Christmas is a great time of year, but it can be hard on your health as the weather turns for the worse, you’re stressed out rushing back and forth shopping and cooking, and then when the holiday finally does kick in, you forget yourself and over-indulge.
New Year is traditionally the time for making promises to be better about your health, but why not go into Christmas this year with a plan to stay healthy from the start?
Keep eating well
When the nights get dark and the heating’s on full blast, it’s easy to stop eating salads and drinking water, and reach instead for stodgy comfort foods. But now more than ever you need to ensure that you’re getting your full quota of vitamins and minerals, so don’t forget to keep eating plenty of fresh fruit and veggies. And if you are on the booze over the holidays, swap back and forth between water and alcohol to minimize dehydration and ensure you don’t suffer the next morning.
It’s the season to be snacking… but keep in mind that even a single mince pie is a calorie menace, so while you don’t want to be watching everything you eat over the holidays, keeping healthier snacks around can really help fight the urge to over-do it. Satsumas and chestnuts are great Christmas snacks which are good for you; or go for carrot sticks and dips or dried fruit – replacing just some of your snacks with healthier alternatives is a great start to a healthier holiday.
Fresh air and exercise
Yes, it’s dark and miserable outside and it’s far more tempting to just curl up on the sofa, but you’re guaranteed to feel better for getting up and doing something active – but that doesn’t have to mean slogging away in the gym. A twenty minute walk out in the wintry sunshine in your lunch hour or a half hour’s swim in the morning before work when the pool’s nice and quiet will leave you feeling much more refreshed and positive than hiding indoors, however hard it is to make yourself do it.
Take some time to relax
Relaxing – and that means properly, not just landing in a sprawled heap on the sofa after too many mince pies – is a key part of being healthy this Christmas. Schedule in some time with a friend or a partner, pick up some skincare products, face-packs, relaxing bubble baths, thick luxurious moisturizers, a massage or a foot spa – and then turn off the phone and the TV and put on some relaxing Christmas music while you spend some time re-grouping and remembering what the holidays are really about for you.
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