11 small ways to stay healthy this holiday

baking, shopping, wrapping, partying and scurrying to finish tasks at work before the holidays get here can all add up to a big bouquet of stress. throw in a few alcoholic beverages plus tons of sugary candy and cookies and you’ve got yourself a compromised immune system. since no one wants to sniffle through the 12 days of christmas, here are a few things i’m doing to keep myself well this december.

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1. green juice. it’s full of vitamins and all other manner of things to boost immunity. even if it’s not every day. a few times a week is better than not at all.

2. sleep when you can. might mean napping, going to bed early the one night you’re able or sleeping in just a little on saturday morning. it’s the best way to allow the body to recover from stress and strain.

3. watch a few christmas movies. getting jolly will dissolve stress and bonus points if it’s funny, because nothing keeps cortisol at bay like laughing.

4. up the yoga ante. moderate exercise can keep you healthy, while overly vigorous exertion can drain your resources. i err a bit on the side of caution during the holidays, using yoga as my workout every other time.

5. TONS of water and decaf tea. i try to cut down on caffeine around big events like christmas. it dehydrates me and i’m already so buzzed on life anyway!

6. limited alcohol. of course, for me, wine is what makes my spirits bright. but too much can EASILY turn into a compromised immune system. i’ve been trying to stick to just one one leading up to the holidays. plenty of time to indulge DURING the holidays, ya know?

7. tons of stir fry. no better way to cram tons of immune-boosting foods into one dinner. try mushrooms, bell peppers, garlic, kale, spinach, really anything from this list.

8. meditate. or at least try to chill. it’s really not a big deal if the iPod you ordered for your cousin won’t be shipped in time for christmas. just print out a picture, wrap it in a box and send it along later. i promise, everyone will live.

9. listen to more music. turn off the tv (after the christmas movie is over), read a book, sit by the fire, play scrabble, have a conversation, learn something new. i know there’s no real science behind this one (except that it will help you sleep better), but just trust me, it will enrich your soul.

10. pet some puppies. more stress relief. plus, is there anything better about the holiday season than dogs dressed up like santa? i think not.

11. when you travel, wear a scarf. i know i get some weird looks for this one, but nothing makes me feel better than burying my snout in my scarf right after someone near me on a plane sneezes or coughs. at least i’m not voluntarily breathing in the germs.

any other good tips out there? 

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