As the busy holiday season approaches, our to-do list increases and our healthy habits often decrease.
This year, make a commitment to stay on track so when the New Year comes, you will not be starting from square one.
Here are 10 simple tips that you can add to any day and still get all your extra demands met. These will allow you to stay focused on your health and may lessen the stress associated with the busiest time of the year.
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily. Hydrate your body on a regular basis no matter where you are.
- Increase your fruit and vegetables by two servings. Anyone can throw in one extra fruit for lunch and serve up a few more carrots at supper. During this cold and flu season, you need all the extra vitamins you can get.
- Walk at a brisk pace for at least 20 minutes daily. Just because you may not be able to get your full workout in does not mean you need to give it up entirely. You will be happy you at least did something when Jan 1 rolls around.
- Deep breathe any time you are waiting for something or someone. For example, at a stop light, on hold on the phone, during a commercial or while waiting in those long lines at the checkouts. Instead of increasing your stress while stuck in heavy holiday traffic, taking a deep breath can relax you immediately especially if you have tired kids in the car! Check out my FREE ecourse “How to prevent a MumME Meltdown” at www.seekingbalance.ca
- Decrease your caffeine consumption and try a little green tea with lemon. Too much caffeine can make you irritable and anxious. By decreasing your caffeine you will be doing your body a favor and adding antioxidants found in green tea will be an added bonus and can give your immune system a needed holiday boost.
- Limit your intake of sugary and sweet foods. Pass on the ones you are not really crazy about and savor and limit the ones you love. During the season we often eat regardless of taste. Things we may not eat on a regular basis, we overindulge in. All part of the holiday season, we convince ourselves. Too many sweets can cause dips in our blood sugar resulting in irritability, mood swings and low energy. Definitely not symptoms we can afford to be experiencing when we need more energy and enthusiasm.
- Go to bed 30 minutes earlier one or two times a week. The extra holiday stress on our bodies (mentally and physically) can be exhausting. Instead of watching that Law and Order rerun, turn off the T.V. and give yourself that much needed extra sleep. If it is a show you just can’t miss, tape it and watch it the following day.
- Take 15 minutes to do something you enjoy. Remember the importance of your self-care especially during the holidays. You need to renew and replenish your wellness so take time out for you, even if it is 15 minutes to read a favorite book or a warm soak in the tub.
- Reflect on what you are grateful for. During the frenzy of the season and the consumer focus on shopping, we often forget the really important gifts we already have in our daily lives. Take an inventory of those. You will feel especially blessed this Christmas if you do.
- Tell someone how much you appreciate them. The sharing and receiving of kinds words can often be one of the best remedies for reducing stress and truly enjoying the holidays.
Post these tips on your fridge to remind yourself that it is often the little daily choices we consistently make that can have the greatest impact on our health. Give yourself the gift of health this year. It will be something worth getting and I guarantee you will not want to exchange it no matter how great the return policy sounds. Feel free to forward this to any friends who may benefit from this info, too!!!!