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Stress Less and Actually Enjoy the Holidays

family enjoying a holiday dinner

The holidays: a time for being with your family and friends, smiling and laughing…yeah, right. The holidays are more often a time for stressing about shopping, feeling anxiety over your social calendar, missing loved ones, and stewing over past events while eating delicious but bad-for-you desserts. It’s easy to feel not so wonderful during this “most wonderful time of the year.” So, we’ve put together this list of quick stress-less tips to help you stay happy, healthy and energized throughout the holiday season.

JUST BREATHE

When you've got a stove full of food and a house full of guests, it's easy to get a bit tense. So stop the stress in its tracks by taking a quick breathing break. Just a few deep breaths will increase the supply of oxygen to your entire body and help you relax.

FOOD

Here is some very scary food for thought: It only takes an extra 500 calories a day to gain 6 pounds during the holidays. Whether you are exercising less or eating more because of holiday parties, it is always a good idea to remain mindful of what you are eating and how much exercise you might be missing. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, not the season to be unhealthy.

Here are some of our favorite tips to help you survive the holidays while maintaining your healthy lifestyle

  • Don’t give up favorite foods or deprive yourself completely. Moderate consumption is the key. Sometimes just tasting a tempting dish is all you need to satisfy your craving. Remember it is a matter of quality…not quantity when you are looking for satisfaction.
  • If you know you will be attending a party, don’t starve yourself all day so you can eat more at night. You will be setting yourself up for overeating and usually feelings of failure.
  • One way to ensure the party offers at least one guilt-free treat is to bring one yourself. And before you leave home, eat something light and drink a great deal of water the day of the party.
  • Watch your portion sizes at holiday meals. A portion of meat should be about the size of a woman’s palm. Stuffing and potato dishes should be about the size of your fist. Eat slowly, eat your veggies, drink plenty of water, and just enjoy the company at the table

FITNESS

Make some moves and feel merry. Exercise not only helps you burn calories, it relieves stress, and elevates your mood. Activities as simple as walking for 10 to 20 minutes a day can make all the difference in your attempts to maintain a healthy weight through this stressful time of year.