How to Remain Healthy over the Holidays

With the school year well underway, students are feeling the demands of academic life, topped with a healthy dollop of Christmas chocolates, salty party snacks, and inviting offerings of seasonal alcoholic beverages.  So, how does one remain healthy body, mind, and soul, over the over-abundance of the holidays? Well, let’s find out.

  1. Heading out in the cold to get to a gym class can be highly unappealing this time of year, so go ahead and bring your exercise class indoors. Surf YouTube for energizing Zoomba or yoga videos, or just switch on the music and dance your tensions away with your dog or cat.  My Boston Terrier fancies my yoga mat and makes my workouts much more, shall we say, amusing.
  2. Fill up on a couple glasses of water before heading out to indulge. Guaranteed you’ll eat and drink less with a stomach full of H20.
  3. I’m going to share my favourite tip that I overheard once and have been successfully practicing ever since. I had a bad habit of feeling hungry a few hours after dinner and ravenously snacking.  But now I brush my teeth instead and the cravings disappear.  Healthy and minty fresh.
  4. Instead of taking study breaks, take fitness breaks. Do twenty push-ups, dance to a motivating song, or run up and down the stairs five times.  Every bit counts over the winter season, and now you’re awake enough to continue working.
  5. Decide before you leave for a gathering how many servings of dinner you’re going to eat or how many drinks you will have. Committing to yourself prior helps you stick to it.
  6. Let yourself off the hook once or twice and simply enjoy whatever indulgence comes your way. That’s why it’s called a ‘holiday’.  Give your mind a break.
  7. Award yourself the gift of blocking or un-following all the fake ‘perfect’ people accounts on social media. Your mental health is one of the most important gifts you possess and it’s worth protecting with the knowledge that you’re living your best life, so stop comparing yourself to others.
  8. Invest your extra Christmas cash in new fitness gear and commit to using it.
  9. Make a routine of shoveling snow and clearing your vehicle of snow and ice. Prevent dangerous ice and snow build-up around your home, business, and vehicle.  Not only does this burn extra calories, but nobody, and I mean nobody, likes the twit driving down the street with two feet of fresh snow on their car roof, blowing off and endangering everyone else!
  10. Volunteer to walk shelter animals over the holidays. Not only will the over wrought staff be eternally grateful for your assistance, but the animals will shower you with their own version of appreciation and you’ll be making many new friends in the process, which naturally contributes to your sense of well-being.

Although the days are colder and shorter and darker, let’s not focus on the negative, people! Winter offers a great deal of opportunity to acquire healthy habits that spring and summer seasons do not, like scraping and shoveling snow and discovering your own inner determination to survive!

Fortunately, having a great deal of holiday parties, delicious foods to enjoy, and assignments to write are not huge problems in the larger scheme of things.  If you can keep your wits about you and remain aware of how you’re feeling, you can stop holiday overindulgence before it begins.  Get outside for some fresh winter air and a lovely evening winter walk and you’ll have a head start on those wonderful New Year’s resolutions already swimming in your head, like sugar plums—whatever they are.

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