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lifestyle: how to stay healthy this holiday season

staying healthy holiday seasonThe holidays are a time for fun and celebration, but often go hand in hand with late nights, indulgent meals, and treats laid out over what seems like every available surface. Paired with persistent cold weather, increased stress, and exposure to more people than usual, and voila — you have a recipe for suboptimal health. Here are a few tips to keep us feeling great while still enjoying this holiday season to its fullest:

The basics:

• maintaining adequate hydration; 2L of water per day will help flush the body and keep your skin soft and glowing • hand washing; this is a no brainer. We come into contact with many more people and surfaces at this time of year. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly where possible to prevent spread of germs • bundling up; always keeping the nape of your neck covered will prevent ‘catching cold’

Moderation

It's important not to deprive yourself of your favourite holiday treats and of course, also important not to overindulge. Not only will increased consumption of rich, calorie-dense foods negatively impact your waistline, but foods high in sugar can contribute to an increase in colds and flus. Indulge in only the most special of holiday treats and, when you do, enjoy them. Swallowing worry and guilt with our favourite treats will negate their enjoyment and will also negatively impact health. Moderation doesn’t just apply to food and drink, but also to lifestyle; if you know you have a busy weekend ahead of you, be sure to take a night or two off prior to and after. And - do not be afraid to say no! It's completely normal to want to do everything we possibly can to enjoy this incredible season, but listen to your body; if you’re beginning to feel fatigued or possibly even feel a cold coming on, going home early or taking time to recover is key to prevent burn out and illness.

Balance

Living extremely over the holidays (i.e. abandoning our exercise routines, opting for several glasses of wine, getting fewer hours of sleep or, in my case, consuming chocolate constantly) can leave us feeling worn out. Seeking balance during this time of year is as important as any other time. Set yourself up for success by recognizing, for example, that you will likely eat more at your best friend's dinner party, and balance that by eating mindfully, healthily, and moderately during the day. Keep exercise in your routine and if you are starting to feel particularly stressed, take the time to do something you find relaxing. Good habits are paramount, and finding the time for self-care is incredibly important. This includes exercise, sleep, nourishing the body with nutrient-dense foods, and even a massage, a yoga class, manicure, or long bath. Nurturing the mind and body through balance and moderation will help achieve longevity, happiness and good health, and will also allow for a particularly enjoyable, fulfilling holiday experience. Happy holidays! If you have any tips for staying healthy this holiday season, we'd love to hear about them below! Also, stay tuned for more healthy habits, recipes coming soon! xx Melissa Melissa Cugliari is in her final year of studies at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. She is currently a Clinic Intern at the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic and the Brampton Civic Hospital Naturopathic Teaching Clinic. And of course, she's a bluboho beauty!