Holding the line: tips for healthy habits during the holidays
The holidays are exciting and fun, but this time of year can be disruptive to the things you need to do to manage your health. This is especially true if you are managing a chronic condition like diabetes or high blood pressure.
It is important to stay tuned into your body and its needs, just like you would any other time of year. This includes staying consistent with your self-care routines — especially continuing to take any medication as scheduled.
Many of our favorite holiday dishes tend to be heavier and have higher levels of salt, fat, and sugar. While we know we need to try to limit these heavy foods, it’s difficult not to indulge at least a little. Try taking a small serving of each of your favorites, even just a few tablespoons. Having a taste of each will allow you to enjoy those foods without overdoing it.
At the same time, you can make other small changes to avoid overeating. For example, you can try using a smaller plate for portion control, socializing further from the food, and swapping alcohol with a healthier option like sparkling water with a bit of lemon. You can also try eating smaller meals throughout the day, instead of saving your appetite for a big meal.
Holiday events can alter your routine and make it difficult to make time for exercise. Try making exercise social. After the big meal, get up from the table and go for a walk with your family. You’ll have some nice family time together, help your digestion and prevent after-dinner nibbling. Exercise is also a good way to help manage stress!
Finally, if you find the holidays challenging, please know that you are not alone. Many people find the holidays stressful, reminding you of disappointments or recent losses. If you feel overwhelmed and would like to talk to someone, reach out to your provider about getting a referral for some mental health help.
We are here for you during the holidays! If you would like an appointment for medical, dental or behavioral health care, please use MyChart or call us at (844) 434-2778 (or 844-IFH-APPT).