1) Start by going for a walk or swim at least 3 x a week. Get your body used to activity. Pick up a book (or CD) on stretching or yoga and get limber. Start slowly and you will bring oxygen into your muscles (and brain). If you’re already doing these things, continue! Don’t let preparing for the holiday alter your good routine. Your energy will soar .
2) Don’t bring extra cookies or chocolate into the house in advance of the holidays. They’ll only get eaten (by you) and can increase glucose. This will make you cranky, tired and cause fluctuations of blood sugar (hypoglycemia), a forerunner of diabetes. If you are diabetic don’t think that the medication you’re on will protect you. Keeping your blood sugar under control is the best thing you can do for diabetes. Cut down on the amount of carbohydrates you eat (starchy ones) like extra bread, muffins, potatoes. Increase amount of leafy greens and other green vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts – great cancer fighters. Use olive oil as dressing for your salad plus wine vinegar or other vinegar or lemon juice. Toss out commercial dressings with added chemicals and fillers. Eat 2 to 3 pieces of fruit per day. Remember that you are what you eat!
3) Take a multi vitamin, mineral tablet each day to increase mood and the amount of nutrients your body needs to fight disease. An omega 3 fatty acid supplement (fish oil) is also recommended for heart and brain health.
4) Keep to a good sleep routine. The holidays are hectic and full of tension. You’ll need your 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night to cope with added stresses.
5) Feeling overwhelmed by what you have to do? Shopping, preparing, inviting family, cooking, Entertaining, home improvements? Now’s the time to take some gentle belly breaths to get calm. Breathe in through your nose; feel the air going down to your belly; breathe out through your mouth. Repeat a few times a day for added benefit.
6) Become a great time manager – don’t dash around the city helter/skelter. Make a plan about all you have to do and allocate time during your week accordingly. Rush slowly; slow your pace and be mindful of your actions – especially when driving.
Taking care of your health and stress through exercise, good nutrition, sleep, better time management and relaxation techniques are the perfect accompaniment for getting you through the holiday season. You may even decide to continue these health-giving activities after the New Year!