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Published on December 06, 2017

man running in the winter wearing santa hat

Top-Five Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season

By Kandace Brands, Integrative Medicine Health Coach

  1. Decide what the reason for the season truly is. The holiday seasons of Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year in our culture are centered on food, food, and more food. Consider changing traditions in your family and center them on what truly is the reason for the season. Family, faith, relationships, time spent with loved ones, a giving and thankful spirit are much more “the reason for the season” than Christmas goodies and snacks. Focus your mind on the true reason for this wonderful time of year.
  2. Decide to declutter your schedule. One of the main reasons for stress during the holiday season is our crazy schedules. Decide to take back your schedule this year and say no to things that don’t need to be on there. Cut back in areas that you are able. Lessen your load as much as you can. This is not the time of year to be taking on extra projects, more shopping, or even too many Christmas parties to attend. Choose wisely about how you spend your time this season.
  3. Be grateful. A spirit of gratefulness is actually showing up in medical research to help cope with the pressures of life. This time of year is a great time to reflect on all that you are grateful and thankful for. Cultivating a spirit of contentment, joy and gratefulness can actually calm our whole body down.
  4. Exercise and get physically active. Exercise does so much for our body, and it’s not just about burning calories. It goes so much deeper because exercise can actually increase the energy in every one of our cells. Exercise is a great stress reliever – so feeling a little extra holiday stress – get moving and feel that stress lessen. Exercise can help increase our metabolism and help us cope with a few extra calories we may intake. Exercise can actually help us make better food choices too, when we feel good we want to make better food choices too. Exercise also releases feel-good hormones that can aid us all through the holiday season.
  5. Get plenty of good-quality restorative sleep. The average adult should aim for about 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. Many of us are not getting that much sleep, and we all need it for our bodies to be healthy and happy. Some tips for quality sleep include creating a sanctuary in your bedroom that means no screens and no pets. Maybe think of purchasing new sheets or pillows to make your bed inviting. Think about doing some gentle stretching or yoga moves before bed. Consider deep breathing before bed to calm your whole body, add in some devotion, prayer or meditation time into your evening routine. Essential oils are another great tool to help calm your whole body. A detox warm bath with oils and epsom salts is a great way to unwind from the day and prepare your body for rest.

Live Better. Live Balanced. Avera.

Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

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