So often the holiday season can leave us feeling drained—both physically and mentally—which is why it helps to remember that the most important gift we can give ourselves is the gift of good health. Take a moment today to remember these simple tips for a healthier, happier holiday.
- Eat well, feel well. Your body benefit from certain foods. Be sure to eat plenty of fruit, non-starchy veggies, protein, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds to support health and wellness.
- Get plenty of sleep. It may seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done, but cutting into your sleep time is not the answer. Not only has sleep deprivation been linked to depression, irritability and poor concentration, but too little sleep may also get in the way of healthy weight management.
- Wash your hands often. According to experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, keeping your hands clean is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. As often as possible, wash your hands (rubbing them together) with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds each time.
- Stay active even in winter. Regular exercise (at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week) plays an important role in overall health. One study in the British Medical Journal found that exercise may be as effective, or even more effective, as drug treatment for common health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Exercise also supports a balanced gut—which not only promotes optimal digestion but supports a healthy weight.
- Lift your mood with a little sunlight
Seasonal affective disorder (or SAD), affects roughly 500,000 Americans every year, and according to the Mayo Clinic three out of every four are women. Sunlight is our primary source of vitamin D, which has been shown to help ease depressive symptoms and improve mood, so try to spend time outdoors or near a window each day. Better yet, take a walk! Research shows depressive symptoms are greatly reduced just by walking outdoors.