The holidays are a fun and busy season full of extra errands, travel and entertaining. They can also zap your energy unless you are careful. If you and your family want to make the most of these special times together, there are plenty of natural and effective ways to keep your energy levels up where they belong.
Avoid big meals. Your body has to work harder to digest those huge holiday dinners. Try to eat more slowly and limit your portions. Your waistline will thank you later, too.
Reach for healthy snacks. Complex carbohydrates will give you energy fast. Sugar may be more satisfying initially but you may be setting yourself up for a crash later. Protein provides fuel for the longer term. Make a salad of walnuts and winter greens.
Eat fiber. Foods rich in fiber help your body break down carbohydrates at a steadier pace over a longer time. That gives you more stamina. Feast on whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
Stay hydrated. Munch on foods that are high in water content like celery sticks and grapefruit. Drink plenty of water too. Your blood will flow more easily, transporting the oxygen and nutrients your cells need.
Eat a healthy breakfast. You’re bound to feel fatigued unless you refuel in the morning. A healthy breakfast will also make it easier to resist less healthy snacks or overeating at later meals.
Take naps. Brief naps of 20 minutes or less will help you recharge. Just closing your eyes for a few minutes can also be refreshing.
Watch out for extra caffeine. Those chocolates and peppermint-flavored coffee drinks may put you over your limit for caffeine. If they’re keeping you up at night, cut back.
Drink alcohol in moderation. A cocktail may help you fall asleep faster but it interferes with the quality of your sleep. Try to avoid any alcohol within a few hours of bedtime. You can enjoy the holidays and avoid alcohol altogether – it’s your choice. There are lots of fun mock-tails available.
Put a curfew on online shopping. You can shop for gifts all night on the Internet but you’ll feel the effects the next day. Turn the computer off a couple of hours before retiring to adjust your mind and body after the mental stimulation and lighted screen. Getting off your devices in the evenings is a good practice all year round.
Stick to a regular schedule. Holiday parties and travel may interrupt your daily routines. As much as possible, getting up and going to bed at the same time each day will help you stay in top shape.
More Lifestyle Tips
Get some healthy movement every day. A brisk walk or other moderate exercise will wake you up and pump more oxygen to your brain. Take the stairs at the shopping mall and park farther from the entrance.
Clear away clutter. You’ll feel more restful when your surroundings are in good order. Recycle those gift wrappings and tidy up after parties to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Clean as you go when in the kitchen or decorating. It will be much easier to finish up afterwards.
Alternate between tasks. Baking hundreds of cookies and wrapping mountains of gifts can be tiring. Switching off between jobs can help some. Even better, recruit family and friends to share the load.
Manage stress. Feeling more stress this time of year is natural. To help prevent this, listen to relaxing music, meditate or chat with friends. A positive outlook can make handling extra tasks much easier. Look at this time of year as a celebration rather than extra work that needs to be done.
Practice gratitude. When you feel overwhelmed by all the things you have going on, stop for a moment and give thanks. Do you have a ton of wrapping to do? Give thanks for the people you love that will be receiving the gifts, and the abundance you have to share with them. You can flip any thought into something to feel thankful about, even if you have to think a little harder sometimes than others.
Focus on giving. Giving to others is the best part of the holiday season and the most effective way to stay energized. You’ll feel motivated to accomplish more with less effort when you think about making others happy. Share your time and attention with the people you love and do some volunteer work to connect with others in your community.
The holiday season can be demanding, but simple lifestyle changes are usually enough to keep you alert and merry. Watch your diet, get plenty of rest, and manage your stress so you’ll be ready to tackle all the shopping and parties.
Find your purpose – find your joy!
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Did you find a few more ideas of your own? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments, and as always please reach out with your thoughts.