Staying Healthy During the Holidays

Staying Healthy During the Holidays

This week launches the Holiday Season, beginning with Thanksgiving. Tis the season to be happy. However, this time of the year can trigger many mixed emotions, and unfortunately those emotions can run the gambit from joy and excitement to loneliness, sadness, and even anger.

The purpose of this blog is to share ways to keep your sanity and your waistline intact during what is the biggest eating holiday of the year. Whether it’s your waistline that’s being stretched or your emotions, there’s something here to help you navigate your way back to your center. In addition, this year we have to remain vigilant about protecting ourselves from COVID19 and all that accompanies it.

Ok, so let’s dive into ways to stay mentally and physically healthy during the holidays.

1.    Wash your hands. Use soap and running water for 20 seconds to prevent picking up Covid, colds, and the flu, especially when you return from public places. It is also helpful to keep hand sanitizer in your car. You can’t be too cautious these days.

2.   Eat Mindfully. Sit back and savor the flavors of your favorite foods. Pay attention to the taste, aroma, and texture of the foods. Be aware of fullness and satisfaction cues. It takes a few minutes before your stomach signals the brain that you’re full, so eat slowly and enjoy the food rather than seeing how much you can get down. I know when you’re eating something tasty, there is the desire to eat as much as possible. However, after stuffing yourself, you’ll feel miserable. So why not enjoy the ecstasy in the moment,  and take some with you for tomorrow when you can savor it all over again? And lastly, on this note, don’t come to the gathering hungry or you will surely overeat.

3.   Stay Hydrated. Since 60% of our total body weight is water, it is important to maintain that ratio. Water is also instrumental in maintaining our cell’s fluids and delivers nutrients. Water is especially important when drinking alcohol because it dehydrates you. Consider having a glass of water with your favorite adult beverage. You may wind up drinking less and saving a few calories.

4.    Make time for yourself. Self-care should be your top priority. Don’t let the craziness of the holiday take a toll on your mental and emotional health. Whether you’re caught up in cooking, shopping or socializing, don’t put your needs on the back burner. Take some time to relax and unwind. Go for a walk, meditate, watch a good movie or read a good book. Do at least one thing a day that makes you feel good and appreciated. Yes, appreciate yourself!

5.    Fit in fitness. Whether you are enthralled in the festivities or hiding under a cloud of depression, push back the fun or gloom to stimulate your body in some way. It can be a simple walk through the neighborhood after a meal, or if you’re alone, it can be a moment of self-pleasuring to lift your spirit.

6.    Change your mindset. Reframe your “have it now or never” feelings. Decide that if you want sweet potato pie, you can have it another time if you choose. It does not exist only in this moment. You can take a piece home with you and freeze it for another time. When you realize you have choices, it puts you in better control of your food selections. Also, don’t give up after one splurge. Don’t let that derail your journey. Think of it like an “Etch a Sketch.” You get a clean slate beginning with your next meal, or your next conversation, or your next relationship, or your next workout.

7.    Get your ZZZ’s. I hope you are not like me, and truly understand the value sleep plays in every area of your life. Although I struggle with it, all the science validates the importance of sleep. Shortchanging your sleep can alter your hormone levels in a way that encourages weight gain and cravings for unhealthy foods. Getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep can change your life.

Most importantly, when it’s all said and done,  give thanks to yourself and your higher being for allowing you to be the awesome human you are. Yes, You!

Sending you Love & Light,

Renee Featherstone