Thanksgiving is meant to be just that – a day to give thanks – but a lot of people find this time year incredibly stressful. There are worries about family dynamics, meal preparation, and overeating that can turn the day from thankful to dreadful.
To help keep your Thanksgiving as happy and healthy as possible, I’ve come up with 5 tips to boost your mood and nourish your body during the next couple of weeks leading up to turkey day.
1. Eat to feel good. Overeating (or being too restrictive) doesn’t feel good physically or emotionally. It can lead to digestive distress, bloating, brain fog, lethargy, guilt, and even depression. Be mindful when you eat. Pay attention to how you feel before, during, and after a meal or snack. Mindful eating is the best way to satisfy your appetite and leave you feeling energized; and it’s a very effective strategy to help manage your weight during the holidays as well.
2. Get outside and go for a walk. Sunlight, fresh air, and exercise have been shown to be instant mood boosters. Getting outside (especially in nature) and going for a brisk walk can help you deal with the stress and anxiety – even the sadness – that we so often experience during the holiday season.
3. Relax – it’s all good. Sh!t happens (as the saying goes) and all too often things don’t go our way. This can be extremely stressful especially when there is so much to do. Instead of trying to control everything, focus on controlling the controllables and letting go of the rest. How, you ask? Start by taking six to 10 slow deep breaths or try these quick breathing exercises to relax. Another simple strategy to help you de-stress is meditation. If you think you can’t do it, check out this video and see how anyone – even a skeptic like you – can learn how to meditate. All you need is a few minutes and a quiet corner.
4. Hydrate and feel great. It’s so easy to forget about drinking water during the day especially when you have a lot to do. This can very quickly lead to dehydration and cause more than just thirst and dry lips. Dehydration can set the heart racing and make you feel light-headed, dizzy, and even alter your mood according to two studies conducted at the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory. Be sure to drink enough water to stave off those “thirsty” mood swings and keep your body feeling energized.
5. Get your zzZs. Not only does adequate sleep help you feel good and look your best, it is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more. Here are some of the health benefits researchers have discovered about a good night’s sleep. Do your best to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night especially the day before Thanksgiving; you will have more fun. If you struggle with this, check out these tips to help you get your zzZs during the holidays.
Click here for my Naturally Sweetened Apple Pie recipe. Enjoy it!