The holidays are here, which means that you’ll have to find time to celebrate with friends and family while also preparing delicious food and decorating your home. It’s no surprise that this time of year can be exhausting, especially if you have young children or work long hours every day. But don’t panic! Here are some easy tips that will keep you healthy and happy during the holiday season so you can truly enjoy it to the fullest.
Top 10 Wellness Tips for Healthy Holidays – Presented by Kristin Misik Acupuncture – New Paltz, NY
Staying hydrated is important at any time of year, but it’s especially crucial during an active holiday season. Make sure to drink at least eight glasses of water each day, but be careful not to overdo it as drinking too much water can lead to hyponatremia—where sodium levels in your blood drop too low. Make sure to consume plenty of vegetables and minerals throughout your day (like celery) while staying away from sugary drinks like soda, juice, and alcohol.
2) Supplement to boost the immune system
During cold and flu season, it’s a good idea to boost your immune system as much as possible. One of the easiest ways to do that is through supplements like vitamin C, which naturally strengthens your body’s defenses against infection. Look for a supplement with a high level of bioflavonoids, so you can maximize your intake of vitamin C.
3) Exercise regularly
This may seem like an obvious one, but make sure you’re exercising at least three times a week. This will keep your metabolism working at its peak. If possible, try to schedule your workouts in advance so that you don’t find yourself skipping them just because they slipped your mind. However, don’t beat yourself up if you can’t work out regularly — health comes first!
4) Take time off from unhealthy foods
Unhealthy foods are often more readily available during holiday get-togethers, and they’re also more likely to be higher in saturated fats, sugars, sodium, and other bad ingredients. If you want to stay healthy through your holiday celebrations (and beyond), avoid grazing on unhealthy foods. Focus on loading up on fruits and veggies; staying hydrated; incorporating some exercise into your daily routine; and getting plenty of rest.
5) Focus on gratitude
The holidays are all about gathering with friends and family, but that can also lead to unhealthy habits like overindulging in fatty foods and sugar-laden desserts. Gratitude is a great way to turn negative eating behaviors into positive ones. Before you eat something that’s not so healthy, ask yourself if you are thankful for it—then think about all of the amazing things in your life that led to that treat in front of you.
6) Try acupuncture
According to a recent study published in Clinical Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, moderate to severe pain can be reduced by at least 50 percent with just four acupuncture treatments. Furthermore, acupuncturists believe that seasonal wellness-related issues such as colds and sinus infections can be treated via a process known as ear-pointing, where needles are inserted into acupuncture points in-ears instead of the hands or feet.
One of our most effective wellness tips is a tried-and-true stress reliever: meditation. This practice involves taking time each day to sit quietly, clear your mind and focus on your breathing—which has been shown to lower stress levels, improve concentration and boost creativity.
8) Don’t forget rest
There’s more to wellness than exercise. It may sound crazy, but studies show that if you don’t get enough sleep, you can be more prone to a host of ailments and illnesses. In fact, not getting enough rest is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, depression, and death from all causes. Make sure your body gets seven or eight hours of shut-eye every night to stay healthy during the holidays.
9) Keep your energy levels up by eating regular meals.
Regularly snacking on foods like fruits and vegetables keeps your energy levels up and staves off hunger. Consuming enough water is another way to keep yourself energized, especially when it’s cold outside. It’s recommended that men drink 3 liters of water per day, while women should aim for 2.5 liters each day. If you’re in pain, consider using acupuncture; it has a long history of working well with inflammation and joint-related problems.
10) Schedule activities every day, so you don’t feel bored.
A big part of staying active is staying occupied. If you don’t have a busy schedule, it can be easy to succumb to boredom or laziness when you’re not in work mode. Schedule fun activities each day—this could be as simple as hanging out with friends or taking your dog on a long walk—so that you always have something exciting planned. This way, if one activity doesn’t get you moving at least a little bit, you have another planned later in the day.