How to Survive the Holidays

By Dr. Chris Chatzoglou

Nov 21

With the holiday season just around the corner, many people will struggle to maintain their health and manage stress during this most important time of the year.

While the holidays are supposed to be a time for rest and relaxation, reconnecting with family, and reevaluating what is truly important in life, for many people the holidays are the exact opposite experience.

With the added stress to complete work projects, holiday parties, excess alcohol and refined sugars, lack of sleep, and lack of exercise, is it any wonder why this most stressful time of the year is often called “cold and flu season?”

The fact is, when people are stressed-out and busy, the last thing on their minds is health and wellness.

Ask anyone in the fitness industry what their slowest time of the year is and they’ll unequivocally tell you it’s the two months before New Year’s.

Why? Is often very difficult for busy people to fit fitness and healthy living into an already jam-packed schedule. Now, throw in some visiting family members, some Christmas shopping, and vacationing kids into the mix and it’s easy to see how personal health and fitness become less and less of a priority during this time of year.

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On the other hand, for some people maintaining a healthy lifestyle over the holidays is not difficult and is as much a part of their regular routine as going to work and spending time with family.

You’ll see them in the gym over holidays: The diehards. The regulars. These are the ones who never miss a work out, eat well, and manage their stress, even when they are busy.

For these people the old saying is true: “Right now, someone busier than you is working out.”

What is so different about these people? Are they superhuman? Crazy? Obsessed? No. They simply have developed better habits, better scheduling, and have made healthy living a priority in life. For them, health and wellness are not afterthoughts, they as essentials.

Healthy lifestyle is the invisible shield that allows them to not only survive the holidays, but to thrive during the holidays. They can still experience stress, have fun and celebrate like everyone else, and yet they won’t suffer the consequences for weeks and months afterwards.

Here are some simple steps you can take to help minimize the effects of holiday stress:

  • Take time everyday to exercise everyday. It doesn’t take much, only 20 minutes a day, even if tit is just walking at a brisk pace.
  • Reduce refined sugars and alcohol, try to resist overindulging this year.
  • Pack a healthy lunch instead of eating out.
  • Supplement wisely with Vitamin D.
  • Make sure you are getting enough sleep.

With a little planning and commitment, healthy lifestyles can be maintained even during the busiest times of the year.

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About the Author

Dr. Chris Chatzoglou, D.C., is a practising chiropractor in Vancouver, BC, a freelance health columnist, a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, co-host of the top-ranked Everyday Revolutions podcast.