It starts with Halloween and its deluge of candy, and goes downhill from there – in terms of the prevalence of unhealthy holiday traditions. Between October and January 2nd, it’s hard not to make one-fourth of your year a treat-filled celebration.
There are so many ways, though, to celebrate–and encourage others to celebrate–in ways that make us feel better during the holidays.
Here are 6 ways to keep your holidays healthy so you can hit the ground running in January:
- Follow a 1-out-of-5 rule. When you’re hosting a holiday gathering or celebration, consider a menu that indulges one out of five options. Perhaps it’s a sinful chocolate raspberry cake, or loaded mashed potatoes. Enjoy it and share, but fill the rest of your menu with deliciously prepared vegetables, grains and lean meats.
- Invest in your community. Despite holiday cheer, we are experiencing a tumultuous time in America. Shorter, darker days can have a depressive effect on some people. Investing your energy into supporting the goodness around you is what the holidays are really about. Lead your organization in encouraging members, customers and staff to do the same.
- Give gifts that won’t weigh others down. I know, I know. The cookie exchange is the best. But perhaps this year you could make it an ornament exchange amongst your closest friends. Fir tree candles, holiday potpourri and handmade decor are all things friends, family and members can cherish as treats just for the holidays.
- Offer nonalcoholic (and low sugar) beverage options. The bubbles from multiple flavors of sparkling water can be just as festive, and warm soothing drinks like tea are great for this time of year. Invest in some nonalcoholic and low sugar beverages that feel like a real treat during the next few months.
- Create hygge in your home and workplace. The Danish coined the term hygge to mean small, cozy things that bring people together and feel like home. Warm lighting, candles, blankets and cozy socks all create hygge. Take a look at your personal and professional space and see what you can do to create a cozy holiday environment.
- Get active! Sponsor a snowman making content on the first snowfall. Offer cross-country ski lessons at area trails and parks. Encourage winter runners to mobilize. Start a tag football game. Ice skate! Join or get out and support a holiday-themed run. Or simply take frequent walks.The winter holiday months are a great time to get outside.
They call it the most wonderful time of the year not because we get to indulge in things that are bad for us, but because it’s a wonderful time to focus on the good. Close out 2016 in a way you feel good about and you’ll be off to a strong new year!