We love everything about the holidays and we look forward to the festivities every year. But we also know that the heavy event calendar and frequent overindulgences can leave us feeling a little drained and bloated come January. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With a few easy tweaks, you can enjoy the holidays as you always have—without the hangover. Read on for our favorite tips to stay healthy during the holidays!
Eat the Cookie
One of our favorite things about the holidays is the plethora of sweet treats that abound. What is the most wonderful time of the year without indulging in a tasty dessert here and there? And when it comes to cookies, peppermint bark, and cakes, resistance is futile. So while we aren’t here to warn you against indulging, we are here to encourage you to do so with moderation. It can be hard to stop at one cookie or one piece of cake but there is one strategy you can employ to make that job a little easier: make healthy choices early on. If you know you’re going to a party where the food will be heavy, eat lighter the day or two beforehand, and try not to drink the night before. Once you’re at the party, eat more of the lighter options earlier on (think crudité over crostini) and drink plenty of water while you’re at it—one glass of water for each alcoholic beverage is always a good ratio. By the time you get to the main course and dessert table you’ll be sated and less likely to regret what you ate, which will enable you to enjoy the night that much more.
Add a Cleansing Element to Your Nighttime Routine
Just like we wouldn’t tell you to keep away from the cookies, we’re not killjoys who will tell you to abstain from that third glass of wine. Where’s the fun in that? But balance is the key to life. So if you know you’re going to have a festive night out and will be drinking, grab your favorite flavor of hint water and be sure to hydrate several hours before the event. When you get home, have some hot water with lemon, ginger, and cayenne to get your body back on track.
With all of the parties, events, and other commitments swirling around the holidays, it’s really important to make sure you’re getting the rest you need. Otherwise, you’ll be grumpy and struggling to keep up before New Year’s even rolls around. So when you can, get to bed a little early and sleep in to make up for the inevitable late nights. Your body will thank you.
Getting fresh air is key to maintaining a clear head, staying focused, and generally maintaining a healthy lifestyle. That’s true as a general matter, but it’s even more important during this time of year, when schedules are packed and stresses are mounting. So grab a friend and go for a walk around the neighborhood. Or hop on your bike and go for a ride. Not only will you feel more balanced, those extra steps or pedals will make up for that second (or third!) slice of pie.
As we’ve said, planning ahead is key to maintaining a healthy approach to the holidays. So make that list, check it twice, and map out your approach to tackling the next few weeks ahead. Having a plan of action will help you prioritize the things you need to get done, which will bring your stress level down a notch or two. And while you’re at it, don’t take on too much. When you’ve finished that list we mentioned earlier, remove one thing that can wait until after the holidays, or enlist someone to help.
Do you have tips for staying healthy during the holidays? Tell us about them in the comments below!