‘Tis the season to be bloated, amiright? The ho-ho-holidays can leave anyone feeling ho-hum. From family drama to pie for breakfast, the perils of the season are many. And as with all things in Our Lord’s Year of Covid, we can safely assume that 2020 will be roughly 20 times harder than usual. But fear not! We’re rounding up the best ways to keep your mind, body and booty healthy through the holiday season.
Hark The Herald H2O
In every season, the most lovable parts of your bod are about 75% water: your heart, your brain, and our personal fave -- your poop. Water is simply vital to your body’s core functions.
During the holidays, it’s easy to dehydrated. The weather is colder, and our diets often change to include more alcohol and sugar. This holiday season, you can choose to be more mashed potato than potato flakes. Bring a hydroflask to the Turkey Trot. Keep plain or infused water nearby when you visit the fam. And be a shining star of hydration especially when alcohol is in the mix. When you tip your toes into the seasonal eggnog or mulled wine, you can always alternate between cocktails and water with each drink. This will help you from getting a little too Blitzen-ed.
Bamboozle Your Bloat
Nothing makes us feel Grinch-y faster than an upset tummy. Holiday meals are notoriously rich, from creamy green bean casserole to literally drinking nog. Other culprits for bloat include salt and sugar. Add larger portions and alcohol to the mix, no wonder your tum needs TUMS.
Yes, the holiday belly bloat is real, but we know better than suggesting you skip that third slice of pie. Once you’ve overindulged, there are still some natural measures to chill out your gut. For example, you can help digestion along with probiotics (think yogurt or kombucha) or digestives a la bitters. Peppermint tea is another soothing digestive aid, and it gives full-on candy cane vibes.
If your bloat has you torn between succumbing to a food coma or taking a gentle walk with the fam, err on the side of movement. Moderate exercise will help your body’s digestion and lowers your blood sugar, so you’ll have an easier time sleeping when the evening comes.
When in doubt, deck your bowels with pro-biotics! Fa-la-la-la-la la-la-la-la!
Lay Down Your Sweet Head
If sleep was good enough for Jesus in the manger, it’s good enough for us! It makes sense that Christmas songs address sleep. It’s one of the best gifts we can give to our bodies. This is a good time to remember that your standard 7 to 9 hours of rest helps you feel better all day. Shortchanging sleep? That leads to hormone changes that can cause distraction and weight gain, which is simply not the best way to close out the year.
Some good sleep hygiene can go a long way. Do what you can to maintain a regular bedtime. Sure there will be a few late nights of climbing down chimneys, but stay regular where you can. Our bodies thrive on habits. Even if you stay out late on a weekend, try waking up within an hour of your normal time on the weekend. You can bribe yourself with an afternoon siesta. All this sleep hygiene will ensure you’re out like a leg lamp when Santa comes.
Be Your Own Self-Care Elf
When your social calendar is packed with Zoom holiday parties and your to-do list is poppin, self-care is often the first thing to go. And we get it. We’ve been meaning to start meditation for, like, forever. But damn if TikTok isn’t always right there! That’s why it’s good to be your own elf of self care.
Filling your proverbial self-care stocking with small actions of kindness to yourself. Because when we’re busier than normal is exactly when we need our healthiest habits the most. Now is a great time to get flexible about what your daily health practices look like. Perfectionism is one of our biggest enemies when tweaking our routines. If you can’t do a full body sweat and shower every day, perhaps you can do a 15-minute walk each morning and evening. If you’ve been doing 15 minutes of meditation, maybe a single minute daily is more achievable right now.
Now, can we take our own advice? We’ll see, please stop pressuring us.
May Your Immunity Be Merry and Bright
Every year, holiday season is also flu season. And of course as Ice Princess Covid would have it, we’re looking towards our first Quarantine Christmas. There are a few easy ways to support your immune system to help your body stay strong for ice skating season.
Of course, general guidelines apply. Make sure you wash your hands. Instead of the birthday song, you can hum Mariah’s “All I Want For Christmas” riffs. It’s also a good time to make sure you get your daily vitamins. You can fill your diet with Vitamins A and C by eating foods of different colors. For the season, you can keep a special eye out for red and green dishes. Cookies don’t count!