When you live in a place like New York City, it is easy to get caught up in the holiday hype. At Rockefeller Center alone, one could easily become enchanted by the beauty of tree lighting, caroling, and ice skating, making it difficult to not fill your days with all of the excitement. The holiday craze, however, has its pitfalls and often times we find ourselves with more health difficulties than we would like during the most joyous and busiest time of the year.
Here are the Top 5 Pitfalls to avoid during the holidays and our tips to help you enjoy every moment of joy this season brings.
#1: The Sweet Treats are Easy to Eat.
Let’s face it, falling for the sweet treats during this time of year is easy to do. With Grandma making her tray of homemade candies, your boss providing the best slices of Junior’s cheesecake from 49th Street, to spiced and flavored beverages that are topped with marshmallows and whipped creams, it is hard to avoid. Try not to fall for the peer and tastebud pressure of sweets at every turn.
If you can’t avoid it, try cutting off the sweets after 7 pm and let your body recoup with a good night’s sleep.
#2: Not drinking enough water.
When we get caught up in the merry traveling, eating and drinking, we often forget to drink the most important beverage we need: water. We see that between shopping and filling up our tummies with Aunt Betty’s famous green bean casserole and honey ham, there’s little room (and time) to take a swig of water. Drinking water can help prevent overeating and dehydration, which are two very unhealthy byproducts of the holiday season.
Find yourself a holiday water bottle that you can bring with you throughout the day and be sure to take plenty of sips during each meal. Your brain and stomach will thank you!
#3: Saying Yes to every holiday invite.
You have immediate family, in-laws, extended family, friends, work parties, and more and the prime time for holiday parties is only 7-10 days long. It’s hard to fit in every event along with preparing for the most important day of the season with your family. We often feel obligated to say yes to every invite and that can take its toll on our bodies and lead to more stress than we can handle.
Try to protect yourself from the effects of stress on your health by saying no to 1 out of every 4 invites–providing you and your family the time you need to rest and do the most meaningful holiday things to you.
#4: Too busy to be safe.
During the holiday season, it is easy to be on the run from event to event or to put up those decorations in a hurry. Our physical safety is on the line when we do this, increasing the chances for an accident. This is especially true while driving during those beautiful snowy days. Snow lightly dusting the trees is always a pretty sight but it is essential to ensure we are slowing down to keep safety at the forefront.
You should always allow for extra time to travel from one place to another, especially when you live in a city, like New York, where you will not only face the weather but the traffic as well. Make sure you and your car are ready for the commute and most of all, you are getting the sleep you need to start each busy day.
#5: Getting too caught up in the traditions.
Sometimes we get caught up in all the traditions of the holidays and we become too stressed to enjoy it. From thinking we must create lavish parties, to dozens of presents, and even making sure there are cookies and milk before bed, we can become too overwhelmed with expectations. It is important to prioritize the traditions that will create the most memories for you without unnecessary mental, physical and financial stress.
Write a list at the beginning of the holiday season of the most enjoyable traditions near and dear to you. Make a plan on how you can accomplish what needs to be done without breaking the bank or your back.
In our beautiful city, the opportunities to bring the joy of the holiday spirit to yourself and your loved ones are in abundance. With careful planning and attention to what’s on our calendar and on our plates (or glasses), we can ensure a safe and happy season.