It’s always a good idea on how to stay healthy during the holidays. But, that can be easier said than done thanks to the stress of the season. You have places to go, people to see, errands to run, and that often leaves little time for self-care.
This year is especially different in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. You might not be going to as many places or seeing as many people. But, the pandemic has caused a completely different type of stress. We’re dealing with uncertain times this winter, and more states are even starting to see a second wave of positive COVID cases.
So, it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself this winter. By making health and wellness a priority over everything else, you can manage your stress levels, feel better physically, and enjoy the holidays, no matter how different they may be.
Stay Safe During the Holidays
One of the most important things you can do this winter is to stay safe from illnesses. Remember, other common viruses like the flu are still out there! So, follow any safety restrictions put in place in your state or community, including:
- Wearing a mask
- Social distancing
- Staying home whenever possible
- Not going anywhere if you feel sick
But, remember that it’s just as essential to protect yourself from colds and the flu. You can do that by eating an immune-boosting diet full of fruits and vegetables. Doing so can “detox” your body and provide nourishing health benefits from the inside out to give you that holiday glow.
Perhaps the easiest thing you can do to stay healthy is simply to wash your hands as often as possible. Hand washing will always be more effective than just using sanitizer. But, if you have to go out in public, sanitizer is helpful in a pinch as long as you apply it correctly and let it dry without rubbing it off.
There are plenty of stereotypes about winter being a time of rest. It’s easy to imagine big bears in their caves, hibernating for weeks at a time. But, laying around and being lazy isn’t good for your body or your mind.
While it can be tempting to stay inside to watch your favorite holiday movies, you should also take some time each day for physical activity. One of the best things you can do is to spend some time outside. Being in nature can reduce stress levels, boost your energy, and actually help you to feel happier. Some outdoor winter activities that will get your blood pumping include:
- Ice skating
- Cross country skiing
Even shoveling snow, having a snowball fight with the kids, or building a snowman can offer up a great cardiovascular workout that will keep your body strong and healthy all season long.
If you do end up spending a lot of time outside this winter, take extra care of your skin and make sure you’re drinking enough water so it doesn’t dry out from the cold.
If you don’t want to go outside, you can still get moving indoors with online workout videos, or even doing chores around the house. You might be surprised at all the muscles needed to put up and decorate a Christmas tree!
Again, this year has been a roller coaster of emotions for many people. So many are still living in uncertainty and fear. You may even be grieving the loss of a “normal” holiday with family and friends. Your stress levels might feel like they’re at an all-time high. This can lead to anxiety and even depression. Now, more than ever, it’s important to take care of your mental health as well as your physical health.
One of the best things you can do to reduce stress and the symptoms of anxiety is to practice mindfulness. Even if you only have a few minutes a day, stop and focus on nothing else but your breathing. Take a few deep breaths in and out, and remain in the present. As other thoughts start to come in, let them pass by like clouds, rather than hanging onto them. Mindfulness isn’t difficult and it can be done any time, and almost anywhere. Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a few minutes to be mindful.
You can also practice self-care and feel calmer by being grateful.
It might not seem like there’s much to be grateful for this year. But, if you think about it for a few minutes, you’re bound to come up with a list of things to be thankful for. Focusing on that and actively showing gratitude can improve your whole attitude and reduce your stress levels. Being grateful for the things you have is especially important around the holidays every year.
Yes, this holiday season will be a bit different. But, even when 2020 is over, it will always be important to take care of your health and wellness over the holidays. Keep these tips in mind now and for years to come to get through the season with health and happiness.