If you’re anything like us, the end of the year always means you’re rushing around! Trying to get everyone gifts, attending holiday parties, and of course making delicious holiday food are always on the to-do list.
It’s realllly easy to ignore the needs of your body and feel worn out and run down at the end of the holiday season.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! There are several low effort actions you can take to promote health and happiness during the holiday season. After all, you have to take care of yourself in order to care for others!
1. Drink plenty of water
Drinking water is so crucial to our overall health. And let’s face it, sometimes we forget to drink enough water during the holidays! Between the weather turning colder and the occasional holiday cocktail, drinking water often gets neglected more than it should.
Drinking water prevents dehydration, a condition that can cause unclear thinking, result in mood change, cause your body to overheat, and lead to kidney stones. Water also helps your body keep a normal temperature, lubricates joints, protects your spinal cord, and naturally rids the body of toxins.
You can drink more water by carrying a water bottle around with you. Try getting a cute water bottle in a favorite color or pattern to bring a smile to your face every time you see it!
Another tip for drinking more water is to opt for water when dining out with friends or family! Not only is water a healthier option than soda, wine, or beer, but it's less expensive, too. Better for your body AND wallet!
2. Cut down on stress
Stress is your body’s natural response to a challenge, change, or demand. While we most commonly think of stress as being negative, it can also come from positive changes in your life, like getting married or moving to a new city.
For many people, certain aspects of the holidays are both positive and negative. However, activities and changes, even when positive, can result in stress. It’s so important to meet those challenges with healthy responses.
Stop smoking tobacco or cigarettes
People who smoke often do so because they believe it is a stress reliever. However, nicotine actually places more stress on the body by reducing blood flow and breathing. Over time, regular nicotine use can result in addiction, mood disorders, and permanent lowering of impulse control.
Practice relaxation techniques
We’ve written about different meditation types and how to incorporate meditation into your daily life. And while meditation is one way to relax, there are other things you can do to find zen like gentle yoga, taking a bath, or walking outdoors.
Set realistic goals
It's OKAY that you can’t do everything at once! Don’t worry about skipping a holiday party if you’re feeling tired. Don’t feel guilty about sleeping in on mornings where you feel more exhausted than usual. Know that you can’t be 100% successful at everything all at once, and be mindful about the things you can control.
3. Wash your hands
Keeping hands clean is a way to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Handwashing with soap eliminates germs from hands and prevents spread of infections. People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it, and those areas are vulnerable to germs.
Research shows that hand washing reduces respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by a whopping 16-21 percent!
Always wash your hands after using the restroom and before eating. During peak flu seasons, like winter, try to wash your hands even more than usual, like when coming in from outdoors and after cleaning the house.
4. Make time for exercise
When you’re out of your routine around the holidays, sometimes exercise is the last thing you feel like doing! We totally get the lack of motivation to move your body amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
But if you’re looking to stay healthy during the holidays, heart-pumping workouts are key! Regular physical activity improves your muscle strength and boosts endurance. Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lung health improve, you have more energy to tackle daily chores.
If you’re struggling with getting enough exercise during the holidays, try treating exercise like an appointment you can’t miss and booking time for it on your calendar. You may be surprised how writing down your workout time can boost accountability! You can even find a friend to be accountable with and share a digital calendar, where you book time for your workouts together.
5. Have fun!
Yes, physical health is so important to maintaining overall health. But mental health is soooo key, too! And when you’re hustling around trying to achieve everything before the holidays, sometimes you become too goal-oriented and forget to set aside time to just have fun.
When it’s all work work work and no play, you might find yourself down in the dumps more than usual. If you’re struggling to think about what to even do for fun (this is understandable!) think about what you used to enjoy as a kid. Did you love art class? Buy a set of paints! A simple paint by numbers kit can work wonders in alleviating stress and brightening your day. There are even custom paint by number kits, where you can upload a cherished photo, then receive a kit to paint it yourself. Pretty cool, huh?!
Perhaps you were an outdoorsy kid who loved everything and anything to do with exploring. Try a walking tour of your city to break free from the monotony AND learn cool new things about your own backyard. If you’re cooped up due to cold weather or quarantine, there are even virtual walking tours that are as close as possible to the real thing.
6. Eat healthy foods
We 100 percent support the consumption of as many holiday treats as you like (with no guilt!). But sometimes in the midst of holiday indulgence, you just want a nutritious meal.
At Proper Good, we have our best sellers all bundled together so you can just order and have them shipped straight to your door! Our build your own packs take the guesswork out of eating healthy around the holidays. With each pouch, you’re getting a nutrient-packed meal to keep you fueled during even the busiest holiday times.