The holidays are here, and no matter how you choose to celebrate, Innova Primary Care wishes you the happiest and healthiest of holidays!

We know this time of year is packed to the brim with activities and social calls. We’ve got some great tips to help you sail through the season with joy. Read on for ways to make happy and healthy priorities this holiday season.

It’s okay to say no

Just in case no one has told you, you have permission to say no to anything or anyone throughout the holidays. With so many opportunities on your plate, remember that “No” is, in fact, a complete sentence. So you can turn down that extra cocktail, say no to additional volunteer activists at your child’s school, and even skip the social event. You don’t even have to explain yourself!

Remember that to show up as your best and healthiest self; sometimes you must bow out. And that’s okay. But if someone does press you for a reason, you can always say it’s your doctor’s orders. We don’t mind being your excuse!

Pace yourself

This is the time of year when life feels so very full. If you are like us, your calendar is booked, and there isn’t enough time in the day or days in the week to get it all done. But, just like you have permission to say no, you also have permission to pace yourself for all the full days and nights.

Pacing yourself might mean catching a nap when you can. Pacing yourself may look like leaving an event a little early so you can take a relaxing shower or bath at bedtime. Speaking of that, remember to get a whole night’s rest each night so you can be ready to get up and do it all over again the next day.

You won’t be able to burn the candle at both ends for too long, making the holidays feel more like a chore than a celebration. Do what you need to do to care for yourself, so you don’t become an empty stocking over the course of the next several weeks.

Make a plan for your meals

Planning can go a long way toward your health and happiness goals for the holiday season. Yes, plan your activities but also plan what you will do when you arrive.

For example, plan on having multiple opportunities to enjoy delicious foods and cocktails over the holidays, and remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. This means you don’t have to overindulge everywhere you go. The Christmas cookies will still be there at the next event.

Consider fueling up on a healthy meal High in protein and veggies to keep you full and satisfied before you hit up your next event. Then, when you arrive, feeling satiated, the temptation to overeat lessons. Of course, you can enjoy your favorite holiday foods, and we encourage you to do so. However, remember how it feels to overdo it so that you can set your goals and follow through when you are staring temptation directly in the face.

Remember to stay hydrated

Hot cocoa, cider, cocktails, champagne, and all the delicious beverages and foods will be on repeat this season. Don’t forget about your water consumption to keep yourself healthy and happy.

Staying hydrated helps keep your systems in check and assists you with not overindulging. While there are no set recommendations for how much water you need daily, a great rule of thumb is half your body weight in ounces per day. So, a 150-pound individual would do well with at least 75 ounces of H2O a day. Keep your water bottle handy and keep it full. You won’t regret it.

Manage your expectations

It is safe to say that everyone desires a merry and bright holiday season, but sometimes gatherings go awry, and expectations are not met. In these scenarios, it is wise to set realistic expectations and do your best to let things go.

We recognize this is much easier said than done. Practically, this can look like maintaining open lines of communication. If you are attending an event with family, try your best to ask for information and discuss your needs ahead of time. Be open to others and the ways in which they do things differently from you.

Be patient with yourself and others. Every one of us has a full plate, and we also bring our past holiday experiences into the mix. However, when we can be patient and gracious with ourselves, we can often do the same for others.


Try to manage your stress to the best of your abilities

Again, easier said than done. While the holidays are certainly times of joy and cheer, they can also be incredibly stressful. Many of the tools to stress management in everyday life can also help you over the holidays. As previously mentioned, manage your expectations to the best of your ability. Remember the following:

  • Stay connected to people who help keep you grounded.
  • Maintain your regular exercise schedule.
  • Practice deep breathing and meditation to help ease your mind.
  • Focus on gratitude.
  • Exercise control where you can and let go of the things you cannot.
  • Remember, this is just a tiny portion of your life. Is it worth getting upset over? If not, let it pass you by.


Do your best and seek joy

Yes, the holidays can be stressful, but they are also magical, and connection trumps perfection every time. So if you burn the cookies, it’s okay. If the party isn’t a raging success, life goes on.

We hope you thrive over this holiday season and are here to support you every step of the way. To all of our patients, we wish you the merriest of holidays regardless of how you choose to celebrate. Let’s bring on 2023!