It’s the season to count our blessings, to be thankful for all the good that’s come our way. But at this time of year, too often people push themselves in all facets of their lives. They overdo it at meals, snack to their heart’s content (one little bite can’t hurt, right?), overspend in an effort to meet expectations, and tax their bodies to meet all the obligations of family and friends.
What they’re forgetting is that this is the time of year to also be thankful for the one thing that allows all the others to happen—good health. That goes for mental, spiritual, and physical health.
Here are tips for showing yourself some gratitude this holiday season.
Make time for yourself. Amid the rush to always be in the right place at the right time, bringing the right dish or gifts, and wearing the right clothes, take a few moments to do something good for yourself. Make some quiet time in the morning to meditate, practice yoga, or go for a walk. Set some realistic goals for how much you can accomplish in one day. By taking a few minutes to find peace in yourself, you can be whole for others.
Be thankful. Be sure to reflect on all that’s good in your own life at this time of the year. By being aware of your own happiness and recognizing the gifts that you have, you can be stronger and better prepared to help others. Research has found that thinking positively about your blessings can make you more upbeat, productive, and able to help others in need.
Stay active. Be good to yourself this holiday season by keeping up your exercise routine, gifting yourself with a new habit of exercise, or simply by keeping active to ward off any holiday blues. Staying active can keep you in a positive mindset and help keep the holiday pounds off.
Get some sleep. Amid all the parties and family gatherings and extra commitments during this time of year, don’t let your sleep suffer. When you don’t sleep well, you’re not at your best—clearly something you want to avoid when you’re getting together with family and friends, and making additional decisions involving finances and nutrition. It’s too easy to overeat when you’re sleepy, and to load up on caffeine and sugar to try to meet all your commitments. But excess in any form will do little to truly help you spread holiday cheer. Get enough rest and you’ll be able to create positive holiday memories.
Eat healthy. Where do you start when it comes to holiday eating? This is the time of year when snacks and sweets run rampant. Everywhere you turn, there are extra calories to pop in your mouth. But remember: The holidays disappear a lot faster than the extra pounds you pack on from all those added calories. Resist the temptation to “try a bite” of every tasty goodie that crosses your path. And when it comes to holiday meals, limit yourself to the healthiest menu choices and resist the urge to overindulge. Slow down and enjoy the conversation as you eat, and you’ll be happier and prouder of yourself for ending the year—and starting the new one—without holiday regrets.