By Linda Denninger
The end of 2018 is rapidly approaching! Soon we’ll be making turkeys and baking pies and enjoying time with family and friends. We will also be fighting cold temps and bad weather and what can be overwhelming stress of the holidays.
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Here are a few tips to help you enjoy your holidays while still taking care of yourself:
- Focus on fun – not food! Spend time with people you enjoy. If you are going to a party, offer to bring a healthy dish. Have that sweet treat, but then cut back on carbs somewhere else. Eat some veggies first so you aren’t tempted to over indulge in the more fattening offerings.
- Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Holidays are busy and we are juggling many things at one time, but our body needs rest.
- A lot of people experience depression over the holidays. To help with that, make sure you reach out to others and acknowledge how you feel. Volunteering your time to help others is a great way to help combat your personal depression and bring joy to someone else at the same time. If you need to, seek professional help.
- Stick to a budget. Know your limits and stay within them.
- Plan ahead. This will help cut back on the feeling of being overwhelmed with too much to do. Write down what you need to accomplish and plan it out so you aren’t overdoing on any one day.
- Take a little time just for you. Spending 15 minutes a day doing something simple like listening to music, reading a book, or taking a walk can help relieve stress and rejuvenate you!
- Set aside family disagreements and take this time to bond once again with people important in your life. Someday they may no longer be able to spend the holidays with you.
- Be realistic. Not everything has to be perfect to be enjoyable. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Keep reminding yourself you are supposed to be enjoying this time!
- Don’t let the healthy habits you’ve developed through the year go by the wayside just because it’s the holidays. Use the 80/20 rule – 80% of the time, eat healthy so you can enjoy an occasional indulgence. Make sure you are taking any prescribed medicine and resting as you need to. Keep up your routine. The holidays should not be excuse to stop exercising.
- Do a kind deed for someone else. Whether it is someone you know or a complete stranger, try to develop the habit of doing one kind deed every day, or even once a week. Small things count – holding the door for someone who is struggling with packages, helping an older person safely cross the street, volunteering an hour to sit with a nursing home patient who doesn’t receive visitors. There are so many ways to bring a smile to another person. This will bring out the TRUE meaning of the holidays for both of you when you do.