This particular time of year can bring up feelings that are different for everyone. While some people are festive and eager to celebrate the season, others may experience stress, anxiety, or the holiday blues. It is also not uncommon to feel a combination of these emotions and more.
To help feel your best during the holiday season, it is imperative that you remember to prioritize yourself with some self-care, which is a personalized understanding since we are all diverse individuals. Some may benefit from ensuring that they go for a daily walk, read their favourite books, or make healthier food choices when attending parties and get togethers.
This year, try making some practical choices that you can reasonably maintain during this period. Here are some of our favourites:
Make movement a priority. Even something as small as a brisk 10-minute walk outside can help you feel better and less confined during the winter months, especially if the sun is out! Sunlight and increased blood flow may help increase production levels of chemicals such as serotonin and endorphins, which can improve your well-being, mood, and assist in getting a good night’s sleep.
Make healthier or more mindful food choices that you will feel good about. It can be easy to overindulge and then feel sluggish after a big meal, or from grazing throughout the evening at a social event. The key is practicing balance. Opt for selections that are on the whole grain side, choose a leaner protein if there is one available, and add more fruits and veggies to your plate. These recommendations can help you feel fuller longer, so you don’t have the urge to snack through the rest of the night.
It is also important to not deprive yourself of the sweet and savoury temptations if it is safe for you to do so. Perhaps a smaller portion can help get rid of those cravings. Just make sure to take your time to enjoy the flavours of each bite, so you don’t feel like you are missing out.
Reinvent your workout. If you are the type to exercise on a regular basis, but find you are running low on time during the holidays, try splitting your routine into two smaller and manageable intervals throughout the day. For example, rather than a 30-minute workout, perhaps you can do two 15-minute sessions instead.
Get a good night’s sleep! This is an essential component of our overall health and well-being that can often be neglected. Adequate rest may assist in boosting our immune system, improve brain functions such as concentration and productivity, and elevate your mood. WebMD has a great article on the benefits of sleep here. See below for some suggestions on how you can improve the quality of your sleep:
- Spending time outside and being more active throughout the day.
- Going to bed around the same time each night.
- Reducing blue light exposure in the evening.
- Choosing caffeine free beverages at night.
Make time for self-care. Aside from sensible food choices, sleep, and exercise, self- care can also be something as simple as watching your favourite movie, taking a hot bath, or reading a good book. Whatever your circumstances are, it is important to do at least one thing a day that makes you feel good.
Other helpful resources for healthy eating and prioritizing your mental health over the holidays: