By: Felicia Porrazza, MDA, RDN, LDN, CPT
The holidays are right around the corner and while this time can be filled with fun activities, it can also be pretty stressful. It is important to find a balance between your health and enjoyment of the holiday season. This balance includes recognizing stress and taking action to reduce it!
1 – Make a To-Do List
Making a list of things you need to get done can help eliminate stress. Take a few moments in the beginning of the day to write down all of your tasks. Then, number your tasks in order of priority and focus your energy on your top 3-5 items.
2 – Stay Active
It may be difficult to find time to exercise during the holiday season; however, being active does not necessarily mean that you need to go to the gym everyday. Find moments throughout your day where you can incorporate physical activity. Try parking further at the grocery store, biking or walking somewhere instead of driving, or walking while talking on the phone. Research shows that not only does exercise boost your energy levels, but it can elevate your mood too.
3 – Take Time to De-stress
Between all of the holiday shopping, cooking, hosting and cleaning, our stress levels can reach new heights. Take time each day to unwind and recharge. Even if you only have 5 minutes, you can: take a walk, listen to music, meditate, stretch, journal, or just sit in silence to collect your thoughts.
4 – Nourish Your Body
During the holidays it is easy to load up on refined-sugar foods. It is okay to have treats in moderation; however, make sure you are also incorporating fruits, vegetables and whole grains on a daily basis.
5 – Start your Day with Positive Thoughts
Often when we wake up in the morning, we begin to think of all of the things we need to accomplish in the day. Cue the stress! Before you get out of bed, take a few deep breaths and set your intentions for the day. If you start your day by waking up feeling stressed, it is hard to shake that feeling all day long.
6 – Reach Out
If you are feeling overwhelmed, lonely, or stressed over the holiday season, it is okay to reach out and ask for help. Sometimes just calling a friend or family member to vent can help reduce your stress levels. Volunteering and helping others is another great way to meet new people and lift your holiday spirits.
Felicia Porrazza is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer with a Masters Degree in Dietetics Administration. She is an instructor at Bucks County Community College teaching nutrition in the Department of Kinesiology & Sports Studies. She also owns a private practice, PorrazzaNutrition, where she brings accessible wellness solutions to clients through in-home and virtual nutrition and fitness services. Her specialty is in combining plant-based eating with fitness programming, specifically targeting strength-training. In addition to PorrazzaNutrition, Felicia also creates and sells fruit-themed knitted products under the name Warm Your Melon