Healthy Holiday Tips for Seniors from V!VA Mississauga
Published on December 3, 2021
While the holidays are the perfect time to relax and gather with loved ones you haven’t seen in a long time, they can also be a particularly stressful and difficult time for seniors living in Ontario retirement homes or on their own. For many seniors, the holidays can disrupt their regular routines—from eating less healthy to exercising less and spending more time juggling commitments with family and friends.
If keeping up a wellness routine is important for your loved ones, here are some great healthy holiday tips for seniors that you should follow.
Make Healthy Food Choices during the Holidays
With all of the delicious confectionary delights that are available during the holidays, it’s not always easy to make healthy food choices. On top of plates of decadent and hearty foods being offered up at holiday parties and get-togethers, people are constantly dropping off homemade goods for friends and family. All of that temptation makes it incredibly difficult for seniors to stay on track with their health goals and initiatives. Seniors living with various health issues like diabetes and other diseases need to be especially mindful of what they eat during the holidays.
While it’s alright to indulge a little in holiday treats and hearty meals, try not to overindulge too much. Moderation is the key. Every time you have a sweet treat, try to balance it out with a piece of fruit or vegetables.
Follow Dietary Restrictions
Many seniors must follow specific dietary restrictions such as low-sodium or low-carb diets to maintain their health. During the holidays, it can be difficult to find healthy food options. If you’re planning on attending family functions, make sure the hosts are aware of your specific dietary requirements so they can have healthy food options available. In situations when that’s not possible, prepare a few healthy snacks in advance to take with you.
Take a Walk after Heavy Meals
It’s important to get as much exercise in as possible, especially during the holidays when stress levels are higher and people are more likely to overindulge in delicious food. Going for a short walk is a great way to burn off some of the excess calories and maintain a healthy routine amidst all of the chaos. It’s also a great destressing method and can help you clear your mind if you start to get too overwhelmed by all of the action.
Stay Well Hydrated
Hydration is a benchmark of excellent health, regardless of age. But it’s especially important for seniors to prevent dehydration. Staying hydrated during the holidays aids with digestion, kidney functions, balancing electrolytes, delivering nutrients to vital organs, skin health, and so much more. It can also help prevent headaches, overeating, and hangovers. Make sure to always have at least one full glass of water available at all times. Drinking one glass of water for every glass of alcohol can help prevent hangovers the next day.
Drink Alcohol in Moderation
It’s one thing to have a few glasses of champagne or wine for toasting or with dinner. After all, the holidays are supposed to be a time of celebration and merriment. But try to keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum. Seniors who are taking certain daily medications should be especially mindful of how much alcohol they’re allowed to safely consume, if any at all. Alcohol can have adverse interactions with certain medications, so be sure to read the labels carefully and refrain from drinking altogether, especially if your doctor strongly advises against it.
Take a Break from Socializing from Time to Time
After the past few years we’ve all had, you’d assume that most people wouldn’t be able to get enough of the social scene. But sometimes, too much socializing all at once can be overwhelming to the senses. Every once in a while, you might need to take a break to regroup and catch your breath. If you’ve been at a crowded indoor party for too long, stepping outside for some fresh air can be very refreshing. It gives you time to absorb everything that’s going on, collect your thoughts, and clear your head. Social gatherings can sometimes be exhausting for seniors and it’s important to take a little bit of a mental and physical break every so often, especially if you’re not used to being around large groups of people all at once.
Reach Out for Support
The holidays aren’t always a joyful time for everyone. Aside from the usual stress of gift shopping and preparing lavish meals, some families deal with a lot of emotional trauma and pain during this time, especially if they recently lost loved ones. Grief can make people feel even more isolated from the rest of the world. If this is something you’re currently going through, it’s important to know that you’re not alone and help is available. Reaching out to a support group or network is vital to help you overcome any grief or negative emotions you may be experiencing at this time.
Exercise is extremely beneficial for both the mind and body. It also happens to be an excellent stress reliever. Even something as simple as doing a few daily stretches such as yoga, tai chi, or going for a brisk walk every day can help you stay mentally sharp and physically limber.
Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Good quality sleep is essential to maintaining your vitality and good health. Although the holidays can derail your regular routine, it’s important to try to go to bed at the same time every single night and get at least seven to nine hours of sleep regularly. Sleep can impact a number of aspects of your physical and mental health—too many to name them all here.
Wash Your Hands Regularly
The pandemic is far from over. Considering how many people you’re likely to come into contact with during the holiday season, it’s important to maintain strict hand washing and sanitizing habits to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and its many variants. After all, you can’t be too careful.
Have a Very V!VA Christmas!
When it comes to retirement living in Mississauga, V!VA Retirement Communities is committed to doing everything in our power to maintain the health and well-being of our distinguished Community Members. Our motto is simple: make today great. By offering fun senior activities, social events, and delicious healthy meals prepared by world-class chefs, we can help improve the quality of life of each and every senior living in one of our retirement homes in Mississauga. Contact us today to book a tour!