‘Tis the season of indulgences, a time when we help ourselves to an extra serving of our favorite dish and wear out our credit cards on gifts for the ones we love. The holidays are our favorite time of year—so why are we so stressed out? In the new year, learn how to stop the frenzy by keeping your wallet (and your waist size) in check—a healthy balance of “Cents & Sensibility.”
Be a Savvy Shopper and a Super Saver
According to the American Psychological Association, 73% of Americans name money as the top reason for stress. Holiday shopping can be especially tense, but with a little shopping savvy, you can spread holiday cheer on any budget. While the holidays aren’t quite over yet, use the following tips now and in the new year:
- Set a budget (and stick to it). While holiday shopping may have put a dent in your wallet, use the new year to set a resolution to understand where your money is going each month. This will help you reach all of your other financial resolutions, too.
- Shop smart. Last-minute holiday shopping can put a strain on your body and your bank account.
- Compare prices. Remember: meaningful gifts matter most, even small ones.
- Plan ahead. Holiday items are typically reduced up to 50% right after the season. Shop now and take the worry out of next year’s decorations. Less stress, more savings!
- Pay student loans, if you have them.
- It can take time, but know (and build) your credit score.
Healthy Holiday Eating
From cocktails to appetizers, work parties to family dinners, it’s easy to overindulge throughout the holidays. But you don’t have to avoid the fun to stay healthy; try these simple nutrition tips on for size:
- Substitute fat for flavor. In charge of preparing the New Year’s Day meal this year? You can make your favorite holiday dishes healthier by substituting just a few ingredients: the U.S. Department of Health and Human Sciences recommends switching whole milk with low-fat when possible, or replacing oil with applesauce when making cookies.
- Drink wisely. While it’s okay to raise a glass for the next toast, don’t forget that beverages have calories, too! Eggnog, hot chocolate, cocktails and other delicious drinks can add up quickly.
Work it Out
While most Americans think they gain five to ten pounds throughout the holiday season, a National Institutes of Health study revealed that most people typically only gain one pound in the six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. The hard part is that sometimes, our holiday habits don’t end with the New Year, which can lead to tipping the scales.
Talk to Your Doctor
Talk with your doctor about your new year’s resolutions. They can point you in the right direction if extra help is necessary. To schedule an appointment, please call 888-452-IRMC (4762).