Count down to a healthy holiday by reading and following any or all of these tips:

12. Plan ahead – Use “Keep it Simple” strategy.  Partially prepare ahead when possible.  Allow yourself to relax and enjoy time with friends and family.

11.  When possible, organize and delegate – Make a list, have a family meeting and commit to each others’ mental health.  Ask for help and focus on what is really important.

10.  Don’t let the cold weather keep you from being active – spend time outside skating, snowshoeing or playing with your kids.  If you’re going holiday shopping, do a couple laps around the mall!

9.   Remember that calories from drinks add up quickly.  Limit to 2 alcoholic drinks per occasion and alternate with a low-calorie drink such as lemon water.  Enjoy a small glass of eggnog as dessert.

8.  Stay within budget – finances are a major stressor.  Set a budget and stick to it.

7.  Connect with your Community – attend events with family and friends.  Help at a local food bank or other organization.  Giving is a great way to cope with stress.

6.  Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables to balance your holiday meal.

5.  Enjoy a small amount of your favorite holiday treats – choose to limit your favorite holiday indulgences.  Aim to make healthy choices the rest of the time.

4.  Weather and hours of daylight play a part in low mood.  Pay attention to nutrition, exercise and sleep to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

3.  Choose healthy appetizers more often.  Try veggies, whole grain pita wedges or crackers with hummus or low-fat dip, fruits, or a small amount of cheese.

2.  Eat every 4-5 hours – skipping meals can lead to overeating later in the day.

1.  Eat the pear, not the partridge in a pear tree!!

Happy Holidays!