Navigating the Holidays : How to Maintain your Healthy Lifestyle during the Holiday Season
You work hard all year to maintain your healthy lifestyle. Morning meditations, healthy snacks, and daily movement has all become your new norm, but what happens when the holiday season rolls around? Don’t let the holidays derail your health and wellness routine this year. Instead, navigate the holidays with ease and maintain your healthy lifestyle with these five tips.
The holidays can be stressful, so make sure you get plenty of rest. Ample amounts of sleep and relaxation will help keep your immune system strong. Having trouble relaxing? Try meditation, light stretching, simple yoga poses, herbal tea, or snuggle up with a good book. Take time for yourself during the holidays and don’t feel obligated to say yes to everything or everyone. Choose the activities that truly bring you joy like watching a classic Christmas movie with your family or catching up with your friends over hot cocoa.
Between holiday shopping, cocktail parties, and late night gift wrapping, it’s easy to ignore healthy meal options and order takeout, but don’t let the hustle and the bustle of the holidays keep you from properly fueling your body. Stock up on healthy snacks like apple slices and nut butter, granola, or chopped vegetables and homemade guacamole. Keep your fridge stocked or place your favorites in a small cooler in your car so you are never left empty handed and hangry.
Skipping your daily sweat sessions at the gym can happen during the holidays, but there are other ways to work out. Take a long walk and enjoy the Christmas lights around your neighborhood, shovel snow from the driveway, or grab your pup for a game of frisbee at the local dog park. Even though the days are shorter, don’t let that stop you from moving your body and staying active. Aim for at least 30 minutes of movement every day and if you can, get outside for some fresh air, but be sure to bundle up in layers!
Many of us associate the holidays with our favorite comfort foods, but unfortunately, many of these foods are packed with sugar and other processed ingredients. It’s okay to indulge in holiday treats, but remember to listen to your body and only eat and drink what you will truly enjoy. Science has proven we get the most satisfaction from the first 2-3 bites of a sweet or savory dish, so help yourself to small portions. If you get the urge to overindulge, ask yourself if you really want seconds. If you do, go for it and enjoy every last bite guilt free, but you may be surprised how satisfied you feel with just those few first bites!
Many people, ourselves included, can easily get caught up in the holiday hype, but remember to take a deep breath (or two) and enjoy the present moment. The holidays only come around once a year and they are meant to be enjoyed, not spent stressed, frazzled, and counting down the days until January 2nd. Be present and embrace each and every moment of the holiday season because it truly is the most wonderful time of the year!