36. That’s the number of days until Thanksgiving. And just 65 days ‘til Christmas Day. 😮 While we’re ready to crank up the Mariah Carey (Holiday) Pandora station, we also recognize the holidays can be a stressful time for many, in all areas of life: family, finance, and especially health + wellness.
Even if you’re not anxious during the holiday countdown, it’s a good practice to have some tips for managing your mental and physical wellness as we approach the season. (Let’s be honest, everyone could use some breathing techniques when politics comes up at the family dinner table.)
The health experts at PHD Weight Loss and Nutrition – recently opened in Greenville by owner Dr. Ashley Lucas, PhD Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian – specialize in helping their clients get healthier, sustainably, with support in nutrition, metabolism + behavior and no restrictive dieting or extreme practices.
Here are their 7 health + wellness tips as we approach the holidays:
Find calm in what you can control.
The holidays will look different this year, but there’s nothing you can do about that. Focus on what you can control, like planning a small gathering (distanced or virtual), planning your menu or just planning your day with a to-do list and giant cup of coffee. Practice mindfulness techniques to keep your mental clarity, which is affected by stress, uncertainty + isolation.
Make sleep a priority.
Sleep restocks, restores and prepares the body, and not getting enough can negatively impact your body physiology, mood and weight. Sleep is also the number one thing you can do to improve your brain health. Try establishing a calming wind-down routine and practice consistent sleep timing, including an uninterrupted 8-9 hours of time in bed.
Don’t be hard on yourself.
If you succumb to a craving, it’s okay and not the end of the world. Understand that it happens to all of us – don’t beat yourself up. Self-induced stress and anxiety about food guilt negatively affects your metabolism + immune system, and can lead to easier weight gain. If you feel you’ve had a misstep, use it as motivation to strengthen new and improved habits, and an opportunity to re-confirm your decision to improve your health, simply because you want to.
Research shows that resiliency (the ability to bounce back from challenges) helps to build immunity and is something that can be developed. How? PHD experts say to identify a charismatic individual in your life that you admire and gives you joy or strength, and reconnect with them (virtually, if need be).
Keep moving. Or start moving at your own pace.
Leading an active lifestyle is important to maintaining health and mental acuity. But don’t overdo it. Too much exercise can depress your immune system, and it’s important to understand your body’s limits.
Review your intake.
We all have different metabolisms, dietary needs + food preferences. Do you know what your body requires for optimal health? No matter your unique needs, less sugar and eating real, whole foods is a great first step to feeling better if you’re in a slump.
Tap into your support system.
Your friends/family are likely going through similar holiday stressors – connect with them by talking through things + supporting one another’s wellness. Think: Heart to hearts over some pumpkin pie, followed by an enjoyable, brisk walk together through Falls Park.
Quiz images via Pexels.