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4. Focus on Others. Instead of getting wrapped up in gift giving, baking and other holiday obligations, find a way to give back to your community this year. You might choose to volunteer at a toy drive for underprivileged children or help out at a local food bank. Instead of fighting crowds at the mall, you could be doing good for others and for yourself. There are many benefits to giving back for your own health and well-being.
5. Choose a Charity Gift. Another great way to avoid the mall or hours of online shopping is to give charity gift cards to friends and family. You can buy cards and certificates from sites like TisBest, JustGive and Network for Good that allow the recipient to donate the money to the non-profit of their choice. That way you and your family can feel good about supporting causes that are important to each one of you.
6. Don't Skip Your Regular Workouts. It's easy to find extra time in your schedule by cutting back on gym visits or afternoon walks, but because exercise is such an effective form of stress relief, all you'll be buying yourself is exhaustion and added worry. By the same token, don't try to beat holiday eating by ramping up your workouts to unrealistic levels. Instead, enjoy holiday treats in moderation and focus on sustainable fitness goals. If you want to add some extra calorie burn to your regular cardio (in a short amount of time), try some high-intensity interval training.
7. Boost Your Immune System. There's nothing more stressful during the holidays than coming down with a cold or the flu. To protect yourself during the winter months, make sure you're getting ample fruit and vegetables in your diet, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep and washing your hands regularly. And get a flu shot to protect yourself from the most common strains of the flu virus.
8. Be Flexible. Instead of trying to pack multiple family celebrations into a single day or weekend, create your own schedule for festive gatherings when it's more convenient for everyone. For example, if you celebrate Thanksgiving with one side of your family, invite the other side over a few days later to celebrate leftovers day. Everyone can bring leftovers or a new dish to share. You can eat up all the extra food while it's still good and spend time with the people you love in a less formal setting than a sit-down dinner.