Want to up your holiday wellness game this year and stay strong and healthy in mind and in body? Keep reading for our top tips for staying healthy during the holidays.
The holidays are almost upon us yet again. A season to be merry, enjoy, feast on delicious food and spend time with loved ones but it can also be a season of stress, overeating, flu, anxiety and guilt.
Both mental and physical health is so important and shouldn’t take a back seat during the holiday season. Here are my top tips for staying healthy during the holidays, whether you’re at home or travelling this holiday season. Here’s your guide to holiday wellness.
*This ‘holiday wellness’ post contains affiliate links meaning I might make a small profit if you choose to book at no extra cost to you. This helps me to keep providing you with top-quality content for free.
Top Tips for Holiday Wellness
#1 Change Your Mindset for Holiday Wellness
The holidays are a time for relaxation, family, loved ones and indulgence.
Holiday parties are often some of the best of the year, the food is some of the most delicious and there’s no point in beating yourself up about a couple of extra pounds. It’s all about your mindset and having a balanced one.
Allow yourself to go out there, have a great time, indulge and try a bit of everything without going crazy and perhaps feeling guilty later. It’s possible to have a merry and healthy Christmas, just keep both in mind.
As much as we’d all like the holidays to be a time to unwind, and relax in front of a cosy fire, it can at times get pretty stressful. We want everything to be perfect from the gifts to the food, we work so hard and of course, most of the time it’s not.
Again this is all about mindset. Don’t aim for perfection, go with the flow and oftentimes you’ll enjoy it a lot more.
One of the best ways to encourage a healthy mindset and positive thoughts, especially during this time of year is by journaling. Journalling does wonders for so many people around the world, including me, for staying strong, dealing with negative feelings and emotions and encouraging positive ways of thinking and practise.
#2 Stay Hydrated
Dry air, excessive alcohol, too much caffeine and a busy lifestyle all contribute to dehydration.
Staying hydrated is optimal for the body to function fully, especially at this time of year with bugs and flu going around.
Staying hydrated will also speed up digestion, keep energy levels up and can also help you to consume less of what you don’t need.
#3 Be Aware of Drink Calories
Everything we consume, well, almost everything has calories, drinks included but we often forget about them.
Some drinks, in fact, can have even more calories than certain foods. Alcoholic drinks, sugary fruit punches and juices and creamy hot chocolates are the main culprits at this time of year.
To stay healthy during the holidays, stay away from oversweetened drinks, drink water with lemon instead of fruit juices and have wine instead of beer.
Cocktails can also be swapped for vodka with club soda with a dash of lime and order your hot chocolate with no cream.
The idea isn’t to limit yourself and restrict yourself but there is a fine line between restriction and overconsumption.
#4 Stop When You’re Full
No one wants that feeling of being so overly full you feel sick.
Avoid this by stopping when you feel almost full.
Doing so will make your stomach able to digest the meal faster and you can always come back for seconds later.
Another great way to avoid digestion issues during the holiday season and every day is to take pro and prebiotics or a synbiotic. These good bacteria do their magic to help avoid gut issues, bloating and digestive issues.
I personally love this Synbiotic from Rituals. It’s a miracle worker every day but especially during the holiday season as food intake generally increases. It’s worked so well for me in the past to balance the gut microbiome. Get it from Amazon here.
#5 Switch Up Your Workout Routine
It goes without saying that exercise during the holidays is pretty important. When you switch up your everyday workout routine, you give your metabolism an extra boost as your body has to work harder doing those exercises it’s not used to.
The holidays are the perfect time to do this for that extra challenge. Switch up your exercises, try TRX, barre or even a spinning class- just try something you don’t always do.
It can have an amazing effect on your metabolism allowing you to burn through that Christmas dinner in no time. It can also do wonders for keeping your mind strong with all those extra endorphins.
For my travel or home-friendly workouts that require no gym or equipment, click here.
#6 Holiday Wellness: Connect With Others
While food is a massive part of the holidays, why not try to centre your focus away from food, drink and anything that might bring you stress?
