10 Winter/Christmas Health Tips:
December is under way!
Eggnog, cookies, turkey, booze, family, stress, shopping, pressure…
Tis the season for all the good things! But also all the not so good things that come with the holiday season.
What are you doing for yourself so you don’t collapse of exhaustion? Or fatigue? Or so you don’t catch the flu? You may be dealing with depression or anxiety. Let me help you get through December right through to January with a clear head.
Let’s talk about 10 Winter and Christmas health tips to keep you mentally strong this holiday season.
1) Mental Focus and Mindfulness – “If the mind is willing, the body will follow.” Decide on what you want to feel like and how you want to act before the holidays start. Set limits and goals. How much booze you’re going to drink, how many parties you’re going to attend, how much money you’re going to spend. You need a mental plan. What is it that you’re prepared to do and not do? Whatever that is, stick to it, don’t overdue it.
2) Smart Eating – 5-10 lbs is not an uncommon weight gain after the Christmas holidays. Sugar, hors d’oeuvres, chips, the list goes on! Decide how much you want to eat and when are you content from eating. Are you content or are you uncomfortably full? One tip is to chew slowly, you will fill up faster. By eating smart, you will feel better because how you eat impacts anxiety and depression. “Talk more, eat less” is what I try to go for at this time of year. The idea is moderation.
3) Keep Booze Moderate – Eggnog, cocktails, there are so many Christmas beverages to choose from. Of course you are allowed to have a drink or two, just keep it moderate. Drinking doesn’t provide anything positive except a short term buzz. Sugary mixes, pops, liqueurs, high carb, sugar based, dairy, creamy based drinks, egg nog, baileys, whipped cream…the possibilities are endless. Try drink organic wine or mixing your alcohol with soda water. Use less mix or add lemon/lime, ice, etc, enjoy quality over quantity. Also, have a glass of water after every drink, this will help from having a terrible hangover. And last but not least, no drinking and driving. There are so many check stops at this time of year!
4) Exercise – But it’s freezing out! Yes, you can still be active in December. Because we are so busy and stressed, good habits in health fall off at this time of year. Skiing, skating, tobogganing, get outside and do recreational activities, don’t just sit around. You will feel way better getting out and moving – moving puts you in a better mood.
5) Prevent Illness/Immunity Boosters – There is lots of touching at Christmas time so you are more exposed to illness. Wash your hands, dress warm and appropriate, don’t get overly chilled, check your Vitamin D levels, watch your stress. Financial stress and personal stress weakens peoples immune systems. Make sure to be getting proper sleep and enough of it. For more ways to prevent yourself from getting sick at this time of year, check out my blog post “Top Ways to Prevent From Getting the Flu This Winter”.
6) Put Electronic Devices Down – Computers, laptops, cellphones, let’s be present. There are major health effects from electrical devices. Instead, strike up a conversation in person, pull out a game, go public skating, do something to interact with people in real life. Refrain from electronics and engage who you’re sitting with, put a box in the middle of the room and put your phones in there so you’re forced to socialize. During family time, I think it’s a great idea to shut down devices and enjoy each other’s company.
7) Psychology Tips (how we look at things)– Learn to say no. There are a lot of parties and events at this time of year and favors asked of you. Learn to say no to some of them, you don’t have to accept everything. It’s overwhelming! Be realistic as there are lots of disappointments at Christmas, but in reality it’s just another time of year. Focus on positive things, don’t worry if it’s not the perfect time. There shouldn’t be guilt – don’t put unreasonable pressure on yourself. If you can’t buy expensive gifts, don’t put yourself in debt. Don’t feel pressured to put on the best party, that’s unimportant and unrealistic. Ask yourself how do YOU see this whole experience? Lastly, ask for help. Christmas stuff can can take days, weeks, even months of preparation. Ask for help from your friends, spouse, relatives, help each other through this period of time. “I need help” – 3 simple words.
8) Diffusers/Scents – Cinnamon, nutmeg, and aromas in general are apart of Christmas and winter holidays. Medically, we can use aromatherapy to help with our health. Various oils can be diffused such as lavender and eucalyptus. Drinking hot lemon and water, herbal tea, are all better for us versus coffee and alcohol. If you have a home sauna or have access to a sauna, this is also great. It’s good for our health to sweat or perspire. It’s also a good way to interact with people, such as your husband or boyfriend or whoever. Deep talks!
9) Helping Others – Depression and suicide rates are a lot higher at Christmas time. The holiday season is a difficult time for people. Money problems, divorce, and stress play a big role at this time so look out for your friends and families. How are they behaving, can you help them in some way, support them. Be a shoulder for them if they’re going through a rough time. Go out and volunteer. There are so many charities and people that need help. Help out your local food bank, retirement home, give to less fortunate. One word or one act can change somebody’s life. A minute talking to someone can even help. Let’s make an impact.
10) Forgiveness/Gratitude/Love – Compassion! Tell people that are close to you that you love them. Say it to their face. Stop being a victim in your own life and blaming others. Take responsibility! Make your life better and those around you better.
There we have it! Christmas is never going to be perfect, so set some goals and have an idealistic holiday season.
If you had a rough Christmas last year, this year will be different. You WILL have a great holiday season.