‘Tis the Season for Illness, Overwhelm and Fatigue
Avoid the Physical and Mental Stress of the Holidays with these Simple Tips from Connected Health
With the holidays underway, the season of joy and giving also brings with it stress, illness and burnout. Changes in weather, financial pressures, travel and increased schedule demands combined with cold and flu season, exhaustion and poor nutrition creates a holiday health crisis.
This year, Connected Health offers the 10 Tips for Healthy and Happy Holidays to help keep you less stressed, more productive and happier throughout the season.
10 Tips for Healthy, Happy Holidays
Proper hydration boosts immunity, aid digestion, provides energy and keeps your skin and hair looking great. Adults should drink half their body weight in ounces each day; more if you work out.
The average person doesn’t get enough sleep and the holidays can keep you up even later. Lack of sleep negatively impacts everything from heart health to immunity to weight. Aim for 7-9 hours per night.
With all the goodies of the season, it’s easy to miss the mark on nutrition. Choose less processed and more fresh foods when possible. Lean, grilled or broiled proteins over fried foods. Load up on filling veggies. Put the sauces on the side and pick one indulgence when it comes to cocktails or dessert.
While you may not have time for an hour-long sweat session everyday, there are ways to get in the 150 minutes recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services. Schedule smaller 10-minute bouts of exercise throughout the day, walk the stairs a few times during the day, park further away at the mall and do a few laps while you’re there before you shop.
Stress is inevitable during the holidays and it can negatively impact both physical and mental health if ignored. When you find yourself amid a stressful moment take five minutes to quietly meditate to re-center yourself, reduce blood pressure and restore focus. Meditation apps like Headspace can help facilitate and are easy to use in a quiet space like an office, car, conference room or other quiet space.
Whether you’re driving across town or flying cross country to visit family, take precautions when traveling during the busy holiday season. Wash your hands often and carry hand sanitizer for all the germs you’ll encounter in planes, trains and rest stops. Bring your own reusable water bottle or drink bottled water to avoid potentially contaminated water on airplanes. Be sure to get the flu shot and eat a whole foods diet that boosts your immune system.
Don’t put off taking care of you because the season is busy. Take time for something relaxing. Lunch with a friend. A manicure or massage. One hour of selfcare will refill your cup and recharge you for the busy season ahead.
Revisit a Hobby.
If you are taking time off during the holidays, jumpstart an old hobby that you once enjoyed. It might be reading, painting, hiking or cooking. Hobbies can help us decompress and challenge our minds making us sharper and smarter! If old hobbies no longer interest you, try something new.
Don’t Ignore Symptoms.
At the first sign of a cold, the flu, or other illness, get to the doctor to be seen. It may be as simple as a sinus infection or common cold, but it could be more serious and the sooner you’re examined, the faster you may recover.
One of the best gifts to give and receive is being present. Decrease distractions (digital or otherwise), slow down and enjoy the small moments with family and friends. By doing so, you’ll feel more connected to the important people in your life – which is always good for your health.
The holidays don’t have to be stressful and exhausting if you take time to take care of yourself, and your mental health. Try some or all the 10 Tips to help ensure your holidays are healthy and happy. Learn more about the services Connected Health provides to keep you healthy all year at www.connectedhealthpgh.com/services.