Attention to all my fellow mommas in stress meltdown mode: the kids are fighting over the last piece of Halloween candy, you are traveling across country with toddlers for Thanksgiving, and your skinny jeans haven’t fit you right since September. Hello, holiday memories and hello stress!
‘Tis the season to beat sickness (along with fatigue, sugar highs, stress, or other holiday downers). Fortunately, you can create an action plan TODAY to stay healthy for the holidays and get your stress level under control.
A few weeks ago, I participated in a super fun blog hop and met many interesting and fun blogging peeps along the way. This week, I am linking up with the lovely DC area bloggers, Coach Mar at Mar on the Run Cynthia at You Signed Up For What?! and Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC for their Friday Five linkup. This week’s theme centers around staying healthy for the holidays.
Today I am bringing you 5 tips to stay healthy and happy this holiday season:
- Ward off germs. Family gatherings, airports and grocery stores, shopping malls, even the library — they’re all places germs like to mingle. So protect yourself: Get a flu vaccine and wash your hands a lot. Purell your kid hands before they put something, or anything in their little mouths. The holidays are all about sharing, but some things you’ll want to keep to yourself: forks, spoons, sippie cups, and toys. People (especially kids) can be contagious before they have any symptoms of being sick, so even just a sip from someone’s drink puts you at risk.
- Eat healthy and be merry. Holiday foods can be high in calories and low on the nutrition you need to battle sickness and boost energy. Make it a priority to eat five or more fruits and vegetables a day (choose the whole fruits with fiber instead of juices with artificial sweeteners so you feel full longer and avoid added sugar). Carry an apple or a bag of baby carrots so you always have a healthy snack available. And don’t give up on your exercise routine during the holidays. Exercise gives your immune system an added boost of energy, in addition to burning mega calories.
- Chill. “Can I afford it?” “Will it be perfect?” Even things we look forward to, like parties or gifts, can come with worries attached. If you feel stressed out, stop what you’re doing for just a moment. Take five deep breaths — all-the-way-down-to-your-belly deep. Concentrate on each breath as you inhale and exhale. Walk over to a window and look out at the sky. Count to ten. Then count to 20. Then go back to what you were doing, realizing that holiday drama will happen. Just hope it leaves you with some great stories to tell!
- Beat the blues. Holiday depression doesn’t just happen in songs. For some people, it’s seasonal, brought on by shorter days, longer nights, and colder weather. If you feel down, get outside for a quick jog or a brisk walk, even if it’s cold where you live. Sunlight and exercise are great energy and morale boosters.
- Get some ZZZs. Getting 8 to 9 hours of sleep a night during the holidays can help strengthen your immune system, give you more energy, and make you less vulnerable to stress. Even if you can’t commit to a solid bedtime routine every night, aim to get some decent sleep at least 5 nights per week.
One of the most important aspects of staying healthy for the holidays centers around having fun! Forget about your to-do list and those pesky emails on your phone for just a few moments and enjoy the extra company and holiday parties. Better yet, don’t even check your email from your phone when you are out and about, because then you stress about HOW to answer those emails when you get home or back to the office (and it’s not worth it!). Try not to stress about all the holiday shopping still left to do, or the meal prepping involved in next week’s party festivities. Instead, take some time to truly enjoy the present moment.
Laugh and enjoy yourself — the holidays only come once a year.
Do you have any tips for staying sane and healthy this holiday season? I would love to hear all about them in the comments below!