Bloating, lethargy, and germs. None of these things are what comes to mind when we imagine a happy holiday season. And yet, more often than we care to admit, these three grinches steal our Christmas joy. To help you have healthier holidays this year, I wrote up a list of 10 simple holiday health tips!
Follow them, incorporate a few healthy holiday habits into your routine and enjoy the festivities full of energy!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
1. Bring your own water bottle
Staying hydrated is the most important thing for staying healthy. Period.
But when you’re going to some other people’s place for the holidays, you are usually dependent on the drinks they’ll offer you. And those drinks might be mostly alcoholic, sugary, or both.
So to remind yourself to drink some water regularly, simply bring your own reusable water bottle along. Fill it up in the morning and make it a rule to finish it before you go to bed.
Definitely one of the best healthy habits – not only for the holidays!
If you don’t have a reusable water bottle yet, get it here*! You can pick your preferred color and size, although I recommend at least the 32 oz-sized one.
2. Drink a glass of water for every glass of alcohol
Some people don’t drink any alcohol at all. If you are one of those people: Congratulations! If not, chances are you’ll get offered more than one glass of something during the holidays. And alcohol makes your body work HARD to get rid of the toxins.
So the least you can do to support it with that strenuous labor is keeping it hydrated. Follow up every glass of alcohol with one glass of water.
This will also make a possible hangover much more bearable, I promise!
3. Be mindful of germs
The holiday season is flu season as well. But by implementing a couple of germ-fighting habits, you have the chance to stay safe from the sniffles!
- Wash your hands regularly with soap for at least 20 seconds.
- If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your elbow instead of your hands.
4. Make movement a fixed part of your day
Again, you might be out of town, visiting family and not have access to your usual commodities. Like a gym or your home workout equipment. But that doesn’t mean you can’t stay fit and healthy throughout the holidays by consciously making movement a part of your day.
Even without making time for a full-blown workout, you can keep your body limber.
Try one of these things, and see how easy it is:
- Do a few good stretches in the mornings
- Go for a walk after a meal, ideally with the whole family
- Do a few squats or jumping jacks, just randomly. See if you can get someone to join in.
- Do a short Yoga sequence before going to sleep
Even in the busiest days of the festive season, you’ll be able to make room for 5 minutes of movement. See it as your daily self-care practice!
5. Eat slowly
Unless you have to follow a strict diet for some reason, it’s very likely that you’ll indulge in all the Christmas treats on the table. And why not? Usually, it’s not even the type of food that’s the poison. It’s the huge amounts we tend to eat over the holidays.
But that feeling when there seems to be a stone in your belly and you can’t move after one of those lavish, huge holiday meals? No one likes that.
You can help prevent it, by eating slowly and taking a 20-minute break after every portion. This is how long it takes for your brain to notice when your stomach is full.
If then you still feel like snacking, go for it. But in most cases, you’ll realize you’ve had enough for now. Take that, holiday bloat!
6. Get in those vitamins!
With all the fatty, sugary foods around, it’s easy to go for days without eating anything fresh.
So make sure your body gets the vitamins it needs by adding fresh fruit and vegetables to your daily platter. Bonus points if you manage to eat an apple or something like that BEFORE the big meals.
This will help you
a) make sure you actually have enough room left for your vitamins and
b) keeps your plans for being healthy on your mind when it matters a lot. (See tip 5!)
7. Don’t stress!
Things around the holidays tend to get a little hectic, to say the least. So take care of your physical and mental health by planning time for self-care and taking breaks when things get too much.
A good way to keep your mind calm and relaxed is to practice mindfulness regularly.
Whichever way of stress-relief works for you, definitely work some time for it into your schedule. The same applies as it does to movement: it doesn’t have to be much, but it needs to be part of the plan!
8. Brain games
To avoid falling into the well-known lethargy after all those big meals, let your brain have some fun. Yes, you could also simply watch movies all day long. But why not use the physical downtime to train your mind a little?
When everyone comes together, it’s the perfect time to get out those board games and have some fun together! Clearly, you can set this up from the get-go by gifting some awesome new games to family members. Win-win!
9. Healthy Christmas treats
If you have control over the food that’s served for the celebratory meals – great! Go for healthier options.
Latest since I dug into these sugar-free dessert ideas am I convinced that healthy does really not have to mean less tasty!
And there are so many great ideas out there, you’ll be sad you didn’t go for healthy holiday food earlier. If you need inspiration, simply follow my Pinterest board full of ideas for healthy holiday recipes here!
10. Get your shut-eye
The last of my holiday health tips, but certainly not the least important: Make sure you get enough sleep!
I know, with all the preparation, all the running and being social, it can be easy to forget about the importance of a few good hours of sweet slumber.
But missing out on sleep wreaks all kinds of havoc on your body. It can throw off your hormones, make you feel angry and depressed and can even make you gain weight.
So do yourself and the people around you a favor and prioritize sleep!
How are you staying healthy during the holidays?
So these were my tips for healthy holiday habits. Now let me know: What do you do to have healthier holidays this year? Let me know in the comments and make sure to share these tips with someone!
*These links are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.