Valerie Takahashi
Courtesy: Ho‘okele Care at Home

The holiday season is a time to celebrate, give thanks and reflect. Give the gift of health and safety to yourself and others by following these holiday tips.

Make Healthy Choices

The holiday season brings the joy of family gatherings, dinners with friends and office functions. Whether you are entertaining family, shopping for gifts or celebrating holiday festivities, take care of yourself by making healthy choices during the holidays.

The holidays can be a stressful time. Don’t over-extend yourself emotionally, physically or financially. Establish realistic goals and expectations. Find time for yourself and make time to rest. Most importantly, enjoy the holidays!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help with holiday responsibilities. You don’t have to do all of the shopping, decorating and cooking by yourself. Create new traditions and involve your entire family in holiday preparations.

’Tis also the season for clean hands! Wash your hands thoroughly and often. Always wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer.

In addition to the universal rules of the road — do not speed, do not text, and do not drink and drive — here are a few tips to make holiday driving more enjoyable and safe. Plan your route in advance and check traffic reports. Follow speed limits and drive defensively. Allow enough time to drive to your special event safely.

Balance Holiday Meals and Exercise

This holiday season, try to find a balance between preparing for the holidays and taking care of your health. Do some pre-holiday planning in order to fully enjoy the festivities and treats of the season while staying on track with healthy living. Make healthy food choices as often as possible and be sure to get in some daily physical activity.

• Focus on adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet to balance indulging in your favorite holiday foods.

• Limit foods you love and their portion sizes; also, try to stay away from foods high in fat, salt and sugar.

• Keep hydrated. Drinking water is one way you can stay healthy during the holidays.

• It is possible to keep up with exercising during the holiday season. Instead of thinking that exercising has to be a separate addition to your already-long to-do list, try incorporating it into things you are already planning to do. For example, instead of driving the family to view holiday lights and decorations, consider walking; or, turn leisure walking around the mall into a power-walk with the grandchildren; or get a low-impact aerobic workout while cleaning and decorating the house for guests.

The Gift of Gratitude

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. This holiday season, take a few minutes to reflect on the gifts you have been given — the people you love and cherish, and the opportunities you have been afforded in life. Give the gift of gratitude. It doesn’t cost a lot and the personal meaning can be the greatest gift of all.

Valerie Takahashi is director of business development for Ho‘okele Care at Home.


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