The holiday season is fast approaching and once again what a welcome relief, after all we’ve been through! After the challenges we’ve all faced during the pandemic, the SHDC team are sharing some of our top holiday health tips for staying healthy and feeling good.
Rest, recharge and reconnect
Now is the time to rest, recharge and reconnect, to get ready for a fresh start for the year ahead. After yet another ‘year-of-the-pandemic’, it is good to schedule some reflection time to consider your health priorities.
Take the time to sleep
Sleeping well is essential for good health. When we have enough energy we are able to make better decisions about what we eat, what exercise we do and how we interact with other people. Take the time this holiday season to really rest and sleep well. If there is one new year’s resolution you should be making and sticking to for the year ahead, it’s to sleep more and sleep better. There is no shame in taking naps during the holidays, it is an effective way to restore the body both physically and mentally. Research suggests a 20-minute nap improves alertness, increases productivity, provides stress release and helps control appetite.
Carve out time each day to simply sit and breathe
Try and take a few minutes each day for a little mindful breathing. It will help with stress relief, as well as switching on your parasympathetic nervous system (the rest and digest state – perfect for Christmas feasts)! A little mindfulness can also help combat stress and improve sleep.
Crowd out the bad stuff
The holiday season is full of wonderful eating and drinking opportunities. Unfortunately so often we go into these occasions with such extreme mindsets. Either we are super strict with ourselves and decide we aren’t going to eat anything – causing a whole heap of stress and anxiety around what is “ok” to eat. Or, we decide it is the holiday season so we are just going to eat everything, then we give ourselves a hard time for splurging. There is a middle ground and it takes some practice to get there, but once you find it you can lose the anxiety and guilt, and just enjoy being in the moment. You don’t need to cut out the ‘naughty’ food altogether, just crowd it out with an extra serving of salad to fill you up, that way when the dessert does come round you can take a little less as you will be full from your earlier healthier choices. If you are going to eat dessert then keep the portions smaller, eat slower and really enjoy each mouthful.
Make exercise a group activity
The best thing about the holiday season is that so many family and friends also have time off work. Take this as an opportunity to get outdoors together for some group activities. Summer is the perfect time for some backyard cricket, touch football or beach walks. Incorporating movement and exercise into your holiday break will not only help you feel more balanced with all the holiday eating but also release all those wonderful endorphins to help boost your mood and holiday spirit.
Switch off once in a while
Make the time this holiday season to switch off your phone, shut down the computer and turn off the TV. Disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature. It will leave you feeling less stressed, increase your Vitamin D levels and enjoy the holidays season with your family without distractions. We have all year to be online and connected with technology, make this time extra special by taking a break from technology.
Schedule your check-ups
The holiday season is such a great time to look at the year ahead, plan and set some intentions. Stay on top of your health and plan your regular check-up with your doctor, dentist and health care professionals. By organising these check-ups early you’ll have a clear direction for how to better your health for the year ahead.
For more holiday health tips click here.