It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving and Hanukkah will be here next week! We all know it’s harder to make healthy choices during the holidays with temptations around every corner. Halloween starts the madness – oh those sugar cravings! – and it doesn’t stop until the New Year. If you’re like us, you might need a little help staying focused on good health over the holidays — so here are some great, simple tips from our friend and favorite acupuncturist and health coach Lynn Keating. (We’ll be posting these on our fridge!)
- Lose the leftovers. If you’ve still got leftover Halloween candy, consider making gift baskets for military members or donating it to food pantries.
- Keep a gratitude jar. Each day leading up to Thanksgiving (or perhaps from Thanksgiving to Christmas) allow family members (and houseguests!) to write down one thing they are grateful for and add it to the jar. Choose a night to sit down with everyone and share them. This helps to keep perspective as to what is truly important around the holidays — you might even make it a weekly thing!
- Treat yourself. Don’t forget Y.O.U. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, but it’s important to remember to take care of yourself, too. Treat yourself to things that make you feel good: a pedicure, a good book, etc. If nothing else, schedule quiet moments in your calendar!
- Get enough sleep. Try not to burn the candles at every end. Sleep helps restore your tired body and mind and it keeps your stress and blood-sugar levels in check, so make sure you’re getting enough.
- Move it. Keep your favorite form of exercise in your routine, even if you can only manage 15 minutes per day. Fifteen minutes is better than nothing, and you’ll likely go longer once you start. It’s easy to say, “I’ll start my exercise routine January 1st,” but think about how great you’ll feel – and how happy you’ll be – when you’ve taken care of yourself all throughout the holiday season and are not starting from scratch the first of the year.
- Get your greens. Bump up your servings of veggies and fruits. Some ideas: add raisins or sliced banana to your morning cereal, spinach or kale to your afternoon smoothie, frozen mixed veggies to your chicken noodle soup, or try these tips. This way you are still eating the good stuff and filling up on them will help you resist the sweets and sugars.
- Drink up. Eggnog, hot chocolate, spiced (and spiked!) cider are all tempting treats, but water is always your best bet for keeping calories down and blood sugar stable. If you’re attending parties and having a few more alcoholic beverages than usual, alternate each one with a glass of water or seltzer. This strategy slows down drinking and keeps you hydrated so you’re less likely to feel awful the next morning.
- Sip on citrus. Add fresh lemon to your water. Lemon aids digestion, cleanses your system, boosts immunity, and reduces inflammation. Not a lemon fan? No problem. Spruce up your H2O with orange, lime, grapefruit, or cucumber!
- Say no. It’s ok to say no — to events, to food, to drinks, etc. We are allowed to put our needs and ourselves first, especially when it pertains to our health and wellness. If you feel you have a lot of “obligations” this holiday season or are perhaps not spending the holidays as you would ideally choose, remember that there are plenty of days in the season so schedule time to do something you love or spend time with people who make you happy and laugh.
Above all, take care of yourself and enjoy the holiday season!
This article was written by Lynn Keating, Lac. CHHChealth, holidays, managing MS, managing stress, nutrition