Simple Health Blog

Picnics, Reunions, and Parties… Oh My!

(Following social distancing guidelines)

11 Ways to Stay Healthy and Happy During Upcoming Events

August is in full swing, the grills are warming up, and folks are on their way to gatherings with friends and families.  While all this is a traditional part of summer, it is also easy to lose your way with all the offerings of tasty food and drinks.  It can also mean time spent with people you may have had conflicts with in the past, and may lead to anxiety about how things will go.  Relax, because there are lots of things you can do to stay strong with your health goals and to maintain serenity around others.

To help navigate all of the different food and drink options, consider the following five tips:

  • Have a high protein snack before you go. This will give you energy and keep you feeling full so you don’t dive right in to the first bowl of chips when you arrive.
  • Bring a veggie tray to share with a healthy dip to ensure there is at least one thing there not loaded down with calories and fat.
  • Eat salads and other veggies first. This will help fill you up, so if you go for round two you are less likely to fill your plate.
  • Choose grilled chicken or seafood for your main protein. These have less fat than other meats.
  • Limit your consumption of alcohol. This will help keep your sugar intake down, and will allow you to stay focused.  Offer to be the designated driver if need be to make sure everyone gets home safely.

If you will be seeing people you don’t normally socialize with or have had difficulties with in the past, here are some ideas to help keep yourself centered:

  • When you arrive, be pleasant but make your initial connections with the people you want to spend time with.
  • Don’t have expectations about how things will go. Be open to how things play out, and try to go with the flow.
  • If you find yourself sitting next to someone you don’t especially enjoy, ask them questions about themselves. Allow them to feel in control of the conversation for a bit, and then feel free to get up and socialize with others.
  • Remember that past disagreements are in the past. Family members in particular have a way of triggering emotions.  Try to stay in the present and appreciate the chance to connect, rather than dwelling on things that have gone before.  If it feels like someone is trying to engage you in an uncomfortable conversation, excuse yourself and connect with somebody else.
  • Enjoy yourself! You don’t have to talk to every person there.  Choose the people who feel right to you and stay clear of those who don’t.
  • Remember that you don’t have to stay until the very end. You can choose to leave whenever you want, and sometimes it is better to leave while you are still feeling good, rather than staying late and ending up feeling drained.

Summer is a time to celebrate the beautiful weather, enjoy being outside, and to connect

with friends and family.  In a perfect world, all of the gatherings you attend will be filled with your favorite people and healthy food options.  But in reality, as long as you go into a situation without expectations and with an open mind, as well as with the tools you need to keep yourself healthy and calm, you can handle anything.  Keep up the good work and enjoy yourself.  Summer won’t last much longer!  Time flies when you are health and having fun….

Next time we will give you some ideas to stay cool during the upcoming dog days of summer.

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