YOUR HOLIDAY BEST: Staying Healthy and Sane this Festive Season

After two years celebrating without friends and family, the holiday season ahead will be a blend of enjoying time-honoured traditions and finding new ways to make memories. In the midst of the festive chaos, though, staying healthy can be a daunting task: we want to fit in as many activities as we can, yet we also need time to recharge and take care of ourselves.

Wellness is really a holistic blend of physical, social, mental, emotional and financial health. Striving for wellness during the holiday season is not only important, it can also be enjoyable and fun. We’ve put together some ideas you can consider as you work towards wellness this holiday season.

Look out for #1
Have extra vacation days you need to take before the end of the year? Why not book a midweek day off and enjoy some self-care time? Stay in your PJs, order in lunch from your favourite restaurant, and binge watch a show you’ve been meaning to catch up on.

Don’t be afraid to let go of a holiday tradition that no longer serves you. Hate writing holiday cards? Ditch that dated duty. Tired of hosting your Christmas Eve Open House? Let someone else do it this year. Change things up and focus your time on activities that help you feel your best.

Lower levels of sunshine at this time of year can have a negative effect on mood and energy levels. Try to get some fresh air and sunshine daily if possible—even sitting in front of a sunny window can help you fight the winter blues.
Spend a few hours with a furry friend—if you don’t have one of your own, ask a neighbour if you can take their dog for a weekly walk during the holiday season. You will get a triple bonus of exercise, fresh air, and therapeutic canine love!

Mind your social battery

We often feel obligated to accept invitations to every party, holiday concert or cocktail gathering. Remind yourself that it’s okay to decline an invite—saying “no” can help you get some much needed time back for yourself.
Reach out to someone special in your life that you don’t get to see very often: an old friend, former work colleague, or relative. Invite them to join you for a coffee, a meander down main street or a walk through the park and enjoy reconnecting.

Mind your mind

Setting aside time to meditate weekly can help you stay grounded through the busiest days of the holidays. There are plenty of apps, books, and websites that can provide guidance on how to get started!

Focusing on gratitude has numerous benefits for wellness. A Gratitude Journal is a great way to get started—you can create a daily ritual of naming what you are grateful for, and this can shift your thinking dramatically in a positive direction.

Giving to others can have a positive impact on our mental health. You can donate your time or provide a financial or gift donation. Find a volunteer opportunity within your community by contacting vmbc.volunteerattract.com.

Mind your finances
Take an after-dinner drive to check out neighbourhood holiday decorations. Kids and grownups alike will enjoy the sparkling lights and festive scenes—a free show!

Your local library will provide a treasure trove of holiday freebies, including childrens’ books, DVDs and music CDs that can keep you and your family busy and entertained all through the season.

Shop local to support your community!
Invest your time and dollars in local stores, restaurants and services while checking items off your holiday list. Check out shoplocalmississauga.ca to discover some of the new and interesting shops and boutiques we’re blessed to have in our fair city.

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