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Preparing for the Holidays


happy-woman-planning-for-the-holidays-editedDo you feel overwhelmed by the upcoming holiday season?  Have you done the math on how many days are left before Christmas?  Are you wondering “how the heck am I going to get it all done?!”  As each year goes by I think to myself I’m going to be better prepared next year… and it has yet to happen.  So instead of trying to be superwoman and tackle each mountainous task head on I decided to focus on what I can do to stay healthy, happy, and enjoy this holiday season?  And the answer was simple: take care of myself!

  1. Keep up your exercise routine OR start one! Maintaining your normal levels of physical activity, even if it’s simply a 30 minute walk each day, will help you handle stress more easily, maintain a healthy weight, and keep your energy levels up.  And if you don’t have an exercise regimen in place already, start one now!  Exercise increases our sense of well-being and mood which can have a very positive effect on your holiday season.  Endorphins, the brain’s “feel-good” chemicals, are released with physical activity and just might help you tolerate the family dynamics with a smile on your face!
  2. Put down that cookie! Making healthy food choices during the holiday season can be very challenging.  Choosing the healthier foods will not only help maintain a healthy weight through the holiday, but keeping your refined sugar intake low your body will be better equipped to maintain healthy blood glucose levels.  Avoiding the bombardment of sweets will help prevent you from experiencing the crash and burn or highs and lows of blood sugar imbalance.  Please note, this does not mean replace the high sugar desserts with “sugar free” snacks that contain artificial sweeteners.  Did you know that our body still releases insulin in response to the fake sugars just like it does with refined sugar?  Stick with the whole foods and enjoy each bite knowing that you’re doing your body a favor!  Take a look at this month’s healthy dessert recipe.
  3. Take time to rest! The holiday season usually includes staying up too late for office holiday parties or wrapping the kids’ presents.  Take time to rest and recover.  When the body endures sleep deprivation, your health (physical, mental, and emotional) is compromised.  The winter weather alone provides an environment that easily transfers germs from one person to the next.  If your immune system is compromised due to stress and lack of sleep, you’ll be much more susceptible to those germs associated with cold and flu symptoms and be more prone to depression and weight gain.  Rest sounds like a great idea, but you may be asking yourself “how do you have enough time to get everything done, rest, and enjoy the holidays?”  Well, that’s where #4 comes in…
  4. Plan ahead! Although it seems like the holidays sneak up on us, Thanksgiving and Christmas are the same time every year! Planning ahead will help prevent you from sacrificing the first three recommendations.  Break out the monthly calendar and write down what needs to be done and when. Or here’s a link to a printable calendar for Holiday Planning:  Finding a balance among shopping, cooking, decorating, and holiday events can be overwhelming.  Writing it down will help prevent “double booking” yourself and allows you to schedule a “make up day” just in case things don’t go according to plan… which is bound to happen, but that’s life and you will recover!

We are thankful to have the opportunity to help make your holiday season an enjoyable one.  Stay well with a smile on your face!