Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Take Care of Yourself During the Holidays

Although the winter holiday season should be a time of enjoyment, the events associated with the season are often the cause of stress.

When we’re feeling stressed we’re much more likely to neglect our needs, but that is when we need to take care of ourselves the most! Making sure that we eat healthy foods, get plenty of rest, exercise, and take time out for relaxing activities helps bolster us and renews our physical and emotional resources.

During the holidays it is tempting to eat too much (and the wrong kinds of foods), drink too much alcohol, skip the exercise, and stay up too late. Although a little indulgence is okay, forgetting to take care of ourselves day after day leaves us physically and emotionally drained, and unable to handle the stressors that will come our way.

If you are up late one night because of a party or gift-wrapping session, make sure that you go to bed early the next night. Try to increase your physical activity by going walking after meals, and taking stairs rather than elevators. Even walking in the mall can be a great source of exercise! If you enjoy trying all of the different goodies at a party, make sure to just try a little bit of each. Then focus on the healthier foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean meats.

You may also want to ask yourself if you are truly hungry, or simply eating because the food is there. Finally, try to take some time out for yourself, even if it’s only a few minutes while you’re lying in bed in the morning. Hot baths or showers are relaxing, reading can be a great escape, and some people find meditation helpful. Everyone is different, so you will need to figure out what sort of activity provides a good way for you to take a break and decompress.

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