BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The holiday season is a fun time, but it’s full of temptations and stress. Both can lead to some negative consequences for your health.
“Although it is easy to get caught up in the chaos of the holidays, it is important to take care of yourself physically and mentally,” said Ashley D. Bordelon, MD, Internal Medicine, Baton Rouge Clinic. “Stress can directly and indirectly, affect your health, causing elevations in blood pressure, poor dietary choices, weight gain, and relapse of bad habits such as smoking. If you are having a hard time managing your stress on your own, make an appointment with your primary care physician to discuss your options.”
Before you get to that point, here are some simple steps you can take to keep your weight in check and your stress levels low.
- Have a healthy snack prior to going to a holiday party. If you go to the event feeling full, you’ll be less likely to snack on all the treats at the party.
- Keep an eye on how much you’re drinking. Not only are alcoholic beverages full of empty calories and sugar, but they also reduce your willpower and make you more likely to indulge on unhealthy food.
- Just because it’s the holiday season, that doesn’t mean you have a free pass to splurge. The more damage you do to your healthy routine, the harder it will be to get back to it. Try to stay as close to normal as possible and you’ll thank yourself when the new year begins.
- Remember to snack smart. Keep portion sizes in mind and if you don’t love what you’re eating, don’t finish it.
- Exercise, exercise, exercise. People will often slack off due to traveling and missed work days. It’s great to relax, but it’s just as important to keep your blood pumping. Exercise is the best way to keep your stress levels low and the extra pounds off.
- Sleep is super important to keeping your mind mentally sharp and your body performing optimally. It’s easy to lose focus when you’re sleepy.
Above all, remember what the holiday season is all about and put the focus on spending time with friends and family rather than food and drinks. Let the little things slide and make sure to take some time for yourself to relax and focus on what matters.