12.04.2014

Healthy, Happy Christmas

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! (Did you just sing that in your head like me?) I love everything there is to love about the holidays. Tis the season for me to put away (aka push to the opposite side of my closet) my “Summer” clothes, and bring front and center my monochrome sweaters, jackets, scarves, etc. I [lovingly] harass loved ones who are lagging on displaying Christmas decorations (i.e. my boyfriend). And I listen to Christmas music to the point of memorizing the lyrics to every Michael Buble and Mariah Carey holiday tune. Maybe I’m over compensating for the lack of season Southern California gets…either way, I’m the most obnoxious holiday person you’ve ever known.

However, despite the natural inclination to “go big” during the holidays, as well as my strange urge to go overboard on all things festive, I try to do it in a healthy way (as healthy as possible for the holidays, at least)! Which is why we have compiled a list of 12 ways to have a happy, healthy holiday!

1. Bake lightened cookies…Santa doesn’t need all those calories anyway right!? We tried out a few of Skinnytaste’s recipes (here and here) last year and found great success. It’s especially important not to feel that you’re depriving yourself during the holidays, so indulge itsy bitsy style!

2. Listen to Christmas music on your way home: or, if you’re me, all the time. Music and mood have a direct correlation, and allowing some carefree, cheery Christmas music to permeate your car/headphones on your way home at the end of the day will instantly increase your mood.

3. Get your Winter AND fitness on and find an ice skating rink! Having just done this is Central Park, I know that it’s a great workout for your legs!

4. Craft a holiday DIY project…on my to-do list: homemade stockings, place cards for Christmas dinner, and a welcoming wreath for the front door. Get those creative juices flowing, AND save money on store-bought decorations! On my to-do list: homemade Christmas stockings, place cards for Christmas dinner, and a welcoming wreath for the front door

5. Volunteer: Studies have shown that the brain “stays happier” longer when we give than when we receive, so it must be extra good when we give of our time and presence. Sometimes these are absolutely the best gifts we can give.

6. Listen to carolers: This season is so heavily built upon traditions, and what better tradition than traditional Christmas music sung by carolers! This will take you right out of crazy modern day life.

7. Write a hand-written note to a friend wishing happy holidays and a happy New Year…does anyone else remember getting ridiculously excited when receiving an actual letter (non-bill) in the mail??

8. Invest some time in YOU and beautify yourself holiday style. Try these Bobbi Brown’s new Scotch on the Rocks collection and Butter London nail colors.

9. Hold your plank for an extra 30 seconds: It’s all about the mental stamina…you can do it!

10. Have a holiday movie night marathon: Our favorites include The Holiday, The Griswold Family Christmas, Four Christmases, and Love Actually. Laughter and positive feelings will leave you feeling extra festive.

11. Host a cookie exchange/holiday party with your girl friends…spending time together catching up and enjoying each other’s company is what this season is about, and it helps us feel connected which is important for happiness and feelings of purpose!

12. Make some fresh apple cider…with fresh apples, it’s loaded with fiber! (OK, I may be stretching it a bit there…)