1. Fend off germs. Get a flu vaccine and wash your hands a lot. The holidays are all about sharing, but some things you’ll want to keep to yourself, such as forks, spoons and cups.
2. Eat healthy and be merry. Holiday foods can be high in calories and low on the nutrition you need to battle germs and boost energy. Make it a priority to eat five or more fruits and vegetables a day (choose the whole fruit instead of juice so you feel full longer and avoid added sugar). And don’t give your exercise routine a holiday. Exercise gives you energy in addition to burning calories.
3. Chill. “Can I afford it?” “Will it be perfect?” Even things we look forward to, like parties or gifts, can come with worries attached. If you feel stressed out, stop what you’re doing for just a moment. Take five deep breaths. Concentrate on each breath as you inhale and exhale. Walk over to a window and look out at the sky, or go for a short walk. Then go back to what you were doing.
4. Beat the blues. Holiday depression doesn’t just happen in songs. For some people, it’s seasonal, brought on by shorter days, longer nights, and colder weather. Other people may be going through difficult life events. If you feel down, go outside for a moment. Sunlight and exercise are great mood lifters. Try a seasonal activity to put you in the holiday spirit, like ice skating.
5. Get some Z’s. Getting 8½ to 9 hours of sleep a night during the holidays can help strengthen your immune system, give you more energy, and make you less vulnerable to stress.
Lastly, laugh and enjoy yourself — the holidays only come once a year!
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