Solon: Managing the holidays

Pio Solon

AS I’m writing this article, I’m feeling my immune system getting compromised. I blame myself for over-indulging with the holiday eating. I hope you all do not feel the same. This season, I’ve tried my best to emphasize getting in as much exercise and sleep as I can. Most of the work I do happen early in the morning. The traffic and getting home late eat up time from my beauty sleep. It isn’t only the food that’s causing me physiological stress, I also think it’s the toll of the holiday traffic and the crazier driving behaviors that’s causing stress. We need to get from one place to another, and sadly during this time of the year (I reckon until Sinulog) the same distances take at least 70 percent more time to traverse and perhaps, a few ugly words directed at other drivers to get to our destination.

Here’s a simple plan on how to help manage the holi-daze:

Choose to eat healthy when you can

In our culture, it’s considered offensive if we do not “partake” of what is offered. And if you’re like me, I really love Christmas offerings. Lechon as a staple and kaldereta makes my day. We try to offset this by ensuring our other meals are not as “pleasurable” to the soul. For example, enjoy the buffet dinner party tonight, and have papaya for breakfast, egg and kimchi for lunch. See what I mean? Using this strategy, I can control my calories so I can indulge more for dinner.

Make time to exercise

Exercise is a good outlet to help cope with holiday stress. I try to get as much movement in. Sometimes, it’s as little as 20 minutes of movement and sometimes, I can put in a more decent training session. If it’s an extra crazy day, I go for a walk. It all depends on what the day gives us. The more compliant people will allocate training time in their day, but more often than not this can be an ideal rather than a reality for most.

Sleep well

We are really learning now that sleep is one of the foundations for good health. The late parties may take a toll on our health and sleeping patterns. If you’ve been following this column, sleep affects our appetite, immune system, stress, and even how we gain fat. I’ve found that putting in power naps often help offset the sleep deficit from the late parties.

After this Christmas season, it will be time to make our New Year’s Resolutions (or the resolutions from last year that were never really resolved) for our health and dare I say, weight. We will get to that next week.