Five Ways to Stay Healthy (and Sane) During the Holidays

Every year, we look forward to the mellow, relaxing, slow-paced few weeks leading up to the holidays….said no one ever.  

Starting with the madness of Black Friday and ending with the crushing hangover of New Year’s Day, the season brings over-eating, over-drinking and the stresses of family drama, last-minute shopping and holiday traffic.

Since opting out of the holidays is rarely an option one can explain reasonably to family and friends, creating a plan to cope with unhealthy behaviors that seem to pop up around this time of year is critical. To help, we made this list and checked it twice – read through our tips to stay a little bit saner and healthier this year.

Watch what you eat

Seems pretty obvious, but many of us find it difficult to stick to our regular diets during the season of parties and get-togethers. It’s hard to deny yourself – or offend your host – by saying no to typical party foods, which usually include fatty, greasy or creamy appetizer and entrees.  And don’t get us started on the desserts that seem to flow freely through homes and offices this time of year.

So, make sure you indulge strategically. Eat smaller meals during the day of a party, to prevent yourself from gorging later. Follow each cocktail or glass of wine with a glass of water to keep your alcohol intake to a minimum.

Don’t get sick

Or, at least take precautions to prevent it as best you can. Wash your hands regularly to avoid picking up germs. Get a flu shot for yourself and everyone in your family. Carry disinfecting wipes with you and wipe down public armrests, door handles, and anything else your hands come in contact with.

Get enough sleep

Between late-night parties and midnight online shopping, sleep seems to become a secondary consideration around the holidays. But, consistently going without sleep leads to fatigue, stress, and even a depressed immune system. Make sleep a priority to improve your overall health and attitude, and give yourself the gift of rest this season.

Keep calm and keep it simple

If connecting with family is the joy of the holidays, why does it always feel so stressful? Close quarters with in-laws and extended family members requires a concerted effort to act polite and set what may become unrealistic expectations for enjoying holiday traditions.

Get a grip on your desire for a perfect holiday scene. Try prioritizing what you need to focus on by writing a list of stuff that’s truly important – and the other small stuff that doesn’t deserve your energy. Remember to make time for yourself – it’s not selfish, it’s essential.

Stop and smell the holly

Every year, the holiday season seems to rush through our lives like a high-speed train leaving us a bit dazed and confused as it whooshes past. Make an effort to remind yourself what the holiday season is truly about – a time to feel thankful for the friends and family in our lives and all the wonderful moments we got to enjoy this year.

Happy Holidays!


Happy Holidays from DC Smiles. With locations in Alexandria, VA and Washington DC, DC Smiles provides a holistic approach to dental care that incorporates total-body health and wellness. Learn more at




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