Christmas time is nearly upon us, and that means very soon we’re all going to be gearing up to spend a pleasant, memorable time with our friends and family. Or so the idea goes.
In reality, we might find that our Christmas traditions don’t lend themselves to being healthy and happy; indeed, they often lead to the opposite. But it doesn’t have to be this way: all that’s required is a little care and thought. Below, we take a look at twelve ways you can ensure you’re kept happy and healthy this festive period.
12 Ways to Ensure a Happy and Healthy Christmas
Get Up Off the Couch
It’s tempting to spend many long hours on the couch, watching Christmas movies, and overall taking it as easy as possible. But let’s think about this for a second. If you’re planning on spending a week or more living this kind of lifestyle, then you’re going to find it all the more difficult to restart your exercise regime – not to mention your life overall – once Christmas has passed and “real life” has returned. Even though it might not be top of your priorities, make sure you’re regularly getting up and out of the house.
Saying No To Food
It takes a strong person to decide not to overindulge over the festive period, but you’re a strong person, right? You’re going to have many opportunities to eat as much food as you can handle between Christmas and New Year, but that doesn’t mean you have to take those opportunities!
Many rules get thrown out of the window from the middle of December and into January but remember that you’ve been working hard to stay healthy the rest of the year so you won’t want to undo all your good work in a matter of days. You especially want to say, “No,” to junk food and too many sweets.
Of course, you can’t always be taking the healthy option. Sometimes, you’ll have no choice other than to eat whatever you’re served, no matter how unhealthy for you it might be. This will be the case if you’re spending your evenings visiting the homes of friends and family.
As such, it’s important that you make the most of your opportunities to eat well. You’ll be preparing breakfast yourself; make it a meal that works for you. Also, load up on fruit before Christmas – you’ll appreciate having something other than chocolate to grab for.
You could get lost in a world of television, Netflix, and DVDs. And doing so for a bit is just fine; it’s good to relax, after all. But if you’re only receiving entertainment, then you’re not doing much for your brain. Instead of automatically picking up the remote, have a think of what other activities you could do.
Playing board games, trivia games, and reading books will all be much better for your mind – and they’ll be just as fun as anything you can watch on television, too!
Getting Enough Sleep
Your days are going to be long, and as such you need to ensure that you’re getting enough sleep over the festive period. The problem, however, is that we very often have so much stuff going on, and we don’t have time to get the full 6-8 hours we need.
Try to avoid being the last one to leave the party, and take steps to ensure the quality of the sleep you are getting is high. This means not using technology before you go to bed, blocking out any noise, and avoiding drinking caffeine in the afternoon (caffeine stays in your system for up to twelve hours).
It takes a strong person to avoid drinking alcohol over the festive period. However, for some people, it’s not a matter of just having one or two drinks in celebration; they find that they can’t stop once they’ve got started, and end up drinking much more than they planned to – or should do.
If you think you have a problem with alcohol, take a look at ‘What are Drug Detox Treatment Options’, and take the first steps towards a healthier and happier lifestyle. You’ll have many opportunities to drink alcohol over the festive period; the key is to ensure that you’re doing so responsibly.
Freeze Healthy Meals
Christmas is always a lot more manic than we expect. We can think we have everything under control, yet it always happens that we’re forever running around like crazy, trying to get everything done. When we’re rushed, the first thing that we normally let slip away is preparing our own healthy meals.
It’s a good idea to make big batches of food before Christmas, and then store them in your freezer. When it comes to eating, you’ll have a good for you meal that just needs to be warmed up. Perfect!
Put Away Leftovers
Christmas dinner is, to many people, the crowning achievement of the festive period. It’s delicious; you get to eat foods that you only taste once a year, and…it’s really not all that good for you. In fact, most Christmas meals have more calories in them than people should be eating in the whole day! So when it comes to putting food on your plate, keep it on the small side.
Of course, there are always leftovers. To avoid picking at them throughout the day, cover them up and keep them in a tucked away corner of the fridge. That way, you’ll only get them out during meal time.
If you have friends and family that you need to see, then you’ll be doing a lot of traveling over the Christmas period. But remember: this is winter, and the roads won’t be as safe as they normally are. If you’re going to be doing a lot of driving, take steps to ensure that your car is safe and ready for the roads. Also, try to avoid driving at night, or in the morning if you’ve had a few drinks the night before.
Keeping the Exercise Routine
If you’ve already got a pretty robust workout routine, then you’ve probably forgotten just how hard it was to get underway when you first started. Don’t let the Christmas period put you back to square one; keep it going.
No one is expecting you to put in hours at the gym, but you’ll be thankful come January if you don’t give up on your exercise altogether. Even going for a morning run, or picking a winter activity that keeps you fit will do the trick. Cross-country skiing is super fun and uses a ridiculous amount of muscles, so maybe consider that.
Take Care Of Yourself
You’ve likely got a lot of people to look after. But before you get too hung up on making sure they’re having a good time, take steps to ensure you’re able to have a good time! If you’ve taken care of yourself, you’ll find it much easier to look after other people. Eat well, rest well, and you’ll be set for a good Christmas.
The festive period can be stressful, and no matter how much you’ve been looking forward to it, sometimes that stress can creep up on us. Do your best to keep the stress at bay by making sure you’re taking care of yourself. Keep on doing the things you love you to do, and try not to take the season too seriously. It’s only here for a week or so: nothing to get too emotionally invested in!
With the tips above, you’ll be on your way to ensuring you have a great Christmas.