It is hard to believe that tomorrow is already Thanksgiving, with Christmas and the end of the year just around the corner. After speaking with some of the people in the November fitness challenge as well as some messages I have been sent over the past few weeks, I have noticed a trend…while staying healthy is a conscious goal everyone has, some are aware they want to stick with it, and others are spending time stressing over what happens if they don’t stick to it. I decided I would put together this little short and sweet list of my top holiday health tips for you to refer to this holiday season!
- Enjoy yourself – The first thing you must do is simply enjoy yourself. I am NOT talking about eating right here, I am talking about mindfulness. The holidays can be a stressful time, or they can be a fun positive time. Adjusting your mindset and knowing that you are going to enjoy the company you are with, enjoy every holiday movie, every holiday meal, every family tradition will go a long way.
- Enjoy have to mean doesn’t mean overindulge – there is a divide here when it comes to enjoying food for the holidays. There are some that will worry about the damage they can do eating everything in sight this season, and there are others who just say screw it! Give me the whole pie we are celebrating right?! Enjoying yourself during the holidays does not mean that you have to overeat, and it does not mean that you have to feel guilty because you want two slices of the pumpkin pie your grandma makes only once a year. In the grand scheme of life, keep in mind that Thanksgiving and Christmas are single days out of the year. This simply means that if you are eating a well balanced healthy diet 363 days of the year these two days that you eat a little extra are not going to derail you. Be mindful when you are eating, make sure you are actually hungry, not bored or thirsty first, and if you are hungry grab more. If you want to taste something but you aren’t really hungry grab a small spoon and have just a bite then have the rest later (hello leftovers!)
- Don’t focus on food. It is so easy this time of year to get fixated on all of the sweets and treats around (looking at you peppermint bark…) instead of focusing on things you can or can’t have, try to shift the focus on setting up a new active tradition. Maybe this means something as simple as a family walk around the block after your main meal. This could even mean a more planned event that everyone gets together and plays a board game, plays a game of touch football, or volunteer for a local charity together. Doing something together that is not food focused will allow you to enjoy the time you have with your loved ones, and not feel the need to continue to eat out of convenience.
- Catch up on sleep – some do not have the opportunity to have holiday time off, but for those who do, take this time to rest and recover. If you are fortunate enough to have a few days off during the holidays, spend some time relaxing and unwinding. This can boost your immune system, give you more energy and will recharge you for when you do have to return to work. If you work really hard day in and day out, you have every right to take a day to fill with what makes you happy, even if that means an extra hour in bed in the morning, listen to what your body needs and rest.
Bottom Line – Holidays should be a happy time that you enjoy. Not a time you should be stressing about what you should or should not eat. Enjoy yourself on the holidays, and the next day get right back into your normal eating routine and you will not have a problem. Enjoy your food, enjoy your company and remember that wellness is for life, it is not a quick fix and you are always going to learn new things.
Do you have any holiday health tips? Leave them in the comments I would love to hear your tips and tricks for staying healthy during the holidays.
Until next time, stay well and be kind.