The holidays are a joyful and equally hectic time of year for many of us. With decorations, baking, parties, family gatherings and buying gifts it can be overwhelming and we tend to neglect ourselves. During the season of giving, it’s important to remember to give to yourself. By setting aside some time for self-care, you can get through the holidays with less stress and more enjoyment. Schedule time on your calendar, or leave reminder notes where you can see them each day to ensure you stay on track with these daily activities.

Cartoon Character Santa Claus. Vector EPS 10.Exercise

Regular exercise helps to boost energy and also improve your mood. Even if you are usually an active person, once the hustle and bustle of the holidays begins it’s easy to get out of your normal routine. If you don’t have time for the gym, do a short workout at home and keep it simple. Do yoga or basic calisthenics that don’t require weights or other equipment. Or go for a light jog or brisk walk, and try to add extra steps into your day. If you can’t do 30 minutes of exercise each day, at least spend 10 minutes doing range of motion exercises or stretching; it’s better than nothing at all.

Eat Well

Eating nutritious foods prevents fluctuations in your blood sugar, which helps your energy levels and mental focus. This time of year is full of temptations that are delicious, but very unhealthy. You don’t have to deprive yourself of sweet treats and rich foods, but remember to keep it in moderation. Also try to  incorporate plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in all of your meals. Above all else, don’t let yourself overindulge in junk foods, caffeine, or alcohol.

Feet in woollen socks by the Christmas fireplace. Woman relaxesRelax

Taking time out for relaxation is essential for lowering stress levels and reducing anxiety. During the holidays our stress levels are even higher and when ignored can lead to poor eating, sleep loss, depression, illness, and muscular pain. When it seems like you have a million things on your “to do” list, it’s easy to feel like you don’t have time to relax. But by spending even 5-10 minutes a day practicing some type of relaxation technique, you can greatly reduce the harmful effects of stress. Relaxation techniques include deep breathing, meditation, rhythmic exercise like running or swimming, practicing yoga or tai chi, and self massage. Alternatively you can simply take a bath, use a neck heat pack, diffuse essential oils, or work on a hobby or craft.

Sleep

When we get adequate sleep we not only have better energy and moods, but improved health. With so many tasks and obligations that come with the holidays, combined with stress, it’s sometimes difficult to get enough sleep. Over time if you aren’t getting at least 7 hours at night you may experience weight gain, depression, and illness from not getting restorative sleep. If you’re having trouble sleeping make sure to limit screen time before bed, avoid caffeine late in the day, and eat a light dinner. Of course following the recommended self care tips discussed before also contributes to better sleep.

Styles, S. 5 Benefits of Proper Nutrition

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