Four ways to stay healthy and happy this holiday season
’Tis the season to be jolly, but if you spend hours decking the halls and eating too many servings of figgy pudding, the holidays could be less than enjoyable. Here are four suggestions for keeping the “ho, ho, ho” in your holidays from turning into “oh, no, no.”
Gobbling is just for turkeys
Holiday foods are a delicious part of the season. No one says you have to skip Aunt Mary’s pecan pie, but you should also have an intentional plan to add healthy foods. If you are making the meal, consider healthier options like roasting the turkey instead of deep-frying it. Serve whole vegetables with seasoning rather than with butter or sauces.
If you are a guest, survey the spread and decide which items you want most and take small servings. Choose your favorites and skip the rest.
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Slow down your eating during a big meal so your brain has time to tell you when you are full. Try setting down your fork between bites instead of eating nonstop.
Think ahead and eat light meals the days before a big holiday meal. After the big meal, take a walk. Exercise after a meal can help digestion. Don’t wait an hour for the meal to settle. It is better to walk around as soon as possible after the meal.
Even Santa has helpers
Hosting family gatherings, putting up festive decorations and shopping for gifts are wonderful parts of the holidays but they also can be taxing on your health. Instead of trying to do everything on your own, consider asking others for help. Decide which things are most necessary, and eliminate the rest.
It is also important to get proper sleep and rest. Try to set aside time each day to have a break. Keep a regular bedtime. If a holiday party has kept you out late, don’t schedule as much the next day, so you can get your energy back.
Don’t let merriment mess with your medications
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Travel during the holidays or having guests in your home can make it challenging to remember to take your medications regularly. If you fly across the country through several time zones to visit family, it can be confusing to stay on track. Skipping medications can lead to a medical emergency, so make a plan to keep on schedule. Ask a family member to help you remember or set an alarm on your phone when medications need to be taken. Be sure to account for refills when traveling too.
Be careful with mixing alcohol with medications. That rum punch might lower the effectiveness of your medication. Be aware of the interactions of your medications with certain foods and drinks, and take steps to avoid them.
Aim for happy holidays instead of harried holidays
Not only can holidays be very busy, but they can also be very stressful. Long lines, out-of-stock items and demanding relatives can take a toll. Give yourself permission to be less than perfect. If the gift can’t arrive by Christmas, it will still be welcome when it arrives. If you can’t find chestnuts for the dressing, use a different recipe. When you begin to feel anxious, ask yourself if there is an easier way.
If you have lost a loved one this past year, the holidays can be even more difficult. Acknowledge your loss and just do the things that feel right. Some people find that a ritual like lighting a memory candle is helpful. Try a new tradition if the old ones are too painful. The most important thing is to acknowledge your grief instead of ignoring it.
When the unexpected happens
A fall or another unexpected medical emergency can quickly affect holiday plans. The best course of action is to find expert medical care. There is no law that a holiday party can’t be delayed until January. Take care of your health so you can be around for future holidays by choosing to recover at Whitehall of Deerfield, the North Shore’s premier post-hospital rehabilitation center where the goal is quickly to get you back to your active life. The experienced team of therapists and medical experts will provide the proper care during your short-term stay, giving your family peace of mind.
One of the most respected short-term care facilities on the North Shore is Whitehall of Deerfield, where guests can be assured of top-notch care. With excellent outcomes and a resort like setting, Whitehall of Deerfield is ranked No. 4 in Newsweek’s 2022 list of best post-hospital rehabilitation and nursing care centers in Illinois—and has consistently received U.S. News & World Report’s “Top Performing” rating. Learn more about the individualized, one-on-one therapy programs, world-class amenities and COVID-19 safety measures by visiting WhiteHallofDeerfield.com or calling 847-945-4600.