How Can I Stay Healthy Over the Holidays?

stay healthy

With Thanksgiving tomorrow, and the rest of the winter holidays close on its heels, now is a time for joy, thankfulness, and . . . stress. Let’s face it: as much as most of us love the holidays, they have a tendency to bring out the worst in us when it comes to taking care of ourselves, both physically and emotionally. By the time January 1st rolls around, we’re exhausted—and a couple of pounds heavier than we were in early November.

There’s no reason that you shouldn’t enjoy this time of year just as much now as you did when you were a kid; it just takes a little effort and planning, that’s all.

Here are some tips to help you stay healthy —both in body and in mind—during the holiday season:

1) Be realistic. This goes for everything. Be realistic about the fact that things change—maybe your kids can’t come home to celebrate this year, or maybe some new members of your family have their own traditions to add to the mix—and try to be open to that rather than dwelling on disappointment that things aren’t like they used to be. Be realistic about your weight goals, too—for instance, don’t try to lose weight over the holidays, just do your best to maintain the weight you’re currently at. Trying to diet when you’re surrounded by pumpkin pie and stuffing is setting yourself up for failure.

2) Take time for yourself. When you’re with family—especially if you’re the host—you may feel that getting away from the group and taking time for yourself is impossible (or rude), but it’s important. Getting out and exercising is the best thing you can do for yourself.  Even one or two short walks (10 or 15 minutes) will clear your mind and reduce your stress levels—and they’ll help combat the extra calories you’re consuming!

3) Get some sleep. It may sound like a no-brainer, but a lot of us get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays and forget to give our bodies the rest they need—and we end up paying for it. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule throughout the holidays will improve your mood and keep your body healthy.

4) Don’t overindulge. It’s okay to cut loose a bit during the holidays, but moderation is key. One way to help with this is to snack on something healthy before you head to a party where there will be tons of rich foods; if you’re not starving, you won’t be as tempted to overdo it. Watch your alcohol intake, too—not only does alcohol itself have a ton of calories (check out this post for more on that), drinking lowers your inhibitions, which can lead to overeating. Keeping your eating in check will make you feel better both physically and mentally and will help you stay healthy!

From all of us at the San Francisco Plastic Surgery & Laser Center—have a happy, healthy holiday season!