The holidays can be taxing on your body, mind and overall well-being. Between stressful schedules, high expectations and not-so-healthy foods & drinks, it is easy to forgo or forget the little things that keep us balanced, even if they are now more important than ever! With just a little mindfulness and minimum time effort, our 6 tips for staying healthy during the holidays can ensure that your festive season is enjoyable without regrets!
1. Make “me time” mandatory
When we get stressed, it’s even more important to make that moment of “going inward” mandatory and part of your daily routine. Take the first few moments after waking up to breathe deeply through your belly in and out five times, and visualize how your breath in fills you with the healing life force, while your breath out releases the toxins from your body. Then, get up and stretch your entire body up, down and all around. Try to touch your toes! Set your alarm five minutes earlier to do this and enjoy how the rest of your day feels!
2. Move daily, even while traveling—your immune system depends on it
We tend to take short cuts with our exercise routines during the busier times or when we’re on the road. However, did you know that just 15 minutes of light exercise daily can help to activate your immune system? You also create new nerve cells in your brain when you move, so daily movement is a must to prevent cognitive decline (and to fight any increased sugar intake). You don’t even need a gym! Instead, use the space you are in. Try a gentle yoga practice, jumping jacks, squats, push-ups, sit-ups, planks, and spot running. Do you watch TV or listen to the news on your phone? Use that time to move. This will keep your body and immune system in good shape. Even better: do this in the morning right after step 1 above to help burn the calories you might consume that day.
3. Make at least one meal per day a healthy one
Dedicate one meal per day as a healthy option to reduce the impact of less healthier meals you may consume. Breakfast smoothies can be nutritious and done in just minutes with frozen fruit and greens, a plant-based milk, a handful of nuts, and travel-sized pouches of your favorite plant-based protein mix. Travel shakers make it easy to whip up a great smoothie even while traveling. If breakfast becomes your daily healthy meal, your indulgences will add far less weight to your hips or worries to your mind!
4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
The healing power of water is drastically underestimated, as it can control allergens, aid digestion, and help flush out toxins from sugar, fat, and alcohol. Water is your best ally in battling over-eating, hangovers, virus attacks, and the acidity caused by too much food and other stressors, which can be a breeding ground for disease. Select a high alkaline water, or put a drop of essential lemon oil into each glass of water you drink. Sip at least eight 8-ounce glasses, ideally at room temperature, throughout the day. If you consume alcohol, make sure to drink at least one glass of water after every alcoholic drink, as that can counter the dehydrating effect.
5. Take a digital detox
This can be a tough one, but it’s so important! Some of the greatest stressors on our body and mind are created by being constantly connected and infused with radiation from the wireless technology that surrounds us. Make a conscious effort to switch off, and truly be present with your family and friends to enjoy this beautiful time of the year. Use this time to de-stress and give your body a break from all that digital noise and chatter.
6. Double-up on your supplements and essential oils
One of the secret weapons to not getting sick on the road is to double-up on your little helpers. Find a great source of whole-food antioxidants, and add them to your daily healthy habits. Great products in powders, chewables and capsules now exist to make this easy. We also recommend therapeutic-grade essential oils such as peppermint, frankincense, lemon, and lavender to give you an extra edge to stay healthy during the holidays. Use these to diffuse, inhale, or use topically when needed. I always carry a small bottle of essential peppermint oil as a panacea for headaches, sore throats, stomach upsets, breathing aide, disinfectant and many other uses!
Travel Geek and Founder of Health, Healing & Happiness LLC