Holistic Health Tips for Recharging During the Holiday Season
It’s the most wonderful time of the yeeeaaarr!
You’ve done it! You’ve survived finals and it’s officially time to put your feet up and breathe in a big sigh of relief for making it to the winter holidays! ☃️Now is the time you can bask in the well-deserved break - where you can spend quality time with loved ones at family gatherings, can (but probably shouldn’t) eat your own body weight in delectable holiday treats, and soak in that warm fuzzy feeling that only comes around once a year!
It’s also a great time to take stock after that doozy of a first semester (or trimester) (or even quarter if you’re school does that) and prepare for the second half ahead. What’s that saying about the early bird and the worm? That can be you!
Here are some of our holistic health tips for the holidays, so grab a mug of hot chocolate, snuggle up under your favorite cozy blanket, and read on…
You are what you eat 🥕
We all love Santa Claus, but with his love of pies, cookies and full-fat milk, he’s not exactly a role model to follow!
The holidays are a time when we get to pile up our plates with nostalgia-inducing foods, and tuck into our favorite meals that only our family members know how to make just right. It’s almost expected that most of us will overindulge a little too much and waste a ton of food.
All that overeating only leads to bloating, weight gain, lethargy, among other things… Not exactly the best way to feel ready to hit the ground running for the second half of the school year!
To kickstart our holistic health tips for this winter season here are some tricks worth trying out:
- Replace fizzy drinks with more natural fruit juices.
- Keep hydrated. Sometimes we think we are hungry when in fact, our bodies are just crying out for water. Also, water is incredible - it energizes you, eliminates toxins, and helps you to focus. 💪
- Share your dessert with someone special or go for a smaller portion.
- Make sure at least half of your plate is covered with veggies. 🥗
- Stop eating when you’re full. There’s usually a point during a meal when you pause and maybe put your fork down; that’s usually a sign that you’ve had enough. We’re so used to ignoring our bodies that we can’t read the signals, but if you pause to breathe, then maybe it’s time to stop - period.
- Don’t go to the Christmas party starving. Your eyes will be bigger than your belly and you’ll end up even more stuffed than the turkey, and about half as energetic!
Get busy in the kitchen 🧑🍳
Our healthy food tips also apply if you get the chance to play chef at your family gatherings!
When you’re making desserts you can opt to reduce sugar and salt in the ingredients and instead go for more wholesome spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger for extra holiday flavor.
Did you know that cooking is also a great way to unwind, get your creative juices flowing, and have fun with other people? Cooking doesn’t have to be a solitary activity.
Put your apron on and grab your mom or your siblings, or maybe some of your Yugo roomies if you’re staying at college this Christmas, and get in the kitchen! There is no better way to show your gratitude and love this holiday season than a home-cooked meal. 🥰
Season for giving
One sure-fire way to feel good, and to get into the real holiday spirit, is to live its true spirit and remember that it’s all about giving generously.
Spending time preparing food boxes or volunteering at a local foodbank or homeless shelter can be an amazing way to give something back to your local community.
It also generates a sense of gratitude for what we have and some needed perspective.
That’s why giving to others has made it into our list of holistic health tips for the holiday season.
Don’t be a lazy-bones 💀
Yes, Christmas is about downtime and relaxing after a long semester of studies.
But there’s a difference between relaxing and just being straight-up lazy. One of the strongest holistic health tips for the holidays that we can give you is to keep active, even if it’s just 20 minutes of moderate exercise a day, squeezed in between family gatherings and social events.
Even that little bit of extra effort will beat off any holiday blues and get your heart rate up.
You can even include other people. Instead of meeting friends for food or drinks out, why not meet them for something active instead? Go for a walk in nature, or go sledding, making the most of quality time with your family or chosen family. Or if it’s really cold outside, get the Twister mat out or bop along to an interactive video game. All the hilarity of seeing your uncle trying to throw some shapes will make you forget you’re even exercising!
Catch some Zzz’s 🦥
Sleep is magic. And yet so many of us neglect to get in those glorious eight hours of shuteye.
Sleep is so important in so many ways - not only does it make you feel energized, but it’s also when your body repairs itself and getting enough sleep a night can stave off depression and irritability.
Sleep can also help you maintain a healthy weight. Sleep deprivation sends your blood sugar levels off-balance, making you crave higher fat, sugar and carb-type foods.
So go ahead and listen to your body - it is, after all, hibernation season!
Take time to smell the flowers 🌸
This Christmas forget about go, go, go and aim more for ho, ho, ho!
As well as sleeping enough, take time to ENJOY the holiday season.
All that Christmas shopping, the parties, the visits, the traveling, the final exams… it all adds up and can cause stress and anxiety. Take a needed pause for yourself so your body can catch up and so you don’t come down with a dreaded cold!
Shake it off by spending quality time with your family watching TV or catching up on the latest series with them and bonding over a giant bowl of popcorn.
If you insist…
…on studying over the holiday season, then make sure you are working in a way that’s strictly priority work only. Nothing should take you away from enjoying the season with family and loved ones.
But if you must study, then keep calm and make lists. What served you well during the last school period? What do you want to shed or refresh in the second half of the school year?
Writing down what the essential stuff is will bring clarity to your commitments and prevent overworking. Oh, and take plenty of breaks!
Try the pomodoro method, it really works!
Last but DEFINITELY not least: social media detox.
Comparison is the thief of joy.
Christmas can be tough for many people, but no one talks about it. It’s a time of year when a lot of people feel pressured to constantly be having a great time, when in fact it’s not all easy.
The cold, dark winter days can have an impact on your mental health. The overeating, lack of routine and disrupted sleep pattern factor in as well, and then… there’s social media.
One of the biggest traps that many people fall into, particularly at Christmas, is that they spend all those free hours scrolling through social media accounts seeing what other people are doing.
Sometimes that’s okay. Sometimes it’s really not a good idea.
It’s crucial to remember that not all you see on social media is real, and most of us don’t post about family arguments or down days. Just seeing the highlights from others’ lives can be difficult, especially if you’re not having a fantastic time.
Taking a break from sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and even Snapchat can be one of the most effective holistic health tips for the holidays. Or just checking in less frequently can make a huge difference.
“But what will I do with all that time?!” we hear you say.
Well…. maybe try going for a walk, talking to the people around you, or, crazy as it sounds, blow the cobwebs off that stack of books you’ve been using as a doorstop for the last 12 months?
And, on a more serious note, if you’re really struggling with depression or anxiety this Christmas, please don’t hesitate to reach out and get help. Just know that you are not alone and you are definitely not the only person that struggles at this time of year.
So there you have our favorite holistic health tips this holiday season. Hopefully they’ll help you to recharge for the semester ahead and see you returning to your Yugo student accommodation all fired up and ready to go! How ever you choose to spend this time, have a wonderful holiday break and a Happy New Year!