The holiday season is the best time to check in with your health. And I don’t necessarily mean getting a check-up at the doctor. The holidays are incredibly busy and filled with delicious food, added stress and other things that you don’t normally face.
It’s a great time to reconnect with routines and practices that help you get healthy and stay that way for months to come. Here are our top 9 tips and tricks for staying healthy during the holidays this year.
Let's Get Healthy, Stay Healthy and Thrive this Season
Drink water before and after meals and snacks
One of the best ways to stay hydrated is to drink water with food. The nutrients in your food help you to absorb water. This includes electrolytes like sodium and magnesium, and the carbs in bread, rice and other foods.
Regularly drinking water before and after meals and snacks ensures you get enough water during the day. Since you probably eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, that means you’ll automatically get six cups of water, add in a snack and that makes eight cups of water.
Finally, if you drink when you first wake up and before bed, you’ve more or less fulfilled your daily hydration needs. Drink from one of our hydration helping bottles or tumblers to remind you to drink enough each day.
Hydration has so many hidden benefits. It improves mood, focus, sleep, memory, joint health and helps you maintain a healthy body weight.
Tips on wearing masks for germ protection
Most of us have started wearing masks on a regular basis to avoid the spread of Covid-19. However, it is also important to wear a mask properly to get the most from its germ protecting properties. Here are some tips from Johns Hopkins:
- Wear your mask fully over your nose, mouth and chin.
- Only touch the ear loops or straps.
- Wash your hands before and after touching your mask.
- Wash your fabric masks after one use.
- Don’t share your face mask with other people.
Add a mindfulness morning ritual to your day
Mindfulness practices help you bring intention into your day. One of the ways to practice mindfulness is to draw your attention towards the sensations and feelings you experience while doing simple things. Starting your mornings with mindfulness is a great way to practice healthy mental habits during the busy holiday season. Here are a few to try:
- A timed free write in your journal every morning
- Appreciate 5 things in your surroundings
- Meditate with a question in your mind without answering it
- Say 3 positive affirmations in the mirror each day like: “I am strong, courageous and hopeful”
- Notice the first thought that enters your mind in the morning and which one comes next. Write it down each day. (Source)
Restore your gut health by eating these foods
Our intestinal tracts, usually referred to as our gut, require a healthy balance of good bacteria to function properly. Gut health helps with digestion, our resistance to food-borne illness and even our mood. It also helps regulate weight and produce helpful nutrients.
Some of the reasons your gut health might be out of balance include antibiotics, diarrhea, stress and vomiting. If you’ve faced any of these issues, or if you wish to benefit your overall health, it’s good to eat the following gut health enhancing foods:
- Fermented foods: Pickled vegetables, plain yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi are all great options.
- Foods with fiber: Eat plenty of legumes, beans, flax seeds, chia seeds and oats.
- Raw leafy greens: Enjoy leafy greens like spinach, lettuce and kale.
Plan for 30 minutes of cardio everyday
Cardiovascular exercise, which increases your heart rate, has numerous benefits. This can include indoor aerobic activities like kickboxing or outdoor sports like jogging, cycling or even a brisk walk.
Experts suggest that 30 minutes of cardio a day gives you tons of benefits:
- Longer lifespan
- Higher bone density
- Stronger heart and circulation
- Improved natural immunity
- Better sleep
- Improved concentration and focus
- Reduced anxiety and stress
Relieve your tired eyes with milk pads
Most of us have to spend a lot of time at the computer each day. Unfortunately this has bad side effects for our eyes. Give your eyes a nice rest for 30 seconds at lunch.
Take two cotton circle pads (normally used for makeup), dip them in milk, squeeze out the excess and place them over your closed eyelids. Wait 30 seconds and then remove your pads.
The enzymes in the milk will make your eyes feel more energized. Don't want milk on your face? You can also do this with cucumber slices or a cooling face mask for your eyes.
Listen to deep sleep music before bed
To unwind from the day and get those necessary hours of relaxing and rejuvenating sleep, try listening to at least 3 minutes of this deep sleep music before bed. Sometimes people find it difficult to sleep at night, because they don’t have enough time to transition.
Your mind and body may need a trigger to shift between your alert, awake state and the calm mental state of sleep. Add deep sleep music into your routine to help sink into that deep REM state your body and mind need.