- Don’t ditch your healthy habits just because it’s a certain time of year. It may be tempting to say, “f*$% it all” and drown yourself in an entire batch of gingerbread cookies and carton of eggnog…just don’t. Veggies are your best friends – for life. They may not look as appetizing sitting next to the nanaimo bars, creamy spinach dips, and sugar cookies…So, fill your plate with veggies first, and then choose a small serving of those naughty side dishes.
- In school, I had a supervisor who used to say, “the worst thing you can eat is guilt”. That means that if you indulge on an unhealthy food or drink, for god’s sake enjoy the damn thing! Getting angry with yourself adds stress that may do even more damage, and research shows that beating yourself up for a bad decision makes you more likely to fall off the wagon entirely.Instead, balance un-healthier meals with healthier meals. If you know you’re attending a party on Thursday night, make an effort to eat a little “cleaner” on the days before so you can afford a little indulgence without the extra guilt. And even if you do have too many desserts from the sweet table, get over it! Tomorrow’s a new day 😉
- Limit alcohol intake. This one can be tricky, but important. Christmas parties, open bars, merry spirit(s)…the alcohol is always flowing. But drinker beware, all that booze is high on calories, hard on your body, and contributes to unhealthier habits overall. Ideally, keep the alcohol intake to under 2 (women) or 3 (men) drinks per night and definitely pace yourself by drinking a glass of water in between.
- Don’t lose sleep. People who slept at least 8 hrs per night were about 3x less likely to catch a cold than those who slept less than 7, according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Christmas is a high stress time for many people. When stress levels are high, it’s even more important to allow your body time to rest properly. Reduce your risk of crashing and burning by nurturing yourself with a healthy amount of restful sleep.
- Learn how to say “no”. This is a very important skill, and one that I’ve personally struggled with for years! But sometimes, saying “no” to friends and family is the best thing you can do for yourself and your own sanity. Don’t take on too much, be gentle with yourself, and really choose how you want to spend your time over the holidays.