5 Strategies to keep the holidays healthy

It’s official! The holiday season has begun and although it supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year full of joy and happiness, it can also bring on stress, anxiety and unhealthy situations for many. From the expectation of gift-giving, the pressure of spending money you might not have and being surrounded by family, food and alcohol; we’ve pulled together 5 strategies to keep the holidays healthy.

You don’t have to say yes to everything

Sometimes we feel pressure to say yes to every food, drink or party offered to us especially over the holidays, but it really is ok to say no. Whether it’s a family member, a co-worker or a friend, it’s acceptable to say, “no thank you”, especially to keep yourself sane. And when you do say yes, be sure it’s something that is really important to you, that makes you happy. When it comes to food and drink, say yes to the things that you absolutely love, that are special and you rarely get to eat. Indulge, but as always, be mindful.

Don’t forget to be grateful

It’s so easy to focus on what our problems are in the moment or what we don’t have. Instead, consider taking a moment to remind yourself of what you do have and if you lost it, how would you feel? Being grateful is an incredible way to remind ourselves just how lucky we are; whether it be for our health, the food on our table (that many are without), or warmth of our home that we might take for granted sometimes. Did you know an attitude of gratitude can make you healthier?

Do at least one healthy thing for yourself each week

It’s always important to take time for you, but especially during the crazy holiday season when stress can creep up even when you think you’ve got it all together. Plan some time to ensure you’re getting your exercise in or whatever might make you feel good. Whether it be a facial mask at home before jumping in the shower or going to bed a little earlier, make an effort to do at least one healthy thing for yourself each week all year round, but especially over the holiday season. You might be thinking, who has time for that? But we’re talking about simple, little healthy choices that might only take a few minutes, but will give you lasting ‘feel good’ results.

Call a friend who can always make you laugh

Laughter is the best medicine, there’s no doubt about that. The act of laughing just makes us feel better no matter what might be going on in our lives. So why not make an effort to laugh more? We all have a friend who can make us laugh, and there’s no better time to call him or her up than when we’re feeling any sort of stress. Within minutes you will forget whatever might have been ailing you.¬†When we laugh our bodies release endorphins that promote an overall sense of well-being that can let us forget about our problems, and that feeling can stay with us long after the laughter subsides. Laughing helps to reduce conflict, promotes bonding, attracts us to others, adds joy to our lives and improves our mood overall. There’s no better time to laugh!

Breathe

Yes, we naturally breathe without thinking about it, but it’s also vitally important to our health to breathe while actually thinking about it. Consciously breathing has been proven to be the best way to better control your stress and anxiety. Taking the time everyday, just for a few minutes, to breathe deeply can truly transform your mental and physical health over time. And never be afraid to excuse yourself from an uncomfortable situation that may arise throughout the holidays to create a new perspective for yourself through your breath.

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