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12 Ways to Have a Happy, Healthy Holidays


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Editor’s Note: This list was inspired by the holiday message Medavie Blue Cross senior leaders gave to employees this year about staying true to one of our organization’s core values — the value of caring — and reminding us that the best gift we can give ourselves is the gift of self-care.

Making our health and safety a priority is sure to fill everyone’s holidays with warmth and good cheer. That’s because putting our care first allows us to replenish our reserves of energy and build our mental resilience.

The holidays can be a hectic and stressful time — and even more so this year with pandemic-related restrictions keeping us apart from loved ones. It’s all the more reason to keep our health and wellness goals front and centre.




Here are some ways take the stress out of the season and add more joy.

1. Savour the season.

Don’t let COVID-19 be the “Grinch that stole Christmas.” Maintain the favourite traditions that make this season so special. Bundle up for a walk around your neighbourhood to see all the twinkling lights. Go skating at a local outdoor rink. It will boost your mood and your immune system.

2. Get moving.

Join an online fitness class, build a snowman or have a fun snowball fight with family and friends. A few minutes in the sunshine raises vitamin D levels and is good for our bones, our heart, and our holiday mood. Plus, it will help digest those holiday cookies.

3. Sleep well.

Getting a good night's sleep will not only help you dream of sugar plums, it will help you to rest and rejuvenate to be at your best this holiday season. A decent amount of shut-eye anytime of the year puts you in a better mood, sharpens your memory and focus, and in the long term, will help lower your risk of heart disease.

4. Give thanks.

Practice an attitude of gratitude. Write down the things you are grateful for, and let your friends and family members co-workers, your colleagues, know how much you appreciate them, even if by a simple text message. A few kind words will go a long way in making the holidays merry and bright for everyone.

5. Get creative.

The holidays don’t need to take a toll on your health and pocketbook. Thoughtful gifts are often less expensive. So, get creative, stick to your budget and release the stress.

6. Do a digital detox.

Put away the laptop and enjoy a day without distraction, baking and decorating holiday cookies, cuddling with your kids and pets, or playing in the snow. Spending fewer hours in front of a screen will help make this the most wonderful time of the year for you and your family.

7. Eat healthy.

A lot of holiday customs are centred around food but it’s best to enjoy holiday sweets and treats in moderation. Choose fresh fruit as a substitute for candy and limit fats, salt, and sugary foods. In other words, dig out the popcorn for a family movie night; just go easy on the toppings.

8. Indulge.

Spoil yourself with some “me time.” Read a book. Get pampered with a massage or manicure. Set a half hour or so each day for yoga or meditation. Inhale the festive fun and exhale the stressors. You’re worth it!

9. Have fun.

Build a snow fort. Play a Wii game. Have a dance party in your living room — and rock around the tree with your kids to the jingle bell rock.

10. Give to others.

Do your part to keep the spirit of giving alive this season. Contribute to a food bank, a homeless shelter or mental wellness center that could really use our help this year. It will literally do your heart good to do things for others

11. Let it go.

Focus only on what you can control. Don’t beat yourself up when you skip exercise or worry when can’t find everything that’s on your child’s wish list. Destressing and recharging your batteries are the best way to truly en-JOY the season.

12. Listen to music.

Create a relaxing playlist of favourite holiday tunes and listen while you wrap your gifts or trim your tree. It’s sure to raise your spirits and chase away those seasonal blues.

Warm wishes for a healthy, happy holiday season. And take good care of yourselves.