Ten tips for a happy and healthy holiday season

YourHealth December

The end of the year is a time when many people take holidays to celebrate, unwind and enjoy time with family and friends. However with pressures like shopping for gifts, catering for guests, reuniting with family all whilst maintaining a healthy diet and routine, for many people this time of year can actually become one of the most stressful.

But it doesn’t have to be. Drawing from information provided by the Better Health Channel and Nutrition Australia, we’ve put together some tips to help you maintain a happy mind and healthy body during the holiday season.

  1. 1. Budget for gifts and events. Festivities can be costly, and accounting for these added expenses can save you a lot of unnecessary stress. If your budget is tight, set yourself a spending limit and consider using debit instead of credit to ensure you don’t exceed it. Thoughtful DIY or second-hand gifts can also be a cheaper alternative and can help keep your finances healthy too.

  2. 2. Plan your Christmas shopping. Before braving the shops, write a list of the people you need to find a gift for, an idea for each and note where you may be able to purchase such a gift. It will save you a lot of running around aimlessly! Be sure to also factor in your budget and set yourself a spending limit when considering gift ideas.

  3. 3. Don’t be afraid to ask for a helping hand. If you’re hosting celebrations at your place, ask your friends and family to assist with tasks, or even bring a plate to share on the day. Also remember to say ‘yes’ when people offer. Have a list of items of jobs that need to be done handy, to allocate to people when they ask.

  4. 4. Use relaxation techniques. Take time each day to focus on yourself and relax. Five minutes every hour or half an hour in the afternoon will re-charge your batteries and reduce stress.

  5. 5. Avoid going hungry to parties. Eat something light beforehand to reduce your chances of over-eating unnecessarily.

  6. 6. Pick the right foods. Limit your intake on foods such as chips, lollies and creamy dips, and enjoy foods like sandwiches, fruit salad and avocado dip.

  7. 7. Limit your alcohol intake. Drinking alcohol (one or two standard drinks a day) can add to the enjoyment of your celebrations, but over-consuming can lead to health implications including weight gain and alcohol-related disease or injury. Watching your serving size and alternating between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks can help control your intake.

  8. 8. Don’t forget to keep moving. The disruption in routine can often lead to some people giving the regular gym session or cycling commute a miss, however incorporating physical activity into your day is still important. Playing a game of outdoor cricket with the kids, going for a bike ride or swim in the warmer weather, or setting yourself an exercise challenge for the new year are all great ways to keep active.

  9. 9. Get enough sleep. Amidst the celebrations be sure to plan early nights where possible to help maintain your energy levels and keep you feeling good.

  10. 10. Balance is key. Whilst it’s important to look after yourself during the busy festive period, it’s also important to have fun! Ensuring that you’re making healthy choices whilst enjoying the festivities is a sure-fire way to a successful holiday season.

For more information on keeping happy and healthy this holiday season, visit: