It’s almost Holiday Season here in the United States and between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years there are more opportunities to let ourselves slip into sweets-infused ruts. You’re looking at time off work, reunions with friends and family, and potentially even travel. All these activities take us away from our normal routines and therefore make it easier to fall into new, and potentially harmful, patterns.
We’d never presume to offer advice to any one person on how they ought to be living! We’re here just to shed light on some of the latest science and research out there that sheds light on how—even in the face of the Holiday Season—one might maintain some semblance of normalcy. Be it your health, your wealth, or your wisdom, these tips are meant to help you survive the onslaught of relatives, awkward conversations, and high-calorie meals this November, December, and January.
Intermittent fasting isn’t well-defined in medical literature but variations of the concept have been proving quite powerful in their ability to help maintain a healthy weight, lost unwanted fat, and even in regulating the immune system! IM is, at its core, a framework by which one limits their intake of food only to certain periods of time. On the fasting end of the spectrum; this might look like not consuming anything but water or tea one day every week. On the time-restricted eating end of the spectrum; this might look like only eating between the hours of 8am and 6pm each day.
Another often-overlooked component of both these systems is the importance of not snacking. Allowing freedom from the digestive burden for long periods during the day can help regulate our hormones, energy levels, and mental focus. So to keep from falling into a sugar-infused coma this Holiday Season, perhaps you should consider skipping breakfast or eating an early dinner!
Holiday social circumstances can easily be categorized as “awkward” without much stretch of the imagination. There’s always the unavoidable intersection of pleasantries and involved discussions. Sure, you might not have spoken to your Aunts’ Nephews’ Wife in 365 days but that’s not likely to stop her from telling you about the drama you’ve missed.
Let’s be honest about one thing; real life isn’t anything like what we see on television. All those best Christmas movies don’t show the dull, silence-filled, couch-sitting, moments where the only thing that fills the hours are reruns of commercial-filled holiday movies. So get over yourself over the fact that you’ll be sinking into the crevasse of Holiday conversation and make the most of it. Ask others how they’ve been and get the details. You’ll find that if you’re able to genuinely care, the Holiday season will go by with a much deeper sense of joy.
Sleep gets us through the tough times. It can be an anchor in storms or the riptide that pulls us to sea—all depending on the quality of sleep one is getting. There’s a lot of cases where people don’t even realize they’ve been sleeping poorly until they mess around and get a good night’s sleep. Sleep is the time where our body restores itself, energizes us for the next day, and helps regulate things like appetite and energy levels. You might find yourself sleeping on couches during the day, cheap motels by night, or even on the floor in those Uncle Eddie types situations! As Home Refinery notes: “having the best mattress possible to sleep on isn’t something most people consider to be possible.”
The truth is, that mattresses are more affordable than ever and Christmas is the perfect time of year to experience the miracle first hand. You can buy mattresses online, buy them in stores, and even buy them on local sites like Facebook Market, Craigslist (be careful!), and OfferUp. Memory foam mattresses, hybrid mattresses, and even latex mattresses have been regarded as falling within the bounds of luxury teir pricing for decades. New mattresses offer consumer-direct pricing, free shipping, and can often save hundreds if not thousands of dollars compared to traditional choices. Sleep counts always but especially during the Holidays. If you’re ever going to upgrade that ratty piece of dustmite heaven you’re sleeping on now—before the Holidays is the best time!
The struggle to Entertain guests during the Holidays is real. You might find yourself tasked with keeping kids, young adults, and the elderly entertained around the Holidays. That’s a feat of strength no matter how serious you are designing the perfect Holiday for your friends and family. There are some easy picks here—holiday box office hits, restaurants, golf for the guys, spas for the girls; but how does one tie everything together? Backup plans. You might have 2-3 options for movies lined up but be prepared for everyone to have and opinion. Don’t go for your favorites and think of everyone’s interests as a whole. No one is likely to love a movie that everyone can enjoy. Keep things light, relatable, and funny if possible. The Holidays often come down to how one can kill an extra two or three hours before the next meal. Don’t think you have to nail it every time. Surviving the Holiday season is all about endurance.
As we grow older the joy of buying (and receiving) presents from spouses can tend to wane. After all, there are usually only a few things that one’s significant other might desire that’s worthy of dipping into household funds. There’s always a place for that special gift but picking out other gifts think of what will entertain the whole family. Puzzles, mind-games, and even weird new gadgets can help Oo and Aah family members during the downtime of the Holidays. When trying to find the best Christmas gifts for men one should always consider the balance of immediate interest and long-term use. Expensive gifts (like mattresses, cars, jewelry, etc) should always give more consideration to long-term love. After all, a new Corvette might make a bigger initial splash on Christmas morning but it’s going to be annoying on the first attempted trip to take the kids anywhere. On the other hand, inexpensive gifts are all about immediate satisfaction consideration. Having a handful of Christmas gifts under $25 to pass around to unexpected guests can provide a pool of fun from which everyone can draw enjoyment!
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