Tips for a healthier, happier holiday season

Caitlin McKeand, Staff Reporter

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The holiday season is all about food and having a merry time with family. Only, it’s incredibly easy to overindulge on holiday foods and to end up sitting in your room, in the dark, wearing a giant fluffy robe with a candle on your desk and a computer on your lap. It’s understandable considering the darkening sky outside and the rainy and cold weather. However, you don’t need to become a giant blanket mound in the dark, gaining weight while somehow always being mildly cold. Here are some tips to help your body have a merry holiday!

  1. Dry hands? Dry hair? Dry face? Blame the shower. Or, rather blame the temperature of your shower. Blasting the water on high heat can feel oh so relaxing when the cold seeps in through the doors, but not so fast. Standing under hot water for prolonged periods of time can do a real number on your skin. Opt instead for warm water then finish off your shower with a blast of cold water. Putting the water on a cold blast for only a few minutes, although it may leave you mildly annoyed and shivering, it can also help close pores to stop dirt from getting in, improve blood flow, stimulate weight loss, ease stress and help muscle soreness.
  2. Want to go for a run but the bitter weather is keeping you inside? The only thing keeping you indoors are your clothes. Wear layers! You’re dressing for two temperatures: cold and hot. The former when you step outside and the latter for when your body heat rises. Despite the layers dress lightly, as you may need to take them off as you exercise.
  3. Craving a steaming mug of hot chocolate? Well, you can have it as chocolate produces “feel-good” hormones, but don’t just live off of it. If you want something warm with less calories, opt for a warm clear broth soup. Some options for winter soups include pot roast and cauliflower soup. And don’t shy away from root vegetables as they’re in abundance.
  4. All the holiday food! Eating until you’re so full your stomach hurts… Be sure to nibble the holiday goodies instead of gorging the second the food hits your plate, your body will thank you. If you feel like you want to gorge anyway because “when else will I eat Grandma’s casserole” or the little Christmas cookies your mom always makes? You can always make a promise to make it later in February so you don’t feel compelled to eat it all now.
  5. The holiday season can be stressful for many. Students studying for finals and parents running to buy presents. Remember to be present and to close your eyes for a little bit each day and focus on your breathing. As a society we can often find ourselves scurrying about life without so much as a break. Take care of yourself this holiday season.
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