Planning for the holidays can leave us feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. There are some key things you can do to minimize the stress that comes with the holidays.
Try these five tips from the American Heart Association:
1. Keep up healthy habits.
Make a pact with yourself during the holidays. For example: “For the next three weeks I will move more and do something active every day, have a healthy breakfast and limit the sweets, and get at least seven hours of sleep each night.” If you don’t completely give up your healthy habits, you won’t feel like you have to start over once the holidays are in the rear-view.
2. Beware of party perils.
Special holiday events often serve up extra helpings of less-than-healthy foods. If you’re a guest, eat a healthy snack before you go to avoid overdoing it at the event. If you’re the host, challenge yourself to offer some delicious and healthier options using our recipes and cooking tips. Your guests will thank you.
3. Stay active — even in the hustle and bustle of the season.
A full holiday social calendar might lead to some missed workouts. Instead of beating yourself up about it, sprinkle some healthy activities into your daily routine. For example, if the weather isn’t too frightful, ride your bike to work or school. If dinner is going to be a feast, opt for a light lunch, then take a vigorous walk. And keep the family moving. When the kids are home from school, squeeze in some active chores and trips to the park.
4. But not too active.
Give yourself the gift of peace. When the invitations pile up, don’t be afraid to say no to some of them. If you need some down time to recharge for the next big party, declare a me-treat and do something that relaxes you. Try yoga, meditation or spending time in nature.
5. Make a plan for the new year.
Your poinsettia’s pooped and the gifts are all gone. Now what? It’s a great time to reset for the new year — but don’t go dashing through your to-do list too fast or you might not stick to your plan. Lay out realistic, sustainable steps for the months ahead. For example, start a daily walking routine and sign up for your local Heart Walk before you set your sights on that marathon!