking to do, all on top of meeting our normal everyday obligations.
How do you stay healthy and maintain your energy during the busiest season of the year?
With a few healthy habits in place, you’ll be able to navigate the holiday season with a focus on staying healthy and feeling energized all season long.
Here’s an easy plan of action to help you through this joyous season.
First. Eat Healthier
Food is your number one source of energy. How you eat and what you eat will determine how well you come through the holiday season.
Eat smaller meals. Holiday meals tend to be huge. The table is loaded with multiple meats, casseroles, veggies, breads, and drinks. Every dish tempts you to add a serving to your already overloaded plate. A spoon of this and a spoon of this and before you know it, you’re snoozing on the couch. Your poor digestive system is on overload and draining your body of what little energy you had in order to digest a weeks’ worth of food.
Before you prepare your plate, look at your options, fill half your plate with healthy vegetables, then add small portions of other items. Eat slowly and savor the flavors. Try to eat more slowly and limit your portions.
Choose healthy snacks. You may find yourself snacking more during the holiday season due your busyness. This leads to skipping meals and massive snacking. Keep almonds handy for a quick energizing snack or a high-quality protein bar. Protein will satisfy your hunger and keep you energized.
Fill up on fiber. Fiber rich foods are your healthiest options for helping you to stay energized. Fiber is slow to digest, cleanses your digestive system, and keeps you fuller longer. Fiber does not create energy but rids your body of energy draining byproducts. are filling, allowing you to eat less hat gives you more stamina. Feast on whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
Drink your water. Keep your water bottle with you at all times as you go about your busy holiday schedule. Staying hydrated keeps you energized and alert. Set a goal to drink at least half your body weight in ounces each day.
Skipping breakfast is not allowed. You may want to skip the holidays, but you do not want to skip your breakfast. Eat a high protein savory breakfast each morning to stoke your metabolism before you head out for the day.
Second. Get Quality Sleep
With all of this busyness during the holidays, you may find yourself not getting enough sleep. You’re going to bed later and getting up earlier. Your body does not have time to recharge when you begin to cut back on your sleep.
Enjoy an afternoon nap. Naps are not only for babies and toddlers, but everyone also benefits from a little afternoon nap. Find a quiet place and close your eyes for 10 to 20 minutes. A short nap allows you to recharge, and you’ll find yourself energized for the remainder of the day.
Eliminate caffeine. Caffeine may help you feel energized, but it does not have any energy boosting nutrients. What it will do is prevent you from sleeping well. For a better night’s sleep, eliminate caffeine after 4p.m each day.
Enjoy your alcohol in moderation. The holidays are full of parties and gatherings that may have enjoying one glass too many of your favorite cocktail or wine. Remember, you’re drinking a sugary drink that will interfere with a good night’s sleep. Enjoy your last drink a few hours before bedtime to allow your body to process the alcohol and sugar before you fall asleep.
Turn off your electronics. Allow your day to end on a quiet note. Unplug from your electronics, prepare a cup of sleepy time tea, and relax. This allows your mind to unwind from a busy day and you’ll find yourself sleeping through the night.
Create a bedtime routine. Your holiday calendar may be full of events and gatherings that will keep you out later than usual. Do your best to maintain a healthy nighttime routine. Unplug from your electronics at least 30 minutes before retiring, go to bed and get up at the same time each day as often as possible during this hectic time of the year.
Third. Stay Healthy
Daily exercise. Take time to exercise each day. Just 10 minutes a day will benefit your health and keep you energized. Find reasons to walk more, take the stairs, and stand more than you sit.
Eliminate clutter. You may find yourself dropping mail and packages on your dining room table, your couch, your floor, or anywhere that is available. Before you know it, you’re feeling stressed and irritable for no reason. Clutter will do this to you. Take time to eliminate clutter before it begins to affect your health.
Shorten your tasks. So much to do with so little time. Rather than spend hours on one task, like wrapping presents, choose to focus on one task for a set amount of time and then transition to another task. This allows your body to rest and gives you a fresh perspective on your tasks. Have your family help you when you begin to feel overwhelmed by it all.
Control your stress. The holidays tend to bring an abundance of stress into your life. Stress causes fatigue, irritability, joint pain, eating disorders, and a multitude of other health problems. This is to be a joyous season, so take time for some self-care to control the stress in your life.
Be a giver. Allow yourself to focus on others during the holiday season. How can you bring joy into the life of someone? Give away a smile every chance you have. Be joyous and you’ll find that you’re contagious and others around you will begin be joyous too.
Use these tips to keep yourself healthy and energized this holiday season. Download this tip sheet to help you through the busiest time of the year.