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Winter is just around the corner, and that means shorter days, heavy comfort meals and less time outside. The holidays are in full swing, and that can mean extra running around, increased negative stress or DISTRESS, eating a lot more food (and much of that loaded with extra sugar), staying up later than normal, and drinking more alcohol.

This is a time of year of traditions and parties and family. It can also be a time of throwing good wellness decisions out the window – “I can get back to my good habits after the new year”. All of this takes a toll on us physically. And if we don’t take care of ourselves physically, we will definitely drain our energy tanks which subsequently amplifies the impact of everything we face at this time of year!

It is so important to take care of your physical wellness each and every day, especially during times of higher distress. Here are 5 things you need to do regularly to keep your fuel tanks full.

  • Do something active. Go to the gym, join a rec league team sport, play with the kids, even just go for a walk! Whatever you do doesn’t have to be high impact but do something to get the blood flowing. It is colder outside, which sometimes makes motivation tougher, but the body actually works harder because it is trying to stay warm in addition to supporting the activity. So go out and build a snowman!
  • Drink lots of water. The body needs a lot of water to function, especially if you live at elevation like most of the Women of Denver. Without enough water, our body feels more fatigued which impacts motivation, and it negatively impacts our mood, memory and ability to regulate body temperature. A sufficient amount of water helps us eat less and slows alcohol absorption in the bloodstream. Water is vital to maintain our superpowers to deal with the holidays!
  • Be conscious of what you eat. The foods you choose to fuel your body can help you manage negative stress. The rules are simple: eat a diet high in fiber (less than 3% of Americans accomplish this), eliminate or at least reduce packaged and processed foods, choose dark chocolate when the sweets come calling, eat more dark leafy greens to support a healthy immune system, and cook at home as much as possible – this way you KNOW what you’re eating.
  • Have a spa day. Take the time to do something that relieves tension for you, whether that is some form of massage, getting your hair done, floating in a salt pod, having acupuncture, going to the hot springs, or making an appointment for a facial. You not only deserve the pampering, but you will also get that time to yourself to simply relax and take a break from the stressors in your life.
  • Get (more) sleep. It’s easy to develop habits that eat into our valuable sleeping time. Try to be more conscious of your daily phone usage, TV watching, and social media time, and ask yourself whether it is supporting the person you want to be. When we have slept deeply we are more capable of managing stress, our emotions, the people in our lives, and our food choices. As business owners, leaders and managers, we schedule time for a lot of things; so, start creating some healthy boundaries around your sleep!

Taking care of your physical health is not a mystery; much of what we need to do is common knowledge. However, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded about the important things you can do to boost your physical wellness not only during the holidays but throughout the year. It comes down to making good choices and developing a lifestyle to support those healthy choices. And if you need it, don’t be afraid to get help – it can be fun tackling wellness goals with an accountability partner, especially when the new year rings in with all of its improvement resolutions!

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