For most of us, the most stressful part of December comes well before December 25. The holiday season can mean family gatherings, travel plans, shopping, endless social gatherings and parties, and high-pressure deadlines for work. The holidays are a time when people tend to overeat and overdrink, but if you don’t plan ahead, it can be easy to let healthy habits fall by the wayside. But there are ways you can manage the stress of the holidays, instead of letting it control you. Here are nine tips that can help you stay on track with your wellness goals.
1. Plan ahead. The holiday season can throw your healthy eating and exercise routines out the window, so plan ahead. Have a schedule, and stick to it.
2. Find the right balance between healthy eating and exercise. It can be tempting to overindulge during the holidays, but don’t. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and avoid high-fat, high-sugar foods.
3. Stay hydrated. Drinking enough water can help keep you hydrated and energized.
4. Get enough sleep. Being sleep deprived can make you feel stressed, and it can interfere with your ability to think and function properly.
5. Get moving. Exercise has been shown to reduce stress. A short walk during the day, or a yoga or Pilates session, can help.
6. Take a break. Take some time for yourself to recharge. Decompress from the holiday season by doing something you enjoy.
7. Redefine the “holidays”. December can be a stressful month, but it doesn’t have to last the whole year. Try to redefine the holidays as about spending time with those you love, rather than an abundance of cookies and sweets.
8. Get creative. Break out of your routine, and try new and fun ways to stay fit and healthy.
9. Limit alcohol intake. Overindulgence in alcohol will make you feel bad and distract you from your goals.