The holidays are crazy, you guys. The calendar is stuffed, there are fatty foods galore and you’re expected to talk to people you haven’t seen in a year. With everything else going on, it’s easy to push health to the back burner. Don’t. Don’t forget about your wellbeing. As always, your health should be a priority regardless the season. This year put a few strategies into place and the holidays can be both merry and healthful. Well — mostly healthful. Here’s what to do:
Workout in the Morning
I’ll admit that I have trouble following this piece of advice, but squeezing in a workout can be tricky this time of year as there are parties and gatherings almost constantly. If you plan ahead, however, you won’t need to forego on exercise or social activities. How? Do your workouts in the morning. This will allow you to make the most of the holidays: maintain your fun-filled calendar while also burning calories. You don’t have to run ten miles; just get out and get moving. Aim for about thirty minutes of cardio; try to break a sweat at least once every day.
Pack a Snack & Eat Well
You’re going to be busy. The whole running-around-town-to-see-everyone is part of what makes the holidays so special. Mall outings, gift exchanges or a party at your aunt’s – all of these things will separate you from the healthy contents of your pantry. Who knows what will be available outside your own home, so pack your own healthy snack. If Aunt Milly only has buttery biscuits and chocolate chip cookies, and you’re starving, you’ll be happy to have some carrot sticks, whole-wheat crackers, apple slices or a lean-meat sandwich in your purse.
Make Time for Yourself
Smiling non-stop and holding deep, familial conversations daily – can you say exhausting? Put aside some time for de-stressing and solitude. If this means you need to skip a get together or two, so be it. Your mental state should be your priority, and maintaining a healthy, relaxed mind can be hard with a stuffed-to-the-brim agenda.
Don’t want to skip any social events? Take the few chunks of alone time to make yourself a cup of really great coffee, soak in the tub or get cozy in bed. These little moments of comfort will help you unwind and recharge for the next marathon of gatherings.
Put Safety First
Crappy weather rears its ugly head during the holidays. With every lovely snow comes highway pileups and slick streets. Sleet, ice and freezing rain – together they make the perfect recipe for hazardous roads and peak accident season. Be especially careful when driving: never drive drunk, invest in new tires if necessary and equip your car with any weather-specific safety features you feel would assist with safety.
Prepare your home for the weather, too. Make sure your heating system works to protect your family from cold-related illness/discomfort. Have salt ready to de-slick your driveway and walkway. Consider the state of your roof – is it winter ready? You should be confident that your house will withstand the elements, keeping you and yours as safe and comfortable as possible during the holidays.
Engage in Acts of Kindness
Tis the season of giving, right? Donating to nonprofits and doing charitable acts not only benefits others, but also boosts your self-satisfaction. Help those in need by donating toys or volunteering at a soup kitchen. No extra time or belongings? Make holiday cards for children in the hospital. There are so many people that have no family or friends– do your best to fill that void for someone.
Also participate in the lives of your friends and family. Extend an invite to a lonely friend. Buy a gift for someone who isn’t expecting it. Your small acts may make more of a difference than you think.
Keeping these things in mind, your holiday season won’t have to leave you haggard and flabby. Your heart will be full, your abs will be tight and you don’t even have to sacrifice the fun to make it happen.