Healthy Holidays: A Survival Guide | Part 1

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The holidays are such a joyous time of year, but they can also be busy, stressful, and coincide with cold & flu season.  Putting your physical and mental health as a priority this holiday season will help ensure you’re able to fully enjoy all the great things about the holiday season.

Image: Orange and green fall leaves with a banner that reads "Healthy Holiday Survival Guide" (Healthy Holidays: A Survival Guide | Part 1 Dina Garcia Contributor Miami Mom Collective)

7 Ways to Stay Healthy this Holiday Season

  1. Make time for self-care. The holidays can put a lot of pressure on us to do more and be more. This can leave us with even less time for self-care.  I agree that we must take time to recharge and fill up our cups if we want to be our best selves and show up for others. But self-care doesn’t even need to be about how we can be our best selves.  It’s just something you need and deserve. There is nothing selfish about putting yourself 1st instead of last, no rationalization needed.
  2. Let go of perfectionism. Moms typically bear the load for making sure holidays are perfect and everyone is happy. Letting go of the pressure to create a perfect holiday experience can relieve a lot of stress. Stress is one of the fastest ways to lower your immune system. Focus on the fun and meaning of the holiday. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, or any holiday, take some time to pause and reflect on what the holiday is really about. This can bring you peace and help you let go of the undone to-do list you wanted to finish so everything could be perfect.
  3. Spend some time outdoors, especially early daylight hours. The daylight hours are short during the winter and this can make us feel a little blue due to a lack of serotonin. Getting outside, even for just a few minutes in the early daylight hours, gives us a nice boost of serotonin and lifts our mood for the day.
  4. Stay on top of your vitamin D levels. With less direct sunlight in the winter and colder temps causing us to cover more skin, we get less vitamin D from the sun. This is why our vitamin D levels tend to naturally drop in the winter. Vitamin D helps our immune system and our mood.
  5. Wash your hands. This is an oldie but goodie. That’s because it really does work.  Proper handwashing, especially before you eat, can reduce your risk of getting sick.
  6. Prioritize sleep. Sleep is extremely important for our overall health, immune function, and energy levels.
  7. Don’t overthink your food choices. Sometimes the convenient food, though less healthy, could also be a huge stress reducer. Do your best to fuel your body in a way that energizes you. But steer clear of guilt and shame when you can’t. Stay tuned next month for Part 2 of this guide where I’ll be breaking down how to embrace “healthy enough” eating through the holidays without missing out on any holiday favorites.

Image: A mother and daughter sitting in front of their Christmas tree (Healthy Holidays: A Survival Guide | Part 1 Dina Garcia Contributor Miami Mom Collective)I wish all you beautiful mamas a joyous and healthy holiday season. You are enough. Take some time to really sit back and enjoy the holidays this year.

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