Having Healthy Holidays
Did you know that the bacteria and viruses that cause the flu, common cold,
and Covid are always in the air? So then why do people get so many more
illnesses during the winter and holidays? There are three significant reasons:
- The cold weather brings people inside and around more people.
- Everyone is more stressed and anxious because of time constraints,
travel, family dynamics and issues.
- The mad pace of parties, shopping, family events, and the harmful and
unhealthy food and alcohol consumption suppress immune system
It doesn’t have to be this way! If you can assert a little more control during this
more stressful period, you can enjoy the holidays and maintain a healthy body
and mind throughout the year.
Mundane as it might sound, focusing on at least ONE healthy habit can make all
the difference to your health. My suggestion is to pick one of the “keystone”
habits that Charles Duhigg writes about in his book “The Power of Habit.”
Those habits are:
Sleep, specifically slow-wave deep sleep, delivers a powerful boost to
your immune system. By getting more deep sleep, your body restores
itself. Another sleep phase, REM, is vital for mood, memory, and
learning. The holiday consumption of alcohol can disrupt and even
completely shut down REM sleep, resulting in anxiety and depression.
Exercise does so much for your mind and body! Yes, exercise helps the
body burn excess calories and enhances physical health … but it’s most
significant benefit is what it does for the mind and emotions. Exercise
has a powerful antidepressant effect which stabilizes your moods. It also
substantially improves memory.
Healthy eating is an even bigger challenge during the holiday season –
you’ll probably eat more and have foods that aren’t particularly good for
you. But it’s essential to choose your battles. If you eat more desserts
and sweets, try balancing it out with some good lean protein. You will
feel better and stay healthier by being more aware and balancing your
The fantastic effect of focusing on one of these habits will create a ripple effect
and impact your motivation to improve in other areas of your life. Remember
that perfection is not possible for human beings. Just one of these habits can
make a huge difference in your health throughout the holiday season. By doing
the best that you can and letting go of guilt, you can sail through the holidays and stay healthy while you do it.