The hol­i­days are often the busiest time of the year for a lot of peo­ple which can make it hard to stay men­tal­ly and phys­i­cal­ly healthy.  With a lit­tle inten­tion­al­i­ty and under­stand­ing, you can ful­ly enjoy the hol­i­days while keep­ing your health in mind.

6 Tips to Make Your Hol­i­days Brighter:

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is often the first thing to go dur­ing a busy hol­i­day sea­son.  Poor sleep, espe­cial­ly over a peri­od of a few weeks, leads to poor func­tion­ing: it impacts your immune sys­tem, abil­i­ty to con­cen­trate and your mood – all things that make you even more stressed out.  It’s a vicious circle.

Pri­or­i­tize “Me Time”

Tak­ing some much need­ed “me time” isn’t self­ish; tak­ing care of your­self is one of the best men­tal well­ness gifts you can receive.  Do some yoga, take a walk, relax in the bath­tub, or sim­ply take some time to catch up on some read­ing.  Your men­tal health will thank you for it.

Prac­tice Self-Con­trol When It Comes to Food

Cook­ies, muffins, cakes and count­less oth­er temp­ta­tions are preva­lent dur­ing the sea­son! The hol­i­days are a time when a lot of peo­ple pull out their stretchy pants from the back of their clos­ets so they can eat sweets and deli­cious foods to their hearts’ con­tent. It’s okay to enjoy hol­i­day treats but it’s impor­tant to be mind­ful of your choic­es and then bal­ance your treats with healthy foods.

Plan Ahead to Avoid Last Minute Stress

Stay­ing on top of your errands and to-do list by think­ing ahead.  Get­ting your hol­i­day shop­ping done ear­ly helps you avoid the stress of last-minute shop­ping when you might not be able to find the things on your list.

Get Some Exercise

Exer­cise is an excel­lent way to destress.  But don’t wor­ry if you miss some time at the gym – the hol­i­days are always busy and mak­ing your reg­u­lar 7 a.m. spin class after a hol­i­day par­ty prob­a­bly isn’t going to hap­pen, and that’s okay.  Focus on sim­ply mov­ing your body.  Take the stairs or park your car fur­ther away from your des­ti­na­tion to get some more steps in!

Don’t Com­pare Your­self to Others

Pin­ter­est floods your feed with extrav­a­gant par­ty dec­o­ra­tions.  Not to men­tion see­ing beau­ti­ful­ly dec­o­rat­ed homes in TV com­mer­cials or social media posts of lav­ish gifts can make you feel over­whelmed. You might even start to think your hol­i­day cel­e­bra­tions aren’t up to par.  Just remem­ber: your hol­i­day tra­di­tions are your own and they don’t have to be like any­one else’s.

While the hol­i­days can feel exhaust­ing, it’s also a time to be enjoyed and savored.  Make time for the activ­i­ties you enjoy this sea­son, such as Christ­mas bak­ing, hol­i­day movies, ice skat­ing, and favorite fam­i­ly tra­di­tions.  But most impor­tant­ly, be present.  That’s the best tip of them all.