By Sophia Godkin, PhD
If the holiday season can be summed up in any way, it would be FAMILY, FOOD, and FUN. It’s a time of merriment, celebration, and gathering… a time that many of us look forward to all year long.
Sharing meals and laughs with our loved ones is one of the greatest memories we can create, yet for some, this time can also be associated with the abandonment of personal health goals and results we’ve worked so hard all year to achieve – but it doesn’t have to be that way!
Here are the top tips from our team of experts on how to stay healthy during the festive holiday season.
Our bodies were made to move, and they love to move at all times of the year. The holiday season is a great time to continue the activity levels you’ve worked hard to build up all year long, or to start preparing your body for the fitness goals you’ve set for the new year.
Take a walk, do some yoga, or build a snowman if you’re fortunate to live somewhere with snow this holiday season. If you are with family and friends, involve them and get moving together!
Pay Attention to Your Hunger Levels
Amidst the busyness and excitement of the holiday season, it can be easy to forget to notice what and when you’re eating – two of the most important factors that influence how you feel physically and emotionally in each and every moment.
Be cognizant of your hunger levels. Is your stomach grumbling or growling? Do you feel lethargic or irritable? Tune in to your body and note any physical signals of hunger.
If you’re hungry, have a snack to hold you over until mealtime.
Not feeling hungry but eating anyway? Ask yourself why you may have an urge to keep eating. Are you eating to feed your physical body or your emotional body? Get more of what you’re actually craving, whether love, appreciation, or connection to friends and family (see Tip #4), and save some food for leftovers!
Be Mindful of Your Eating Habits
When it’s time to sit down and eat, choose something that will nourish you and make you feel light and satisfied rather than heavy and uncomfortable. Choose to eat veggies first and fill the rest of your plate with the ratio of protein and carbs that makes you feel your best.
Ease up on your self-control. Try the pie. Try the gravy. Yes, try even your mother’s super creamy eggnog cheesecake dripping with caramel. Join your family and friends for the eating traditions of the season if you wish. As long as you stay mindful of portion sizes and reasons behind your cravings, you will have nothing to regret and everything to be grateful for.
Make the Most of Your Social Time!
Set an intention for what you want to feel and experience more of during this holiday season and into the new year. Do you want to feel more love, joy, and appreciation? Do you want to feel more energy, vigor, and inspiration?
Whatever it is, give it away.
If you want to feel more love, give more love to those around you. If you want to feel more joy, make it a point to focus on creating joyful conversations and experiences with those around you. If you want to feel more appreciated, begin by appreciating the quirks and personality nuances of every single person around you. Yes, this includes Uncle Tim, who sometimes has trouble keeping the mood light during family gatherings. Want to feel more energized, invigorated, and inspired? Inspire those around you.
The effects of giving on personal health and happiness are immeasurable. Help others stay happy and healthy with these special holiday ideas from ph360, and watch yourself receive joy and health just as quickly as you give it away.
To a happy, healthy you – in body, brain, and life – during the holiday season and beyond!