The holiday season can be busy and exciting, and with so many events like family dinners, holiday parties, and the preparation and planning for gift giving, there are lots of distractions to keep us from keeping tabs on our health and taking care of ourselves as we normally would.
As soon as the holiday season is over, a lot of people begin to undergo a lull in their motivation to stay active. Some people start experiencing depression or feelings of anxiety over expenses that have accumulated throughout the holidays. Others let diet and healthy eating habits fall by the wayside. Most times, given the weather, exercise is sacrificed for the warm nights spent indoors on the couch.
With shorter days, colder weather and longer nights coming up, finding the motivation to stay healthy and fit can be difficult; and that can lay the foundation for a weakened immune system, posing a greater risk of developing illness or injury.
Recognizing these safety risks and patterns of illness or low energy ahead of time is key to preventing them — or at least to dealing with them as they arise. There are countless tips and ideas available to ensure you have lots of ways to stay healthy, fit and safe this holiday season and beyond, with a few of them below:
Plan Your Exercises a Week in Advance
Try sticking to a weekly exercise plan so you don’t put off your regular exercise activities. On Sunday nights, you can try to write down your exercise schedule for the next seven days. Choose your exact workout routines, activities or exercises for each day and how long they will be. Knowing what you’re scheduled to do each day ahead of time makes it easier to stick to. If you can, line up your workout schedule with a friend to encourage each other to stick with it and stay motivated.
Calm Your Carb Cravings
The cold season tends to ignite our cravings for more carbs and comfort foods. Why? After you consume these delicious treats, your serotonin levels rise, making your brain think you are happier. And as the day wears on, your carb cravings get stronger and stronger. To counter this, try eating a protein-packed breakfast to keep your energy levels up throughout the day.
If by the time the afternoon rolls around you’re still craving sweets or carbs, be sure to have low-fat and healthy snacks on hand. However, if you can, finding a way to increase your serotonin levels without food is the best way to beat the carb cravings.
During the holidays, it’s easy to find lots of things to do. Local community Christmas programs and events like parades, tree lightings, ice skating and craft fairs abound. But after the holidays, many people then start to feel lonely as the activities, hypes and buzz begin to die down. This is the perfect time to reconnect with old friends. Plan dinner and movie nights or a day for holiday-themed crafts. Organizing family game nights is also a great way to stay connected with loved ones. Don’t forget to also get in touch with friends and, you know, get your groove on!
Plan a Vacation
A holiday vacation is a great way to shake off the after-work lethargy and recharge yourself in a healthy way. Planning a getaway to a warmer climate will help lift your spirits and give you something to look forward to.
Even if going on vacation isn’t in the budget, simply researching ideal destination spots and browsing through travel packages will make you feel better. Hit up travel websites and check out the reviews on top hotels in tropical locations. Make a list of the top holiday spots and explore them online before making your choice. Then make a long-term plan to visit the spot that interests you most.
Sleep Longer and Better
When the days get shorter, your body will naturally want to sleep longer and will adjust its rhythm to the hours of daylight. Use the longer evenings to wind down and begin relaxing before bed. Try to go to bed as early as possible to give your body enough rest during the times it craves it the most. One way to do this will be to use lightboxes that operate on a timer and will turn on gradually when it’s time to wake up. This helps your body feel like it is morning. Using this method means that over time, it will be easier to wake up, even if it’s dark outside.
To help you out, who knows, we just might help you compile a list of amazing holiday spots. Do you want that? Then let us know in the comments.