The holiday season is an exciting time packed with love, joy, and a lot of activities. Whether you’re knee-deep in meal planning, shopping, or wrapping gifts, don’t lose sight of your own health and wellness this holiday season. After all, one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and your loved ones is a clean bill of health.
Putting your own health and wellbeing on your holiday to-do list doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. The steps you adopt this month can easily translate into simple things you can continue doing throughout the New Year. Here are our top five wellness tips to get you through the busy holiday season.
- Make Time for Yourself: Set aside time in your busy holiday schedule to be alone. Whether it’s doing an activity you enjoy, listening to a favorite song, or just spending 15 minutes alone, without distraction, you’ll be surprised how refreshing a little time on your own can be. At the beginning of each week, try blocking off some “me time” in your schedule to help ensure it’s part of your routine.
- Don’t Forget Healthy Habits: During the busy holiday season, it’s easy to lose sight of the healthy habits that are part of your normal daily routine, but neglecting your health may only add to your stress. Incorporating healthy meals, getting at least seven hours of sleep, and making time for physical activity each day will help you stay on track and give you the energy you need to enjoy all the holidays have to offer. Even if you can’t stick to your full routine, try to do at least one thing for your health each day. If you don’t have time to go to the gym like you normally would, try taking a walk around the block for your physical activity. Need inspiration? You’ll find helpful tips here to help you adopt new healthy habits to nourish your mind and body.
- Take a Breath: When you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed by holiday activities, make time to breathe. Taking just a couple minutes to clear your mind and focus on your breathing will help restore your inner calm and just may refresh you enough to tackle the rest of your day’s to-do list. These breathing exercises take just a few minutes of your time, but can help reduce stress and enhance your overall wellbeing.
- Stay Connected: If the holidays have you feeling lonely or isolated, seek out company by attending social events happening in your community. Or, look within your own network by reaching out to an old friend or family member you may not have connected with in a while. Volunteering or doing something to help another person can also help lift your spirits and broaden your friendships. Consider dropping off dessert to a friend’s home or giving flowers to a thoughtful neighbor during the holidays.
- Don’t be Too Hard on Yourself: The holidays can bring a wide range of emotions – don’t be too hard on yourself if all of your emotions aren’t happy or celebratory. It’s normal for the holidays to also be a reminder of loss, grief or loneliness. If you’re experiencing difficult feelings or missing loved ones who are absent, give yourself the time and space to acknowledge these emotions, instead of trying to get rid of them. When you’re ready, think of new traditions you can start to honor and remember those you’ve lost during the holiday season. In-person and online support groups are also available – you can find a list of options in your state here.