Make it a Good Holiday Season

This time of year is filled with holiday parties and plenty of fun-filled festivities. But along with the socializing, laughing, fun and games often comes stress, overindulgence and even safety concerns. But with a little forethought, you can breeze through the holidays with ease. Here are some tips and tricks to help you not only survive the holiday season but also feel at the top of your game!

Woman stress out
  1. Don’t skip meals.
    • It seems logical to forgo lunch so you can leave room for the cookies and pie later. But arriving to a party starved often leads to overeating — and drinking on an empty stomach will give you a quicker buzz, which will more likely lead to mindless munching. Eat normally during the day and then assess your food and drink options before deciding what you’ll have. Don’t bother with things you don’t absolutely love — indulge (without guilt) on something special.
  2. Pace and gauge.
    • Be mindful of the food you’re eating and enjoy it slowly. It takes about 20 minutes for your brain to catch up to your stomach and feel full. Stop when you feel 80% full and take a walk outside to avoid sitting and eating all day.
  3. Be mindful.
    • Stop yourself at times and take a moment to step back and reflect on the situation, the company, the sights, the smells and the sounds. Focus on what’s most important and let the small stuff go. Be more flexible and less rigid — go with the flow, so you can really enjoy special time with loved ones. 
  4. Plan ahead for everything.
    • The holidays are naturally stressful and busy. Make sure to always have a healthy snack on hand so you’re never caught hungry in front of a holiday cookie plate. Plan on a calendar when you’re going to buy gifts to avoid stressful, last-minute shopping.
  5. Donate and give back.
    • Focusing on others who are less fortunate than you can help remind you of what you’re grateful for and reduce your own stress level. Donate food or time to a food bank or homeless shelter. Keep fruit, granola bars or other healthy goodies with you to give to people on the street.
  6. Drink responsibly. 
    • Keep it on the rocks. Melting ice dilutes a cocktail and creates more liquid. Use soda water as a mixer for liquor (a cocktail with liquor and club soda is only about 100 calories), and don’t be ashamed to add ice cubes to bubbly. Give your keys to a friend early in the night to ensure you don’t drink and drive! Drink as much water as possible before going to bed, and keep a big glass/jug by your bed to drink any time you wake up.
  7. One too many? Fear not!
    • While we don't advise going over the booze limit, it happens to the best of us sometimes. Should you have one too many and wake up feeling like you were hit by a bus, make sure to drink plenty of water, consume an electrolyte replacement drink (coconut water is great!), up your vitamin B intake, exercise (if even just a walk) and eat something (the greasier the better). 
Author
Denver Health Medical Plan Staff Writer