Author: Hanh Thai

Divide your plate: Eating healthy doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy seasonal treats on the holidays. My suggestion is to fill your plate with half of your favorite food, and half of fruits and veggies. Fruits and veggies are great sources of vitamins and antioxidants that are beneficial to your health. Eating more of those make you full faster so you are less tempted to eat too much because of food redundancy at the party.

Make a Schedule for Exercise: During the holidays, our schedule will be full of social events, but it is very important to schedule our workouts as well. Since it is not ideal for outside activities in the winter, indoor exercises like yoga and other flexibility-enhancing exercises can help us stay active and feel youthful. Not only do exercise activities help us work off some holiday calories, but they are also vital for us to stay fit and strong, especially in the winter when we feel less energetic due to more production of melatonin, a hormone that is associated with feelings of tiredness and sleepiness.

Drink Less: Depending on different cultures, it might not be easy for many of us to deny some drinks on the holidays. However, there are many ways to minimize the amount of alcohol intake. For example, you can try having a glass of water or juice-flavored seltzer in between drinks. It’s okay to have one or two drinks on a special occasion but keep in mind that alcohol can interfere with many medications and result in serious side effects. Please set limits for yourself and drink non-alcoholic drinks if you can. Some options for you are sparking water, hot tea, hot chocolate, and non-alcoholic beer. The good thing is these alcohol-free drinks could even serve as a gift to share with the host or other holiday party-goers.

Time for Family Connection: What makes a holiday meaningful is when we connect physically and emotionally with our family members. Let’s use the little precious time we have to show our love for each other and spread positive vibes. Be a listener, supporter, caregiver. The emotional satisfaction may result in less stress and better mental health.

Practice Social Distancing: The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our lives completely. Many of us haven’t been able to attend a wedding or a birthday party since the pandemic started. It’s our tradition to visit our friends and relatives during holidays, but please remember to practice social distancing as much as you could to protect yourself and your beloved. We might not see each other to minimize Covid transmission for everyone’s safety but we can always share our joy and get some laughter together through facetime.

Rest: The holiday season can be demanding. Late parties and too much alcohol consumption can make you feel exhausted the morning after you wake up. Let’s reduce holiday exhaustion this year by saying no to sleepless parties. Make sure you get enough sleep for energy recharge so you can entirely enjoy other holiday activities throughout the day. Remember that balancing with the seasons is the key to staying healthy.

Don’t Forget to Take Your Medications: Our normal routines may be interrupted due to holiday parties and celebrations. To ensure we have a wonderful time, it is crucial to remember your medications. You might not see the immediate consequences of a few missed doses, but you will not be happy when you realize the difference a few days or weeks after. My suggestion for you is to make simple strategies for taking medication. The strategies you can try are using a pillbox, setting an alarm, keeping your medications visible, and enlisting a loved one’s help. You can also come with your own strategies to make sure you’re well controlled with your medications so you can fully enjoy every single holiday moment.