Let’s say it’s the end of a long night of holiday entertaining, and you’re tidying up your dining room. It’s tempting to drink the dregs of that bottle of wine—you’ve earned it!—but if this is your fourth party in as many days, those liquid calories are adding up.
So instead of polishing off that nearly empty bottle, pour the contents into an ice cube tray and freeze to use when you’re cooking later on.
Try these other quick, easy tricks to stay a little healthier and happier over the holidays.
Be hands-on at parties
Keep your hands busy at holiday parties: take photos, wash dishes, pour drinks. This will keep you from refilling your plate just so your hands have something to do. Bring a healthy dish to every party to ensure there’s something nourishing for you to eat.
Break up your workout
As your evenings fill up with recitals and last-minute shopping trips, it will be virtually impossible to stick to your full after-work or evening workout.
- Get up 10 to 15 minutes earlier to squeeze in some exercise in the morning.
- Take 10 minutes at lunch for another micro-workout.
- Do 10 minutes of cardio as you’re getting ready to go out in the evening (this could include dancing to your favorite holiday tune).
There. You’ve fit in your workout and you’re pumped up for that concert … or feeling a little better about braving the mall.
De-clutter while you decorate
Decorating can be one of the most relaxing parts of the holiday, but not if the end result leaves you drowning in knick-knacks—more “reindeer-obsessed hoarder” than “tasteful nod to the season.” Only use the decorations that give you joy. Donate the rest to charity. And if every surface is already covered, make a rule: for every decoration you set up, one other object has to be recycled or donated. When the decorations come down, you’ll have a tidier, more relaxing home to enjoy in the new year.
Bin it as you bake
Holiday baking offers a similar opportunity. If you find yourself rummaging through cupboard clutter, quickly recycle or dispose of these items:
- containers without a matching lid, and lids without containers
- excess silverware people have accidentally brought home
- the ghosts of parties past (e.g. the two paper napkins left over from that children’s theme party)
Pick a food partner
Even better than a secret Santa is someone to help you eat well over the holidays. Take five minutes in the morning to make a plan for how you’re going to eat healthy that day, including how you’ll navigate any parties. Let your food partner know. Then take five minutes in the evening to follow up on how your plan worked.