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Protecting Your Health During the Holidays

The holidays are upon us, and the most stressful time of the year for professionals is in full swing. Not only are we pulled in all directions by the competing demands of family, friends and business, but our health tends to suffer because of exhaustion and generally poor self-care. Remember these two guidelines to make sure that you can attend all the holiday parties you like, while still meeting every one of your year-end deadlines. holiday health

  1. You Are What You Eat (and drink). This is the season of creamy eggnog, scrumptious pies and delicious feasts. It’s also the season for indigestion, unwanted weight gain and restless nights from an extra martini or two. A few minutes of mindfulness before tearing into the buffet or ordering that third cocktail may help you feel better all season long. Aim to fill half your plate with vegetables, preferably raw or cooked simply. Drink a glass of water (or two) for every alcoholic beverage. Eating out more than usual? Ask for a box with your meal and divide it before you start eating–you’ll have a great lunch tomorrow and avoid the temptation to overeat.
  2. Protect your immune system. 7-8 hours of sleep a night may be too much to ask for, but treat yourself to an early bedtime whenever you can, and get a nap in whenever opportunity strikes. If cold weather throws off your exercise routine, try joining a gym for 3-4 months so that you can still break a sweat. Turn down invitations when you’re too tired to enjoy yourself. Schedule quiet, unpressured time with the people you love best. Don’t forget to take time for yourself–listening to music, working on your hobbies or reading a book. Make sure you get plenty of chances to relax and laugh. Taking care of yourself boosts your ability to fight off illness–and this is flu season!

We live in a society that tells us to work hard all day and party hard all night, especially during this festive season. By taking this advice, we end up stressed, irritable, exhausted and sick. This year, try taking matters into your own hands. Treat your body with the same care and respect that you do in June. Enjoy your time with the family and friends that matter most to you, and make time for you to recharge solo. When you come to work refreshed, energetic and focused, you won’t need to put in late nights to meet your deadlines. Make this holiday season the best one yet!