10 tips for happy and healthy Holidays
By Maya Lightfoot, PSP Ottawa Health Promotion
- Make sure to get some physical activity into your day to minimize the impact of the extra calories: Busy? Not a problem, try a HIIT program (High Intensity Interval Training). They are 20-30 minutes long, some training plan don’t required equipment (body weight only) and can blast up to 200-500 calories.
- Catch up on some sleep. Try for a minimum of 7 hours as many nights as possible. Holidays are meant for rest and recuperation.
- Take time to learn something new. Have you vowed to make this year the year to learn something new? Perhaps you are considering a career change, want to learn a new language, or just how to fix your computer? Whether you take a course or read a book, you’ll find education to be one of the easiest, most motivating New Year’s resolutions to keep.
- Enjoy time with people that you love. Connect and reconnect with old friends. Make special time for special people. Keep your support network strong, and put an end to bad relationships that keep you down. This is key for happiness and wellbeing.
- Be aware of how much alcohol you consume over the holidays. Try some new “mocktails” at parties instead. These can be just as “fun”, but safer and less calorically dense… Enjoy being the DD.
- Unplug regularly. There have been several studies that show being plugged in all the time can increase stress, damage your mental health, cause neck, back, wrist and hand problems, and prevent quality sleep and rest. Set “family and friend time” rules about technology and enjoy real social time.
- Take time for self-care. Book yourself in for a massage, or try a yoga class. Learn a meditation or a mindfulness technique that is easy and convenient. Take a walk, or listen to music. Holidays are busy and we can feel more frazzled if we don’t take time to look out for ourselves. Self-care is NOT selfish.
- Set up realistic “New Year’s Resolutions”. Don’t set yourself up for failure with crazy, unattainable ideas. Goals should be “behavior” based, like “I will walk 20 minutes a day”; or “I will try to go to bed at 10pm”, or “I will eat 8 servings of vegetables a day”. Not results based like “I want to lose 20 lbs”.
- Overspending can be very stressful. Try a new “reduced-cost” app or website for gifts or food. Purchase things on sale throughout the year, so as not to buy it all at once. Make some gifts, like banana bread, meat pies or a decoration… stick to your budget, or you will be “paying for it” for the rest of the year.
- Plan FUN! Try to laugh every day; go see a funny movie with friends; meet your buddies for adrink; go sit on Santa’s knee at the mall, tell him what you want, and send the picture to your family; stay in your PJs in front of a fire with a good book all day; volunteer at a shelter; get out a breathe the fresh cool air and be grateful about the wonderful things you already have in your life.
Check out our website for the new WINTER schedule and sign up to our workshops today!
Play our Healthy Holiday Bingo to help you have a healthy holiday season.
Have a wonderful, safe and healthy holiday season,
From your Health Promotion team!
This post is also available in: Français (French)