Looking after yourself over the holiday period

While the Christmas period is an exciting time for many, it can also be an overwhelming time where healthy habits may be thrown out the window and stress can take over.

Here are our top tips to take care of yourself during the silly season and ensure you prioritise your health and wellbeing.

Keep your diet balanced

With large meals and tempting sweet treats a big part of the holiday season, it’s very easy to overindulge.

While you don’t want to miss out on your favourite foods, what you can do is plan your other meals with your festive feasts in mind. For instance, if you have a big dinner planned for Christmas Day, serve yourself a lighter option for breakfast and lunch.

Dietary restrictions, such as low-sodium or gluten-free, can present challenges during this time of year. Instead of indulging in foods that may not agree with you, prepare some options you can eat and bring them as a dish to share to any events you’re attending.

Stay hydrated

It’s especially important for seniors to ensure they’re drinking enough water during the summer months. Without adequate hydration, an older person has an increased risk of hospitalisation and mortality.

Aim for at least six to eight glasses of fluid a day and drink these even if you don’t feel thirsty. While water is the best option, homemade iced tea, fruit and vegetable juices are good alternatives. You can also try freezing these into ice cubes to suck on when you need to cool down.

Keep exercising

It can be easy for events to take over during the festive season and your exercise regime is the first thing to go. Try to stick to your usual exercise schedule as much as you can. It’s harder to get restarted after you stop for a period of time, so just doing what you can when you can is better than nothing.

If you need to change it up, consider adding in an easy stroll after a big meal. Get the rest of the family involved and it can soon become a new family tradition.

Release the pressure

Christmas time can be a time where family traditions start to become a source of stress, rather than something to look forward to. If you are the one who is always doing all the cooking and cleaning for the Christmas crowds, consider passing the baton on to a younger member of the family. Another option is to split up the catering duties so everyone shares the load and can contribute to the day.

Take time out for you

It’s important to remember that Christmas isn’t always a happy time for everyone. It’s a time where you may be grieving for a lost loved one or you may even be feeling lonely while the rest of your family is off doing their own thing.

Try reframing the holiday time as a time where you can relax and rejuvenate while doing something you love. Some ideas include taking yourself out to see a movie, enjoying a nap in the middle of the day or treating yourself to a pamper treatment. You might also want to reach out to any friends who may be feeling the same as you and enjoy a meal together.

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