Getting 8.5 to 9 hours of sleep a night during the holidays can help strengthen your immune system, give you more energy, and make you less vulnerable to stress. 1. Spend time with your friends and children Despite all the madness that surrounds Christmas and New Years, some holiday traditions actually help you sleep: Celebrating and connecting with your friends and family is an effective way to de-stress, preparing you for a better night’s rest. Women who have healthy friendships and positive relationships with their children sleep better. Exchanging gifts and catching up at holiday parties can boost your levels of oxytocin, a biochemical that blocks the body's chief stress chemical, and will let you rest easier at night.
- Fit in a seasonal siesta
- Take a walk in the snow
- Relax before bed
- Wash hands and wash them often. Washing your hands will help prevent the spread of cold and flu germs.
- Manage stress. Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and out of control. Some of the best ways to manage stress are to find support, connect socially, and get plenty of sleep.
- Don't drink and drive (or let other drink and drive). Whenever anyone drives drunk, they put everyone on the road in danger. Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same.
- Bundle up. Stay warm. Wear appropriate winter outdoor clothing (light, warm layers, gloves, hats, scarves, and waterproof boots). At home, work, and on the road, be prepared and prevent injuries too.
- Be smoke-free. Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke. Smokers have greater health risks because of their tobacco use, but non-smokers also are at risk when exposed to tobacco smoke.
- Fasten seat belts while driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Always buckle your children in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt according to their height, weight, and age. Buckle up every time, no matter how short the trip and encourage passengers to do the same.
The holiday season often brings unwelcome guests, stress and depression. With all of the parties, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining, etc. it’s no wonder why people find it hard to get though. In this post, we are offering practical tips for you to minimize the stress that accompanies the holidays.
- Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can't be with loved ones, realize that it's normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s okay to express your feelings and grief.
- Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.
- Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Stick to your budget and consider the following alternatives:
- Be realistic. The holidays don't have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold onto, and be open to creating new ones.
- Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don't live up to all of your expectations. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. And be understanding if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are they're feeling the effects of holiday stress and depression, too.=
- Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list. That'll help prevent last-minute scrambling to buy forgotten ingredients. And make sure to line up help for party prep and cleanup.
- Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can't participate in every project or activity. If it's not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.
- Don't abandon healthy habits. Don't let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt.
Drinking too much alcohol, on a single occasion or over time, can have serious affects on your body and can take quite the toll on your health. Below are a few examples of how alcohol can affect your body: Brain: Alcohol can affect the way the brain works and looks by interfering with the brain’s communication pathways. Disruptions due to alcohol can change behavior, mood, and make clear thinking and coordination much harder. Heart: Alcohol can damage the heart, even just drinking too much on one occasion, causing the following problems:
- High blood pressure
- Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat
- Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle
- Liver failure (drinking too much over time)
- Steatosis, or fatty liver
- Alcoholic hepatitis
With a constant supply of yummy treats around during the holidays, your willpower not to eat them is generally questioned. Unfortunately the treats are no excuse to abandon healthy eating habits. But if you have accidentally lost control, don't fret, forgive yourself and get back on track. Below are a few ideas on how to stay healthy if you do splurge:
- Don't skip meals. Seems logical to keep out the calories you just took in during your cookie splurge, but in actuality if you miss a meal it can lead to additional calories. Arriving starved can result to overeating and mindless munching. Eat normal meals throughout the day, but be strategic with your meals.
- Stay away from the appetizers and count your bites. Several appetizer bites can lead to half of what you might eat for dinner. Fill a small plate once, and don’t fill it up again.
- Turn down the desserts. The pie maker won’t take it personally, if you don’t eat his or her pie. Just say you are full and avoid the extra calories.
- Take a break from the gym. Those that exercise regularly, generally take more time off in December than any other month. So don’t beat yourself, up. Everyone has a lot going on this time of year. Just make sure to get back on track and into your regular exercise routine as soon as the holidays are over.
- Don’t obsess over every ounce gained. To prevent yourself from completely letting go of your habits weigh yourself every day or put on a pair of snug-fitting pants. This will help your mind stay on track with healthy behaviors and keep you on track with good habits.