How to Stay Relatively Healthy During the Holiday Season

The holidays are definitely not the time to be stressing about your carb intake or how many calories you burned at the gym. However, just because it’s the holiday season doesn’t mean you can’t still exhibit healthy habits. I’m definitely no health expert, but I do know that there are some easy ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the one time of year that basically promotes stuffing your face with every kind of chocolate baked-good imaginable. So, if you’re like most of us and want to avoid slipping into those unhealthy holiday habits, look no further. Here are some tips on how to stay healthy during the holiday season.

 

Go to the gym when you can.

The holidays are a busy time of year and it’s hard to balance everything. However, if you do have some free time, try and go to the gym. A half-hour workout is better than no workout at all, and besides helping you stay healthy physically, it’ll improve your mental health as well. It’s a proven fact that exercising releases endorphins, which makes you happier (I’d like to thank Legally Blonde for that fun fact). So, go to the gym if you have time. It’ll relieve some of your stress and it’ll make you feel like a #girlboss.

 

Cut back on those Starbucks holiday drinks.

Photo courtesy of Freestocks.org

I know, you probably shuddered just reading that sentence. However, as delicious as that Gingerbread Latte is, it's also extremely unhealthy—and not to mention expensive. Holiday lattes and those specialty hot chocolates have a lot of calories and sugar in them. All of those drinks start to add up so maybe instead of getting Starbucks multiple times a week, try to just go once if you really just can't resist that Peppermint Mocha. 

 

Girl, put down that fifth cookie.

“I’m just going to have one more," you say to yourself after already having eaten four cookies, two brownies, and half a piece of the pie. Sound like something you can relate to? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. To prevent overload on Christmas desserts, try to limit yourself. Definitely, don’t try to cut out sweet treats completely, but give yourself a limit and stick to it. 

 

Try to eat healthy during those big Christmas dinners.

Photo courtesy of +Simple 

The holidays are a time to eat and celebrate, but just because you’re eating a big holiday dinner doesn’t mean that you can’t make it a semi-healthy meal. Try to make yourself a balance plate at dinner. Even if you just put an extra serving of vegetables on your plate, you’re still be enjoying all of the other great food that the holidays have to offer while adding some healthier food to your plate.

 

Bring something healthy to your holiday party instead of a dessert.

Instead of bringing a big plate of brownies to your friend’s holiday party, try bringing chips and guac instead. Not only is chips and guac the best snack ever (I’m not showing a bias here or anything), it’s also relatively healthy. Alternatives to this are also pita chips, veggies and hummus, taco dip, a veggie or fruit tray, etc. There are so many things to bring to a party besides dessert. 

 

Take a mental break.

Photo courtesy of Jacob Postuma

The holidays are stressful. Shopping, family gatherings, trying to meet up with friends—it can all be a bit overwhelming. If you're feeling like everything is getting to your head, try and take a mental break. Do some yoga to refocus your energy and find a balance. Not only will it help you feel better mentally, but you'll feel better physically because you'll have stretched your body out after a presumably long day of festivities. Or, if yoga isn't your thing, try participating in something calming that will make you happy, like reading a good book, listening to a podcast, or even catching up on your favorite show.