Focus your time and energy on connecting with the people around you. Cultivating both old and new relationships can have a huge effect on our mental health and a strong family or community circle has the power to make us feel invincible.
#7 Sleep Well
The holidays could be a great opportunity to catch up on sleep or not. Make sure you sleep well as sleep has the ability to further reduce holiday stress, put you in a better mood and also help to maintain weight.
Those extra days off work and putting that alarm far inside the bedside-table drawer gives us the opportunity to catch up on all those lost hours through the year.
If you can, it’s also worth taking that extra time off during the holidays just to rest and recover from the year and to plan ahead.
#8 Try a Little of Everything
Holiday wellness and staying healthy during the holiday season is not about missing out.
By all means, treat yourself to a bit of everything. Whether you’re at a party, thanksgiving or Christmas dinner or at a Hanukkah celebration, try a bit of everything, just make sure to come back for seconds of natural, fresh foods rather than the greasy, fried stuff.
It can be difficult to prioritise healthful, nourishing foods at this time of year and they are not always on offer. The least we can do is to just try as that extra sprinkle of holiday wellness can really help.
#9 Don’t Go Out Hungry
One surefire way to eat everything under the kitchen sink is to go to a party hungry, and I mean ravenous.
Just don’t put yourself in that situation. Try to always eat something small beforehand, not so you’re full but not hungry either.
This way you’ll have room for drinks and extra snacks without wanting to devour everything in sight.
If you know you’re going to a party where there won’t be much in terms of healthy food options, try to have a salad or a soup beforehand. You can then grab a couple of more unhealthy snacks at the party and call it balance. It’s all about balance.
#10 Choose Wisely
During the holiday season, we’re all faced with many different foods and drink choices. Choose wisely.
You don’t want to limit yourself and not enjoy the event but you don’t want to make all the bad choices either. You want to meet yourself somewhere in the middle.
If you’re at a buffet try a little of everything but then choose more of the healthy stuff.
If at a cocktail party choose veggie sticks with hummus over fried potato chips. Choosing healthy, natural or home-cooked foods rather than fried or processed foods will be one of your biggest wins during the holidays.
#11 Wash Your Hands Often
Unfortunately, the holiday season for most is also flu season with a plethora of germs and bacteria going around.
To make sure you don’t catch anything and get sick right before big events make sure to wash your hands often as bacteria and germs are mainly transferred by hand.
You should be washing your hand thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap each time.
#12 Boost Your Immune System as Much as Possible
Another sure way to stay healthy during the holidays is to give your immune system a little boost.
As well as all the holiday food, eat an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, get adequate sleep and drink alcohol in moderation. These will all encourage you to look and feel your best throughout the holidays.
Remember you can’t take care of anyone else if you’re off. Take care of yourself first.
#13 Try a Plant-Based Christmas
More and more people are switching to a plant-based diet each year for many reasons from health to animal welfare.
Why not try a plant-based Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner for a change? It could be something different, just as enjoyable but healthier, more sustainable and ethical too.
If you choose to eat meat then you can try opting for pasture, cage-free turkeys or chickens or grass-fed beef. Not only are they more nutritious for you, but the animals are also reared in much better conditions. We also put our hard-earned dollars into supporting companies that care more about the environment and animal welfare.
#14 Less is More
As an advocate for more sustainable travel and conscious living, it’s difficult to approach the holidays and not think about issues of sustainability. All that single-use wrapping paper, plastic toys and packaging. Christmas is just another wave of trash for our beautiful planet.
I always encourage people to keep this in mind during the holiday season. That’s not to say you need to opt for a zero-waste Christmas but considering the environment in your actions is a great idea.
Some easy swaps you can make are to not use wrapping paper, or if you do, make sure to reuse it. Gift your loved ones experiences rather than things, especially plastic things and go for a ‘less is more’ approach to the holiday season.
Do you have any ways to stay healthy during the holidays? I’d love to hear from you! Leave all your questions and comments below.
Want to take your health to another level? These are just some of my favourite brands and websites I use to buy health & wellness and beauty items.
Amazon.com for just about anything
The Detox Market for natural, organic and chemical-free skincare and clean beauty
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