6 Tips for health and happiness during the holidays!

Welcome to the holiday season.  Christmas time can bring many different emotions, from excitement while we look forward to seeing family and friends, to anxiety about all the expectations.  Feeling cheerful looking forward to food, drink, gifts, and more food, then experiencing guilt for not sticking to our usual healthy habits.  Here are 6 tips to help you hold on tight during the holiday emotional roller coaster!

1.  Don't do everything!  Write out a list of everything you think you should get done during the holidays.  Now take your pen and cross out half of those items.  Keep the ones most meaningful to you.  If you don't enjoy baking, and it is just a stressful "to do" item, cross it off the list!!  No one needs the extra sugar and calories anyway.  Dread writing out Christmas cards:  cross off.  Now you are being environmentally friendly.  Give yourself permission to let go of the should's.  The only thing you should do is be kind.  

2.  Pack the fridge with veggies and fruit you enjoy.  Prior to going to a Christmas party or family event, eat some carrot sticks or an apple.  

3.  Drink water.  It is easy to replace water with hot chocolate, special gingerbread spice coffee drinks, wine, and other beverages that are often full of sugar.  Don't forget water!  Have a big glass first thing in the morning, take a water bottle with you when you go out, and drink water with your apple prior to holiday events.  

4.  Stop and breathe.  It can be easy to go through our day with shallow breaths, especially when stressed.  Take one minute.  Sit comfortably and focus on nothing other than deep breaths.  Notice your body expand and deflate with each full breath.  Let all other thoughts drift away for this one minute.  Deep breaths send signals to the body that result in relaxation and a calm feeling.  

5.  Do some physical activity every day.  10 minutes is great!  Walk around your block before you hop in the car to go to the mall.  Get down on your living room floor and do 10 minutes of your favourite mat exercises.  (Or even your not-so-favourite)

6.  Have a sense of humour.  Expecting a perfect holiday season?  Hahahaha ...  Perfect does not happen.  Find the humour.  Tree falls over after you have completed decorating it.  That is really funny.  Burned the special dish you were preparing.  Put a smile on your face.  Now you have a good story to tell.  Laughing is good for us.  Watch the movie "Elf" with Will Ferrell.  Again.