Holidays: fun and festive but also busy and (let’s face it) stressful, which can cause even the most diligent to fall off the wagon. The good news is that with the right preparation, staying healthy this holiday season is not only possible, it’s downright easy.
1. Adult Time Out
The holiday season can be overwhelming, so staying centered is key. Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed by my to-do list, I take an “adult time out.” What used to be a punishment as a kid, is now my reward as an adult! I’ve found that when I take just five minutes mid-day to mediate, it gets me out of my head and connected to my true intention. Meditation has been shown to increase positivity, lower anxiety, and increase compassion towards others; something we all need at times! Since I actually kinda suck at traditional meditation, I found relaxing music that I can listen to, so that my mind doesn’t become distracted – silence just doesn’t work for me! Another great hack: with every breath I take (every move I make, haha, sorry) I try to imagine that my breath is actually recharging my internal battery. Everyone hates being on zero percent battery!
2. Food is FUEL
During the holiday season, it’s super easy to work through your lunch break since you know you might be enjoying a holiday dinner in the evening – but please don’t do this! It will cause you to overeat all the wrong things at the wrong times. Instead, imagine yourself as a “Holiday Marathoner” and use food throughout the day as fuel to keep your endurance through the season. This will help to maintain your weight and keep your mood boosted. Also – PLEASE resist the urge to crash diet before a big holiday party. This will cause your blood sugar to plummet; leading to headaches, fatigue, and a real short fuse (not cool). Instead, plan ahead by loading up on foods that are high in lean proteins and antioxidants. If you’re craving something sweet, skip the office sugar cookie crack and reach for some dark chocolate which will give you a kick, without a crash.
3. Bust a Move.
Before hitting the party circuit in the evening, stay committed to your daily dose of sweat. Not only will this help you stay in shape (even with a daily holiday party splurge) but fitness classes also can make you feel less isolated – you are not alone in your holiday crazy-making! Classes that incorporate dance have been shown to improve your brain function so you won’t get lost in a snowglobe of brain fog. Lastly, daily workouts keep your endorphin levels up so that stress and anxiety don’t get the best of you.
4. Be the Life of the Party – Within Reason.
Holiday party nights can feel great, but the morning after is the real kicker. Let’s be real, you’re likely going drink a bit more during the week at this time of year than you usually do – so stay hydrated! Stick to the one-to-one strategy of a glass of water following every alcoholic beverage. This will avoid any major morning after headaches. Also, steer clear of additional glasses of super sugary drinks like eggnog or mulled wines. Instead opt for an equally festive, but lower cal, cocktail. My seasonal favorite is a vodka soda, with a lime wedge and a splash of pomegranate or cranberry juice for festive feel.
5. Most Importantly. BE KIND TO YOURSELF.
The thing is, most of us will inevitably drink and eat more this month than we usually would. But realistically, it’s not going to kill your fitness routine as long as you don’t abandon it completely! Be mindful, do what you can do, and cut yourself some slack. It’s the holidays after all! Eat, drink, be merry, and just Keep Moving!