Holidays can be a fun, exciting time of year, but can also make it difficult to take care of yourself. Here are some helpful tips to make your holiday healthier.
Get enough sleep – You’ll feel better if you are well rested. Make an effort to get to bed on time and get 7-8 hours of sleep. Create an ideal sleep environment - cool, dark, quiet. Consider using a fan or ear plugs. Do a calming activity before bed like reading or taking a bath. Avoid caffeine, nicotine or alcohol. Turn the TV, phone, computer off 30 minutes before bed.
Eat a little healthier – Everyone has family traditions like green bean casserole or sweet potatoes with marshmallows. Can you take one dish and make it healthier this year? Instead of green bean casserole, how about fresh green beans. Replace mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower. Remove the marshmallows from the sweet potatoes.
Snacking healthier – Many people like to set up snacks to munch on before the big meal. This can be a great time for people to fill up on healthier items. Set out a fresh tray of veggies or fresh fruit. Try a variety of nuts or a bowl of popcorn without butter, and watch the salt. You’ll be amazed at how people will eat the healthier options if they are set out.
Enjoy dessert - Don’t deny yourself dessert. Allow yourself to indulge in your favorite holiday treats but take a mini portion and save another mini portion for another day. Eat slowly and savor it!
Think about what you drink – Many people don’t realize that there is as much as ¼ cup of sugar in a can of pop. Many mixed drinks like margaritas or daiquiris also contain a lot of sugar. You can still have that favorite beverage, just do it in moderation.
Get up and move – Being active makes you feel better, and getting out in nature can have a calming, positive affect that lifts your spirits. Combining these two in a walk in a park or nature trail. Don’t be afraid to walk in the cold. You can stay warm by dressing in layers. Don’t like to walk? Even something as simple as stretching or marching in place while you watch TV can help get the blood pumping and stretch your muscles from all the sitting or standing.
Happy Holidays to you and your family from all of us at Northfield Hospital + Clinics