’Tis the season for get-togethers, lasting memories, and good cheer. But as with any celebration, there’s always a risk of compromising health in pursuit of happiness. Dinners can lead to overeating, gatherings can spread the flu and holiday obligations can build stress. For a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season, here are a few simple tricks.
Feel as merry and bright as the holiday by choosing healthy snacks over sugary finger foods. Sweets may be tempting, but snacking from the vegetable and fruit trays is a great alternative that’s low calories and loaded with vitamins.
Filling up on healthy foods can also help prevent overeating at family meals. By eating throughout the day, you’ll feel fuller, and seconds, thirds or fourths become less tempting. It’ll also help to go light on the gravy and choose greens as a side to the traditional Christmas ham.
Eating healthy may keep you feeling well, but this season also poses the risk of becoming sick. Being around family and friends in closed spaces increases your chances for catching a nasty bug—and it’s even higher if you travel. Have disinfecting wipes nearby and wash your hands after being in public spaces. Consider getting a flu shot if you haven’t already to help reduce your likelihood of catching influenza.
If you start to feel symptoms, it’s important that you call off any plans you may have. Diseases can be spread through coughing and sneezing, affecting both strangers and family. Take a break this year and stay at home, or else the biggest gift you could be giving just might be the flu.
Staying mentally well is just as important as being physically healthy. Trying to find the right gift, traveling or preparing to host can cause unwanted stress. It’s normal to have a little bit of anxiety, but you can keep it at a minimum by planning ahead for the holidays. A little planning can go a long way in keeping away the holiday blues. It can prevent last-minute scrambling and overspending, both common causes of stress. If you begin to feel overwhelmed, give yourself a little “you time.” Take a step back and breathe. Remember, the holidays are about bringing joy to those you love and yourself.
By keeping all of these thoughts in mind, your holiday break won’t be a break from healthy living. From all of us at MCHC, happy holidays and have a wonderful new year!