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The holidays are here! That means its time for turkey, ham, office parties, and loads of sweets. Unfortunately, that also means a heavy toll on your anxiety levels thanks in large part to the impact that these holidays can have on your health. If you are worried about your health during the holidays, then don’t despair. There are several things to help you make sure that you keep your physical and mental health on an even keel so that you can start the New Year off on the right foot.

Don’t Sweat the Meals

First off, let’s get this out of the way right now. You are not going to need a whole new wardrobe after the holidays because of overeating. The average person’s weight only goes up by one pound during this month and a half time span. But yes, you do need to watch what you eat during this time period, just like you do during the rest of the year.

What we are saying here is: Don’t Panic! That anxiety will only add to your stress levels, which makes many people eat more, causing a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.

Dealing With Temptation

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about overeating. If your idea of eating during the holidays is to pull a chair up to the buffet table, then obviously you need to be more temperate in your dining habits. But holiday dining can be scary.

When you go to a holiday party, chances are most of the food on the snack table is going to be fried, fatty, or loaded with sugar. How do you fix this? One good idea is to eat something healthy just before you go to the party. Something that is high in fiber and protein, but low in calories and carbohydrates will fill you up so that you don’t overeat. Instead, try cheese, apples, pistachios, or pro-biotic yogurt to give you an edge before you go to the party.

To Exercise or Not to Exercise

Should you give up on exercise for the holidays? The easy answer is “Maybe.” If you get legitimate joy from working out, then you should continue the workout routines. This is actually a great way to keep mobile and in shape all year long. But if the idea of making time for the gym gives you extra stress, then just skip it until the New Year. Instead, find other means to exercise such as power walking when you go shopping. Just make a commitment to start back up in January!

Pace Yourself

Food isn’t the only thing that people tend to overindulge with during the holidays. This time of year is hectic! Eating and drinking are important factors to overall health in November and December but so is trying to do everything! The decorations, the shopping, the family gatherings (and expectations), the holiday parties, and travel are all major contributors to an individuals stress and anxiety levels. The point of planning and executing on all this merriment is to enjoy ourselves and create memories with our loved ones. Keep that goal in mind and remember that you don’t have to do it all to have a memorable holiday season.

No one is saying that you can’t “eat, drink, and be merry” this holiday season. But, as with all the other times of the year, you need to choose moderation while remembering why you are putting forward all that effort in the first place.