The holidays are a joy-filled time but also can be busy and sometimes stressful. make sure you take care of yourself this season with these tips to stay healthy and happy through the new year.
How much water do you drink every day? Chances are it isn’t enough. Divide your weight in half; that is how many ounces of water you need to drink every day to stay hydrated. Staying well-hydrated keeps the mucous membranes moist so they can better keep bugs out of our systems.
Get a massage.
The holidays can be stressful—juggling a packed calendar, budgeting for gifts, fighting the crowds. Schedule some time for a massage. Studies show a single Swedish massage session can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and boost several types of white blood cells, which protect the body against germs.
Eating well means filling up on a healthy breakfast each morning, snacking wisely throughout the day (aim for 150 calories, no more than 10 grams of sugar, and at least three grams of fiber), and control your portions. Sure, sample the cookies and other treats, but do so mindfully and in moderation.
Don’t overdo it.
Between parties and events, it’s easy to get too busy during the holiday season. While it’s fun to join in the festivities, make sure you take time to relax and don’t skimp on sleep. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that people who slept at least eight hours nightly were about three times less likely to catch a cold than those who snoozed for less than seven.
Continue your exercise routine.
Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle all year long. You should aim to be active at least four to five times a week, preferably with some aerobic exercise every day. During the holidays, it’s even more important to keep moving. Exercise helps to manage stress, burns those extra calories, and is a perfect way to bond with loved ones and ward off the holiday blues.
Prevent illness and injuries.
This time of year, germs are everywhere! Colds and the flu are most prevalent during the winter. Prevent them by getting your flu shot, washing your hands regularly, eating your fruits and veggies, and getting enough rest.
It’s also the time of year when the most falls and other injuries occur. Sprinkle sand on icy patches, wear sturdy, waterproof shoes, and stay indoors when the weather gets especially frigid.
Make time to help others.
Depression and suicide increase during the holidays. One sure way to boost your mood is to give back. Work at a soup kitchen. Make care packages for the homeless. Donate winter clothes or Christmas gifts to a charity. Be sure to watch for signs of depression among your friends and family, and take the time to give a little extra love to whoever needs it.