It’s hard not to get swept up in the magic of this time of the year, the holidays. The lights, the music, the holiday movies, seeing friends and family, the celebration, the food; the allure of the holidays is something many people anticipate all year long.
However, there is so much going on that sometimes we let our guards down and make decisions that we come to regret as we head back to work in early January. The decision to eat more and drink more than we normally would, leaves many of us making New Years resolutions to get healthy and fit. But there are healthy alternatives that we can do during the holidays that can us give a jumpstart on making 2023 the healthiest year for us yet!
Moderation is key. People have been preaching the benefits of moderation since the days of Aristotle, and it just might be the thing that helps you enter the New Year feeling confident to fulfill your resolutions. There’s nothing wrong with going all out for your holiday dinners, on some level, that’s what the holidays are all about. But you don’t need every meal to be a feast. If you know you’re going to want a big, hearty dinner, then make sure your breakfast and lunch are light and nutritious. A light salad can get you through the middle of the day. And, after all, mom’s old advice to not spoil your dinner is never wrong no matter your age.
Vegetables are our friends. Make sure that you have vegetable options during your holidays. In fact, some of our favorite holiday staples—like green beans, roasted carrots, and sweet potatoes—are veggie options. Starting a meal with a salad is a good way to ensure that no one is skipping their veggies and going right for the ham.
Don’t forget to exercise. It’s hard to stick to our healthy routines—like an exercise schedule—when we are visiting family or have visitors staying with us. But it’s important to try to keep active over the holidays. Sometimes it can be as simple as taking a walk after big meals or planning outdoor family activities or ones that involve a lot of moving around. And if you can manage to still carve time to go to the gym, all the better.
Don’t forget to get regular sleep. Keeping to your normal sleep schedule can be difficult when celebrations go late into the night or you have family visiting from out of town. Our to-do lists during the holidays sometimes increase and there is a false idea that we need to get up early and stay up late to get things done. But regular, healthy sleep actually makes us more productive during the day. So make sure you’re in and out of bed at regular hours.
Don’t forget about me-time. Taking a break from the hustle and bustle and friends and family is also key. Getting a moment for yourself to be alone in your thoughts has indispensable value. We all have our ways we like to be by ourselves—whether going for a walk, praying or meditating—but taking moments to relish in the quiet of life will allow you to be truly present when surrounded by those you love.