5 Ways to Stay Healthy and Reduce Stress This Christmas
Despite the warmth and cheer surrounding the holidays, they inevitably become stressful every year. We get caught up in the fun (or maybe the stress) and eat way too much, make unhealthy choices, and opt for warm cocoa (or a few glasses of wine) by the fireplace over heading out for a workout. At Cover-Tek, we want you to say, “not this year!” and are lining up some of the best tips to help you stay healthy this season (and still enjoy the happiness that is food and family).
1. Plan ahead.
Having a plan in mind before you get to the party makes you more likely to stick to it. Imagine what you’ll eat, what size portion you’ll get, and what you’ll skip. Try to plan a well-rounded meal that includes protein, carbs, and some fat, so that you’re not tempted to choose the turkey, and the ham, AND the bacon-wrapped scallops. If you know you can’t choose between sweet corn and mashed potatoes, get a small serving of each. Knowing your limitations ahead of time makes a significant difference. Another way to plan ahead is to use an app such as Lose it (my personal favorite) or My Fitness Pal. These apps help you track and plan out your meals while counting the calories and nutritional values for you.
2. Sneak in exercise.
The winter months are the hardest when it comes to motivating yourself to workout. You likely can’t exercise outside because of snow and frigid temperatures. And hey, if you drive to the gym, that can be rough too–nobody wants to go outside at all if they don’t have to! Spend the winter months working small bits of activity into your day…Walk to the mailbox, bring groceries in one bag at a time, take multiple trips to transport something up or downstairs, and consider doing small bouts of exercise during commercial breaks. Bonus tip: make this even more fun by using a fitness tracker such as a FitBit or Jawbone Up.
3. Rid yourself of stress (no, seriously!)
Stress is a total bummer when it comes to losing weight or staying healthy, and the holidays can make it even worse. Stressing can lead your body to store excess fat, and often leads to stress-induced eating. Remember to make a plan (see step 1) and remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. If you decide what you’re doing isn’t worth the stress, let it go. This can be easier said than done at times but try to make it a priority.
4. Talk it out.
I know, I know… you’re too busy for chit chat. But studies show that when something is stressing you out, taking even just five minutes to tell someone how you’re feeling can help. And if someone confides in you, try not to reinforce the anxiety they’re feeling. Offer kind words, remind them it will be ok, and extend an offer to help! Bottom line, don’t hold in things that are bothering you. Find someone to open up to so it’s off of your chest.
5. Forget everything.
Hey, it’s the holidays! Eat a cookie, enjoy some wine, and let yourself have fun! As long as you enjoy the festivities in moderation and aren’t feeling stressed, live it up and get back at it after the holidays. If you’re feeling like you won’t get back to your workout or healthy plans after the holidays, go back to step 1 and work your way there.
You’ve got what it takes to stay healthy this holiday season! To start fresh in the new year, schedule a health fair to check you and your employees’ vitals and come up with a healthy game plan.