Healthy Holidays: Your Checklist For The Rest of The Year

December 6, 2023Blog

A lot of people just give up on healthy eating this time of year. We’re busy. There are sugar cookies and candy canes and eggnog everywhere you turn. There’s a gathering every weekend, shopping and decorating and wrapping to do. Who has time to be healthy?

That’s what the New Year is for, right?

But what if you started now?

Healthy Holidays Are A Gift You Give To Yourself

What if you could feel better in this season? What if you had more energy and less sugar-crash lethargy? What if you enjoyed the tastes of the season without overstuffing yourself? What if you took care of your own wellness?

It doesn’t have to be hard or super time consuming. You don’t have to Scrooge yourself out of the holidays. Instead, weave in a few healthy actions or make a few choices for your own well-being.

Healthy Holiday Checklist

Here’s a quick checklist of things you can do over the next month. (If healthy habits are on your New Year’s Resolution list, you can get a head start.)

☑️ Stay hydrated
I like to start the day with a glass of water while my coffee is brewing. Then I keep filling my jar and keeping it near me. Having water handy — on your desk, in your kitchen workspace, wherever you spend your time — makes it easier to hydrate throughout the day.

☑️ Have go to meals
One of the things that happens when we’re busy is we don’t do meal planning or do meal prep, so we end up grabbing whatever we can find or order. Having some quick, easy meals you can turn to helps a lot. Batch cooking grab and go lunches is another great way to make eating healthy easy on you.

☑️ Get outside
Fresh air and a little sunshine can do wonders this time of year. Is it cold where you are? Bundle up, and get out there. If you can go mid-day when you get the most sunlight (and usually the most warmth).

☑️ Get moving
If you haven’t been moving much, start small. Even walking in a shopping mall or to the grocery store is better than sitting on the couch. Ideally, though, you’ll get your heart rate up. What that looks like depends on your fitness level, injury, and other conditions. Maybe running is how you move. Maybe it’s walking or dancing in the kitchen or an online yoga class. You don’t have to want to do it — you just have to do it.

☑️ Be mindful — or slow down and pay attention
It’s easy to get caught up in all the to dos, easy to mindless eat cookie after cookie, easy to rush through the season in a whirlwind. What if you stopped to enjoy the lights? Paused to savor the flavor of the special meal you eat once a year? Notice how you are feeling — the cold on your face during an evening stroll, the loneliness that creeps up (it’s not uncommon). What if you were in this moment, even if it’s uncomfortable instead of eating or buying your way through? If that feels like too much to ask, pause right now and notice what’s happening around you and how you feel. Do that again throughout the day.

☑️ Sleep (but don’t sleep in)
It’s easy to stay up late doing all the things that need to be done, but we need sleep. Turn off your devices and turn down the lights a bit before bed. Enjoy your rest. Then get up at a consistent time each day— that’s been life changing for me.

All of these things add up to more wellness, and they are accessible to you now. No need to wait for January 1.
A checklist can be daunting, so try picking one. Which one seems the easiest for you to do? Start there, or start with the one you would make the biggest difference for you. And you don’t have to be perfect. If you can’t imagine drinking all the water you should have, start with one glass in the morning. Not up to a mile-long walk? Walk to the end of the driveway. You get the idea.
I hope you have a happy and healthy holiday season, one choice at a time.

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