Five ways to stay healthy and happy this holiday season

34792251_MWith so many things on your to-do list this time of the year, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. The stress of gift-giving, holiday events and activities and family get-togethers can lead to stress. Unhealthy foods and flu viruses seem to be everywhere. That’s why we wanted to share with you some simple (yet highly effective!) ways to stay healthy and happy this holiday season:

Stick with a healthy diet. At Proactive Wellness Centers, we generally favor the Mediterranean and Paleo diets. Both are balanced, healthy approaches to eating. The Mediterranean diet focuses on daily consumption of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and healthy fats, weekly intake of fish, poultry, beans and eggs, dairy in moderation and limited amounts of red meat. We understand the holidays are full of delicious sugary sweets practically everywhere you turn! Enjoy the treats of the season in moderation while remaining committed to healthy meals. The American Dietetic Association says eating healthy is a great way to boost immunity and prevent flu.

Warm up before activity. Exercise can help combat stress, but can also lead to injures if you aren’t prepared. Whether you’re shoveling snow, skiing, skating, sledding or enjoying some other type of wintertime activity, warm up first and don’t forget cool-down stretching. Warming up and cooling down can reduce your chances of injury. For some easy warm-up and cool-down exercises, go to this link.

Try meditating. Feeling yourself becoming overwhelmed? Closing your eyes, listening to some soothing music and taking deep, cleansing breaths can really help. Not sure where to start? There’s a variety of top-rated free and low-cost apps that can help. One is the Calm app. Calm offers guided meditation with soothing music in 3- to 25-minute sessions. Want to develop a daily meditation practice? Try Daily Calm, the app’s 10-minute program that helps you meditate in the mornings or evenings. You can also check out or purchase a book on meditation.

Don’t overdo it. Only commit to how much you’re willing to do, even if it means only one big event per day. If two major family gatherings happen to fall in the same time period, know it’s OK to pick just one—or invite people to come to you. Learning to say no is important, especially over the holidays.

Make time for enjoyable activities. Make sure you’re taking time during this busy season to do things you truly enjoy. Activities such as reading a book or enjoying a cup of hot tea can provide an escape from the daily hustle and bustle. Take regular breaks to simply look after your own well-being.

Founded in 2006, Proactive Wellness Centers (PWC) is a leading integrative and functional medicine practice serving Northern Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland, Pennsylvania. Learn more about us on our website: