Believe it or not, the holidays are right around the corner. In less than a month, we’ll be gathering around the dining room table with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving. Shortly after that, the holiday festivities begin, with work parties, White Elephant gift exchanges and decking the home (inside and out) with twinkling lights and festive garlands. While this approaching season generally invites feelings of camaraderie and excitement, the accompanying hustle and bustle can also lead to burnout and elevated levels of stress.
How can we continue to focus on our health and wellness during the holiday season? It takes effort, but maintaining one’s wellness at the end of the year is do-able, especially when the following healthy swaps are implemented.
This holiday season, make your own health and wellness a priority. Here’s how.
Swap processed foods for real, whole foods
Christmas cookies are hard to resist. Whenever possible, though, swap processed foods for real, whole food. Eat food with very few ingredients – and, all those ingredients should be pronounceable, too. Take half an hour on Sunday evening to meal prep your healthy lunches for the week. Plan out your breakfasts ahead of time, so you have an idea of what you should be reaching for (rather than simply grabbing the most convenient item on hand). We have more advice on nutrition and better health available for you here.
Swap coffee dates for walks around the neighborhood
Instead of indulging in one more Caramel Brulée Latte or Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino, plan meet-ups in your local park or neighborhood. This time of year is perfect for bundling up for a brisk, refreshing walk: the next time you make a plan to catch up with friends, do it in the great outdoors.
Swap shopping online for shopping at brick-and-mortar locations
It’s nice to get all of the holiday shopping done from the comfort of your living room, isn’t it? This year, make time for shopping at brick-and-mortar locations, too. Getting out and about not only keeps your body moving, but it also saves your eyes and neck from the strain of the computer screen. Grab a friend and tackle your to-do lists together. Your friendships will flourish, and you’ll feel better, too.
Swap Netflix for self-care
Netflix (or some similar form of vegging) can quickly become a nightly habit. This holiday season, swap Netflix for time spent taking care of you. Run a hot bath, practice meditation, enjoy a mug of tea before bed. You’ll find yourself better equipped to handle holiday stress and – bonus! – you’ll be dropping off to restful sleep more quickly and easily.
Swap over-booking for sticking to a schedule
Cramming your schedule chalk-full of holiday activities seems like fun in the moment. When it comes time to rush from event to event day after day, you’ll be thinking twice. Instead of over-booking yourself and your family this year, leave intentional blocks of time open for “free time.” Plan out these blocks well in advance so that they’re already in the schedule when additional events and activities come up.
Additionally, stick to your pre-holiday schedule in November and December. If you regularly go to the gym on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, continue to do so. If you usually spend Saturday morning catching up with your significant other on the couch with a cup of coffee, keep it in your schedule. Our bodies crave routine, and your health and wellbeing will thrive from the regularity of your healthy habits.
In the same way, continue scheduling your chiropractic appointments with Drs. Van Ness and Parkin. Regular adjustment is vital for health and wellness, so don’t let your regular appointments at Van Ness Chiropractic slip during these last eight weeks of 2017. Chiropractic care keeps your body healthy and your mind sound – both of which are especially important during the holiday season. Schedule your next appointment at Van Ness Chiropractic by calling 847-842-8070 or by reaching out to us here.