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9 Holiday Health Tips That Reduce Stress
The holiday season can be an incredibly stressful time. Between travel, planning meals, buying presents, and unforeseen expenses, stress levels can get high — fast. Luckily, there are some simple holiday health tips that you can try to reduce stress.
A busy holiday season
For many families in the United States, the holiday season kicks off with Thanksgiving in November. This festive time often involves travel, and if there are young children involved, hopping on a plane or driving for hours can immediately create stress for kids as squabbles break out during the trip.
After Thanksgiving, Christmas is next on the agenda. For many families, the source of stress during this holiday is financial. Trying to budget can become problematic when kids or other loved ones want specific things that you cannot afford. The extra financial burden of the holidays, coupled with the fact that you want to please your children and loved ones, can cause stress levels to soar.
In the midst of all the chaos caused by cooking, cleaning, traveling, and shopping, wellness regimens often get tossed to the wayside as well. But this can have consequences, especially during a time when people are typically more sedentary and eating less healthy than usual.
Consequences of neglecting wellness during the holidays
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), obesity kills approximately three million people a year. Despite this, it is a severely neglected public health problem. The CDC reports that, in the United States, around 40% of adults and 19% of children are clinically obese. This condition can lead to several health problems, including an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and Type 2 diabetes.
Additionally, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine tracked the weight of 3,000 people and found increases in body weight around the holidays. Several factors likely contributed to this holiday weight gain. Constant access to unhealthy food was probably a trigger, and sugary drinks and alcohol likely played a role as well.
The extra consumption of food and drink coupled with a lack of movement and exercise usually leads to unwanted weight gain. And for many people, just thinking about how much weight they could gain by indulging in food and drinks can be a significant source of stress.
Holiday health tips to stay healthy
Luckily, there are simple health tips that people can use to manage holiday stress. While it’s unrealistic to try and avoid stress entirely during this time, there are easy ways to help alleviate it.
1. Use CBD to stay relaxed
If you can’t remember to take your CBD every day during the busy holiday season, you should add it to your cooking to make things easier. This idea is simple to implement with Kat’s Naturals Activated Hemp, which can replace a quarter cup of regular flour. With this new ingredient, the possibilities are endless, as you can make delicious CBD-infused cookies, muffins, and even monkey bread!
Nothing’s worse than completely denying yourself the goodies available during the holidays. Instead of punishing yourself to stay healthy, remember that moderation is key. If your family is having a big Thanksgiving dinner, try to eat nutritious, light meals for breakfast and lunch. Then, once it’s dinnertime, you won’t feel guilty and stressed about eating.
Additionally, try to manage your portion size at dinner. It can be tempting to load up your plate and finish every bite, even if you’re full. Instead, serve yourself a little at a time, rather than having one huge plate full of food.
3. Find healthier alternatives
There are plenty of ways to make holiday dishes healthier without compromising taste. For example, using a little less butter and baking instead of frying are two easy ways to make your favorite recipes healthier.
Cooking meals from scratch is also an excellent way to increase the healthiness factor. Store-bought processed foods often contain a lot more sugar and salt than is necessary. By making things at home, you can control exactly what is in them.
4. Increase your veggie intake
Vegetables make delicious sides, so try to have more of them on the dinner table. Salads with homemade dressing, roasted root vegetables, and veggie trays are a simple, scrumptious way to make sure everyone gets their vegetables.
5. Don’t rush
Sometimes, it’s easy to eat too quickly, but this does your body no favors. By properly chewing your food and slowly enjoying your meal, you give your stomach time to tell your brain that you’re full, which can help prevent overeating.
6. Take a walk
Walking immediately after a meal is a great way to improve digestion, get some movement in, and destress. If you live by a walking trail, go explore it for 30 minutes. And if you don’t live near a walking trail or park, that’s okay, too. Taking a stroll around your neighborhood also works.
7. Don’t forget about exercise
For many people, exercise is an integral part of their daily routine. However, the holidays have a way of messing up routines. Usually, you’re away from the gym and don’t have any equipment on hand, making it impossible to work out. But exercise is vital for both physical and mental health, especially during the holidays.
You might have to get creative, but there are ways to work in exercise, and you can even involve your family. You can do a quick workout in the living room, go for a jog, or organize a friendly game of touch football with your guests. Exercise is a wonderful way to reduce stress, so don’t neglect it during the holidays!
8. Get enough sleep
Try to stick to your normal sleep schedule during the holidays. This step can be difficult to implement, especially with parties to attend or guests to spend time with. But getting enough sleep keeps your energy up, so don’t forget to get some restful shuteye.
9. Alone time
Constantly surrounding yourself with friends and family can be draining and stressful. Try to take some time every day that is just for you. You can go on your after-meal walk alone, run to the store by yourself to pick up things, or take a few minutes to meditate.
Holiday stress is manageable
The holidays are a great time to spend with family and friends, but they can also be very stressful. By trying out some simple holiday health tips, you can reduce your stress levels during this wonderful time of year so that you enjoy it to the fullest.