The holiday season conjures up thoughts of delicious foods, visiting with family and opening presents. However, the season can also bring stress, disappointment, emotional eating and overindulgence, along with holiday cheer. Taking a moment for yourself during the planning, shopping, and visiting with relatives is crucial.

Following are five healthy things you can do as a holiday gift to yourself.  

Exercise 

Physical activity is, without question, one of the best things you can do for yourself throughout the season or any time of the year. Exercise is effective at reducing stress, improving mood and concentration and it fights off depression. It is tempting during the holidays to forgo exercise for other seasonal activities. Do not make this mistake. You will add stress and lose a stress reliever in one move. So do your best to maintain your workout schedule. If you do not have much time, scale back. A little exercise is better than no training.  

Show Gratitude 

Showing gratitude and being thankful protects your brain from stress and depression. Studies indicate that just thinking about what you are grateful for can increase dopamine and serotonin release in the brain. This holiday season, consider all of the things you are thankful for, and you will build strong emotional pathways in your mind.  

Get Plenty of Rest 

Few things can affect your emotional and physical health, like sleep or a lack thereof. Sleeplessness causes weight gain, additional stress and irritability. True, most of us do not get enough sleep this time of the year. Holiday parties and gift-wrapping can keep us up later than normal. However, consistent, quality sleep is essential for good health. Cut back on caffeine and egg nog, and try to avoid eating three hours before bedtime, so heartburn and indigestion do not keep you awake.  

Feel Your Feelings 

The holidays tend to bring up strong feelings in people. Whether it be a family loss or a new relationship, this time of the year can bring up various emotions. Do not try to avoid these difficult feelings by eating and drinking. Although emotional eating and drinking might be a quick fix, it will not work out in the long run. You will still have the emotions plus a few extra pounds. Face and accept your feelings, do not try to eat and drink them away.  

Enjoy the Moment 

Do not let yourself get so enveloped in holiday shopping, party planning, and cooking that you completely miss the holiday experience. If you are worrying about everyone else, you will miss out on what makes the holidays special. Think about what feels good right now. Please stop trying to make your holiday fit an ideal and appreciate the holidays as they are now.  

Self-care might come in the form of a new job for you this season. CnStaffing can help! CnStaffing is a health care and medical employment agency that gets people hired. Let their professional staff help you this holiday season.  

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