December 14th, 2020
The holiday season can be full of celebrations, parties, and delicious food. But oftentimes it’s hard to maintain a sense of health during this crazy season. There are a few ways to ensure that you feel your best during this time while also enjoying the festivities that come along with the end of the year. Some of these ways include maintaining adequate sleeping patterns, ensuring you are drinking enough water each day, focusing on vegetable intake during the meals you can control throughout the day, and making time for movement and exercise where you can.
Sleep is a huge factor for our overall health. Without adequate sleep every night, you may feel particular cravings the next day that you wouldn’t normally have as a way for your body to get energy from food. Additionally, you may experience brain fog, inability to focus, and general low energy. Making sure that you get to sleep each night around the same time allows your body to adjust to a schedule and learn to prioritize sleep. Every person has a different amount of sleep that’s right for them, but generally it’s somewhere between 6-8 hours each night that works for most.
Sleep “hygiene” is another important factor to ensure your sleep is high quality. This simply means that it is important to create a proper environment for sleep. Make sure your sleep space is dark, quiet, and the right temperature to allow for better sleep. Some people opt to use a face mask to create that dark environment or use a sound machine for less noise interruption. Additionally, creating that sleep space without the use of a phone screen, laptop, or TV screen is also important to help your body get ready for sleep and to sleep more soundly through the night.
Water intake is another healthy habit to focus on day to day to allow your body to feel its best. Water intake is important for many reasons internally including maintaining electrolyte balance, contributing to kidney health, energy levels, and much more. The adequate amount of water for each individual varies, but generally half of your body weight in ounces of water each day is what is best. This amount can vary with altitude changes, exercise, amount of sweat, and more. Paying attention to the color of your urine is a great indicator of hydration status. Urine color should be very light yellow to ensure adequate hydration.
Increasing vegetable intake, especially around the holidays when there is more unhealthy food available to us, is very important. Eating a balanced diet throughout the day with fiber from vegetables, antioxidants from both fruits and vegetables, and other high quality foods allows our bodies to feel their best so that we can enjoy food at holiday meals or gatherings without sacrificing our health and energy levels the next day. What often happens during the holiday season is we indulge in all of the treats and large meals without having balance in what we eat outside of these events, which takes a toll on our bodies. We start to feel the effects of having low energy levels, poor sleep, and more negative symptoms as a result. Eating in a balanced way when you can control your food during the day or week leading up to an event gives you the freedom to enjoy the festive food in the moment as well without sacrificing your health.
Exercise and Movement
Another great way to ensure a healthy holiday season is to prioritize movement and exercise whenever possible. This can look a lot of different ways for every individual, but can be as simple as going on a walk in the morning or evening to get your body moving. This simple way of moving can help give you more energy and help with sleep and digestion. Regular exercise in any form is always a healthy lifestyle choice as well, no matter the season.
Prioritizing these healthy habits during your holiday season will allow you to enjoy the time spent with family, friends, and loved ones while still honoring your health and energy levels. Choose one of these healthy habits to focus on at first and see how many you can add this season to prioritize your health.