How to take care of yourself during the holiday season


Last week I wrote about three ways busy working moms can reduce stress and enjoy the holidays.  You can’t reduce stress if you’re not taking care of yourself, so here are some common wellness zappers and ways to avoid them:

christmas-stress-mom

Seasonal Affective Disorder aka, “the winter blues”.  Do you find yourself getting tired, depressed and even weepy this time of year?  You’re not alone:  according to Medicine Net, SAD “occurs in about 5% of adults, with up to 20% of people having some symptoms” and is five times more common in women than in men.  As someone who is mildly to moderately affected, I can personally recommend the Verilux HappyLight.  This is a lamp that reportedly mimics full-spectrum sunlight.   If you don’t want to purchase a light, just getting outside regularly on sunny days can help a lot.  Try taking a walk on your lunch break.

Neglecting your workout The daylight hours are shorter and there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to squeeze  in a workout, but there’s hardly a better way to combat stress.  Getting started is the hard part, but you know it’ll make you feel better, right?  If you can’t commit to an hour or even a half-hour, why not start small?  Here’s a workout that claims to “hit every muscle in five minutes”.  Surely you can do five minutes, right?  I have a video workout series for the exercise ball that’s broken into 10-minute segments.  I find it’s easy to tell myself I only have to do one segment, and then it feels good to get my body moving so I end up doing at least do two or three segments.

Blowing your diet:  I wholeheartedly agree (as would my husband and kids) that it wouldn’t be the holidays without the goodies.  It’s definitely ok to cheat a little, but we all know how bad we feel when we eat way too much rich food at a party and end up gaining the “December Five”.  A couple of years ago I read a tip that  said to fill up a little on healthy snacks (like raw veggies) before heading to a party,  so you’re  not  so hungry when you get there.  Another tip I learned is to alternate sipping glasses of water with whatever you’re drinking at the party.  It keeps you hydrated and fuller, and helps you avoid any embarrassing over-indulgences.

So, get out and enjoy some sunshine, get your body moving and eat your veggies!  What are your tips and tricks for taking care of yourself over the holidays?

Next week:  Simplify and stick to a schedule to avoid holiday stress.