The holidays are a (not-so) perfect mixture of joy–and stress. But if you end up feeling run-down, overwhelmed, or simply less than festive, it can end up dampening what should be the most wonderful time of the year. Plus, no one wants to start the new year on a bad note.
To keep you cheery and bright, here are the best five tips to keep you and your family safe, healthy, and happy this holiday season!
1. Your Health is The Real Wealth
The best gift you can get this holiday season–and all year–is your health.
While the usual winter precautions–a flu shot, washing your hands regularly, layering up outside, and staying home if you’re sick–will keep you healthy physically, don’t forget about your mental health.
Between work, family, and holiday commitments, many people wear themselves thin. A study by the American Psychological Association found 38% of respondents admitted to feeling more stressed out during the holiday season.
Minimizing your stress during this hectic time can be easier said than done. Here are a few quick tips to help you keep a level head.
•Open up about your feelings.
•Be okay with saying “no”.
Don’t forget to set aside time for yourself, talk to someone if you’re feeling overwhelmed, and take advantage of the season of giving to do something for others. Don’t feel you have to do everything yourself–or make everything perfect.
When you feel better physically and mentally, you’ll have a better holiday season!
Check out more holiday health tips from the CDC!
2. Stick to Your Habits
For many people, the hectic nature of the holidays leads to abandoning healthy habits.
The most common culprits?
Diet and exercise.
As the cold weather sets in and your schedule fills up, it’s easy to want to grab takeout or skip the gym.
While that might be okay here and there, the truth is, during the holidays, it’s even easier to let those “cheat” days stack up. If you’re not careful, those healthy habits–and all your hard work–can go by the wayside.
Here are a few strategies to keep you focused.
•Partake (in moderation).
•Find time to stay active daily.
•Set a daily schedule or routine.
•Try something new.
•Ask friends and family to join you.
•Don’t shame or guilt yourself.
Some people who go off-track during the holidays are able to flip the switch with the calendar and reset January 1st. For others, that temporary break might start to borderline on permanence.
Start the new year ahead of the eight ball and stick to your healthy habits all year long–and especially during the holidays!
3. Have An Active Holidays
Keeping up with your exercise routine is one thing, but finding the energy to stay active and take advantage of all the holiday family fun is another.
Adults should strive for 2.5 hours of activity a week and children and teenagers should do about an hour of activity a day.
Consider implementing a new family activity, like hunting for a Christmas tree, sledding, or even volunteering in your community! Take advantage of the downtime and try to make your activities convenient and fun.
Staying active during the holidays shouldn’t feel like a chore. Finding fun, creative ways to stay moving can not only keep you fit, but it can also do wonders for your mental health!
4. Keep An Extra Eye on The Children
With the kids home on winter break and your hands full buying and wrapping gifts, cooking, baking, and cleaning, it’s easy to miss something.
Here are a few tips to minimize the risk of an accident ruining your holidays.
•Keep children away from candles and anything flammable.
•Turn off your electric lights & other decorations when not in use/when you leave your home/when you go to sleep.
•Store cleaning products out of reach/in a secure, child-proof location.
•If you have small ornaments/holiday decorations, keep them out of your child’s mouth.
•Many holiday decorations include lithium “button” batteries. Keep these out of reach of children to reduce the risk of accidental ingestion.
It’s important to address home safety all year–not just during the holidays. It all starts with knowing the dangers–and what you can do to minimize risks.
5. Remember What’s Important During The Holidays
It can be tempting to dream of an exotic vacation or lavish gifts, but the holidays are really a season of togetherness–and family.
Take time to appreciate what you have, put aside old differences, and focus on relationships over substance. When you’re surrounded by loved ones in a warm home full of laughter, that’s a lot to be grateful for.
Above all else, choose kindness. Remember others are going through a similarly stressful time, so a smile, warm greeting, or even a “thank you” can brighten up the day!
Have A Safe, Happy Holidays!
The holidays don’t have to be overwhelming. If you take time for yourself, stick to your healthy habits, stay active, and remember what’s really important, you’ll find yourself healthier and happier–and you’ll be well on your way to tidings of comfort and joy!
From all of us at OBGYN Associates of Western New York, have a safe and happy holidays!