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6 Tips for Whole Health at Christmas (with help from a mouse)

Christmas How to Be Healthy Holly "It's the most wonderful time of the year."

That's how the song goes, but the truth is that a lot of us bustle through the Christmas season, ending up pounds heavier, dollars lighter, and stressed out, right?  Sound familiar?

Over the years, we've reworked our Christmas celebrations to make it easier to focus on what's really important while feeling better during and after the holidays. We don't have this perfected of course, (my struggles tend to be in the food and busyness arenas), but I hope some of these tips help you get through this Christmas healthier than ever.

1. First - the Food

We all know it. The Christmas season is loaded with sugar and refined flour-laden "treats."

Here are some tips to help you get past the plethora of tempting desserts with less damage to your waistline:

  • Make sure you're getting enough protein and good fats to balance any extra sugar and refined carbs that you indulge in.
  • Limit sugar and refined carbs (white flour) as much as possible.
  • Have conversations at parties far away from the dessert table :-).
  • Try these healthified recipes, guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth this Christmas season:

Silky Bean Fudge Soft Pumpkin Cookies Almond Joy Bars Luscious Lemon Bars Chocolate Chip Coconut Macadamia Cookies

2. Exercise

Moderate exercise (not overdoing it, mind you) is key to your well-being. In this age of automatic everything (garage doors, remote control TVs), we sit a lot!  Even if you can't fit in a regular 30 minute workout, during this busy season, try to

  • get 10 minutes of exercise several times per day.
  • park far away from your destination and walk a little farther
  • take the stairs instead of the elevator.

3. Money

  • How about garage, rummage sales and secondhand stores for gifts instead of paying retail prices?
  • Make a spending limit and stick to it (as best as you can :-))
  • Use cash whenever possible and if you are married, agree on gift cost limits together.

4. Sleep 

This tip is the one from the mice.  Remember - "Not a creature was stirring, not even a...."

We need sleep.

One reader commented on my post, Top 5 Steps to a Healthier Diet, that I'd neglected to mention sleep.  I was focusing on diet, but she was right.  Sleep is simply crucial.  Here are some restful tips that work all year round:

  • Limit screen time (that includes the computer) late at night
  • Don't exercise aerobically late at night
  • Don't eat close to bedtime if it disturbs your sleep
  • Don't drink water too close to bedtime
  • See my post on Natural Sleeping Help for more ideas

5.  Time

Try not to run through the holidays in a blur.  I've had to learn this over and over again while dealing with adrenal fatigue.  Life isn't meant to be lived at breakneck speed. Your adrenal glands are meant to handle emergencies and if you make life a constant emergency, your adrenals will simply conk out (and conked out adrenals are no fun.  Believe me :-(.).

Some ideas for taking the Christmas Season slower include:

  • Buy fewer presents.
  • Say "no" to something. Do you really need to attend all the concerts, church programs, parties, and services?
  • If family gift giving has gotten out of control, suggest name-drawing so each person only buys one gift.
  • Read my post on Slowing Down for Christmas. Sometimes our Christmas celebration gets even a little too slow :-).

6.  Spirit

Most important of all, spend time

  • with loved ones and
  • in the Word and in prayer

Your spiritual life is crucial to whole health as well.

Which tip do you most need to add to your Holiday To-Do list? 

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