On the first day of Christmas, my in-laws give to me…a headache, that I guarantee.
Oh, the holidays. There’s something magical about this time of year— embracing the gift of giving and spending time with loved ones. Yet with this magic comes a degree of stress, often because we forget to take care of ourselves in the process of giving to others.
Whatever you celebrate— think of the next few hundred words as your Wellness Advent(ure) Calendar. (P.S. If you need a roadmap on wellness, check it out here.)
Let’s get started:
Day 1: Get some Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients for overall health, but during winter it’s harder to obtain. Still— even if it’s cold— step outside (with sunscreen on!) for at least 15-20 minutes. If you can’t do it the old-fashioned way, consider adding some salmon or mushrooms to one of your meals.
Day 2: Journal.
Take some time to reflect on your day. If you’re not much of a consciousness streamer, write down five things you’re grateful for.
Day 3: Drink a full glass of water in the morning.
Since you should be aiming to drink at least half your body weight in fluid ounces of water, start your day off right by knocking the first 8 out of the way first thing. Keep a glass on your bedside table, so it’s there when you wake up.
Day 4: Meditate.
Meditation is a great way to check-in with your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Check out this beginner meditation to get started.
Day 5: Take a Probiotic.
Take care of your gut, then learn to trust it. Probiotics are crucial for providing healthy bacteria to your gut microbiome. (You can learn more about gut health here). A healthy gut = a happy self.
Day 6: Floss.
When was the last time you flossed your teeth? While it’s supposed to be a daily habit, it’s common to kick the nefarious teeth thread aside at the end of a long day. Today, take some time to honor yourself by caring for a (perhaps) neglected piece of bodily equipment.
Day 7: Try something new.
Stimulate your intellectual wellness by trying something you’ve always been interested in. Volunteer, take a new route on your way to work (just give yourself some extra time), or shop at a different grocery store!
Day 8: Practice 30 minutes of yoga.
Bridge your body and soul through a quick yoga flow. This sequence is designed to introduce good vibes.
Day 9: Load half your plate with veggies.
A daunting task, I know. Pick your favorite veggie, prepare them as you like (I’m a big fan of the air fryer), and load ‘em up for lunch or dinner!
Day 10: Buy a houseplant.
Nurturing another living thing often proves to be therapeutic. Plus, they’re pretty to look at. Might I suggest a snake plant or succulent if you’re looking for something a bit more forgiving.
Day 11: Watch a holiday movie.
What better way to get into the holiday spirits than watching the Grinch steal Christmas? If you have some energy afterward, check out these workouts inspired by classic holiday movies.
Day 12: Take some apple cider vinegar.
From improving gut health to cholesterol levels, apple cider vinegar may be your next restorative wonder.
Day 13: Develop a mantra.
Mantras can be powerful reminders to center oneself in chaos. Take time to develop your own, and check out this article for tips on manifestation.
Day 14: Go for a walk.
Walks are an easy way to burn calories while unplugging and embracing nature. Take 20 minutes out of your day to stroll around a park, your neighborhood, or just a parking lot.
Day 15: Start reading a new book.
Stimulate your mind with some good, old-fashioned literature. Right now, I’m reading War & Peace, so I have the added benefit of an arm workout.
Day 16: Spend the first hour of your day unplugged.
Technology is both a blessing and a curse. Spend the first hour of your day making coffee, journaling, reading, or spending time with loved ones rather than scrolling through Instagram.
Day 17: Spend the last hour of your day unplugged.
Same as above—but switch to decaf.
Day 18: Have some chocolate.
Part of taking care of your wellness is allowing yourself to indulge. Eat some chocolate, have a glass of wine – you deserve it.
Day 19: Complete a crossword puzzle.
If you’ve been following along—today is Sunday. Grab a New York Times (and possibly a friend who loves Jeopardy!) and put your minds to the test.
Day 20: Go meatless.
Dieticians say you don’t need meat every day. Try out a Meatless Monday (or any day). Check out this easy Nourish Bowl recipe to get started.
Day 21: Get introduced to L-Theanine.
This non-drowsy supplement helps promote an alert state of relaxation. Try it out and see if it works for you!
Day 22: Create a “happy” playlist.
Nothing like some mood music to bop to in the morning. If you’re in the mood for some upbeat holiday jams, check out this playlist.
Day 23: Enjoy some drinks with friends.
You may be thrown into a familial pit you’re less than excited about soon, but make sure to also spend time with friends. Perhaps host a White Elephant to get in some good laughs!
Day 24: Breathe.
You did it. Thank yourself for taking every day to be a little more well. Breathe in. Breathe out.
And, most of all, have a Happy Holidays!
This article was written by Melissa Pelowski. Interested in writing for us too? Email your pitch to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.