10 Tips to Stay Healthy Around the Holidays

Tangerines, walnuts and hazelnuts decorated with pine cones and branches

The holiday season can be a difficult time to stay feeling healthy. Between the delicious foods and sugary sweets, it’s hard to stick to healthy eating habits. The colder weather can also bring unwanted colds and flus. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, or want to make any changes to your lifestyle, make sure to talk with your doctor. While you can’t always prevent certain things from happening, there are steps you can take to stay well. Here are some tips for staying healthy through the holiday season.

  1. Drink Plenty of Water
    One of the easiest ways to keep your body healthy is to drink plenty of water- generally 64 oz. a day. It will help every part of your body to function the best it can, while also boosting your mood and fighting fatigue.
  2. Get Enough Sleep
    Your body needs time to rest and recharge, especially if you’ve been busy or stressed. Sleep can increase your productivity, lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, keep your immune system strong, and decrease inflammation. Though it may be hard to get, most adults need at least 7-8 hours per night.
  3. Prepare for Gatherings
    Whether you’re going out with friends and co-workers or staying in with family, there will be many opportunities for unhealthy eating. If you’re going out, try and look for healthy options on their menu ahead of time. If you’re staying in, eat a healthy snack ahead of time so you’re aren’t as likely to overeat once you get there.
  4. Minimize Stress
    All of the preparation for the holidays and gatherings can easily become stressful. To help, create a list of everything that needs to be done, then schedule time for each item. Also, don’t hesitate to recruit your family and friends for help if you won’t have enough time.
  5. Be Prepared
    Waking up with a tickle in your throat is never a good sign but having your medicine cabinet stocked up can help. Having cold and flu medicine, cough drops, Vitamin C, soup, and electrolyte drinks on hand will ensure you won’t have to make any last-minute trips to the store.
  6. Boost Your Immune System
    Though your body usually does a great job of self-regulating, taking some extra vitamins can give your systems a boost. A daily multivitamin and vitamin C can help to ward off a cold or flu before it even hits you. Eating colorful fruits and veggies is another great way to get in those healthy vitamins.
  7. Make Time for Mindfulness
    Taking some time out of your day to slow down can decrease stress and anxiety while helping to boost your mood. It can also greatly benefit your body by lowering blood pressure, increasing sleep, and improving heart health. There are many techniques to try that can help achieve this state of focused relaxation, and are even apps that help guide you through a process.
  8. Limit Your Sugar
    While making gingerbread houses and decorating cookies may be a fun activity for the family, try to watch how many treats you end up eating. Balancing all your sweets with healthy, colorful foods, will keep your body feeling happy and healthy.
  9. Find Healthy Substitutes
    When you’re deciding what dish to bring to the party, opt for a healthy option. Popular dishes, like sweet potato casserole, can easily be swapped for a healthier alternative, such as maple roasted sweet potatoes. Your food will still taste great, plus you’ll know that there will be healthy options available!
  10. Watch out for Germs
    Germs are everywhere and can spread quickly getting you sick when you least expect it. Make sure to wash your hands and to disinfect surfaces that you’re often around. Keeping hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes on you can also help to keep you germ-free when you’re not able to wash your hands.

 Staying prepared for certain situations can help you to stick with your health goals. Even if you indulge a few days, focusing on staying healthy overall can let you enjoy spending time with your friends and family.