8 ways to look after your health in the festive season

Simple steps for a happy and healthy holiday period

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Simba
Friday 9 December 2022
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The holiday season is a time for celebration and enjoyment, but it can also be a time when our health and well-being take a backseat. With all the parties, gatherings, and indulgent foods, it’s easy to let our healthy habits slide and end up feeling exhausted and unhealthy.

But it doesn’t have to be this way! By taking a few simple steps, you can look after your health during the festive period and enjoy the season without sacrificing your well-being. Here are eight ways to look after your health during the festive period:

Plan ahead

With all the extra social events and activities that come with the holidays, it can be easy to let your usual healthy habits fall by the wayside. To avoid this, try to plan ahead and schedule in healthy meals and workouts, just like you would any other important activity.

Eat mindfully

Selection of Christmas food laid out on the table

It’s normal to want to indulge in rich and tasty holiday foods, but it is important to do so mindfully. This does not mean denying yourself treats or indulgences – it’s about enjoying them in moderation. If there’s a special holiday food that you love, allow yourself to enjoy it, but take small portions, savour the flavors, and stop when you’re satisfied, rather than eating until you’re stuffed.

Stay hydrated

It’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the holiday season, especially when we’re surrounded by tempting beverages like eggnog and hot cocoa. But staying hydrated is essential for good health and well-being, as water helps to support our body’s functions and to flush out toxins. So make sure you’re drinking enough water, and try to limit your intake of alcohol and sugary drinks, which can dehydrate the body.

Bored of water? By experimenting with fruit, herbs, spices, and sparkling water, you can create festive and exciting water drinks fit for the holidays. Try adding a pinch of cinnamon, ginger, or cardamom to a pitcher of water, or to your water bottle. Infusing your water with fresh fruit such as berries, or citrus slices can add flavor and colour to your drink.

Stay connected with others

Mother and daughter in Christmas headgear video calling on a laptop

The holiday season is a time for connecting with loved ones, but it can also be a time when social isolation increases. It’s important to stay social during this period, and to make an effort to connect with others and maintain your relationships. Join a social group, attend events, and reach out to friends and family to stay connected and supported. If you’re unable to see loved ones in person, make use of technology to stay in touch – a video call can be just as heartwarming as a hug.

Keep moving

Regular physical activity is important for maintaining good health and well-being, and this is especially true during the holiday season. With all the parties and gatherings, it’s easy to become sedentary, but staying active can help you to maintain your fitness and energy levels, and to combat stress and fatigue. Even just a few minutes of exercise each day can help to boost your mood, improve your sleep, and maintain your overall health. For some inspiration, why not check out this quick 10 minute workout you can squeeze into your day (and can be done indoors)?

Take care of your mental health

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The holiday season can be a stressful time, with all the extra demands on your time and energy. Before the season gets into full swing, take some time to reflect on your priorities and values. What is most important to you, and how do you want to spend your time and energy during the holidays? By identifying your priorities, it will make it easier to say no to activities or events that are less important so you can avoid overcommitting yourself.

Setting boundaries also means taking care of yourself and prioritizing your own needs. Take some time each day to do something that nourishes your mind, body, and spirit, whether that’s taking a relaxing bath, meditating, or doing something creative.

And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to reach out for support from friends, family, or a mental health professional.

Protect your immune system

The holiday period coincides with cold and flu season, so it’s important to take steps to protect your immune system. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and staying hydrated to support your immune health. Avoid close contact with people who are sick, and wash your hands regularly to reduce your risk of infection. And if you do get sick, make sure to take care of yourself and get plenty of rest to speed your recovery.

Be kind to yourself

The holidays can be a time of high expectations, and it’s easy to put pressure on yourself to be perfect. But it’s important to remember that perfection is not realistic or healthy, and it’s okay to make mistakes or not meet others’ expectations. Be kind to yourself and give yourself permission to be imperfect.

This applies to your health goals too: Don’t beat yourself up if you have a few extra treats or miss a workout – it’s all part of the fun. Focus on the joy and connection of the holiday season, rather than on restrictive diets and rigid fitness goals. The holidays are a time for celebrating and enjoying life, and a little indulgence can be part of that.