The best time of the year for some, the holiday season can also be an extremely stressful time of the year. Navigating an abundance of invitations, expectations, and indulgent temptations can reverse healthy habits you’ve worked hard to build all year long. How can you navigate the holidays and retain your health and your sanity? Plan ahead, enforce personal boundaries and focus on meaningful activities.
Maintaining your fitness and exercise goals during the holidays may seem impossible, but adopting a strategy of moderation can minimize the damage and steer you into the new year guilt-free.
Eat a serving of protein and drink a full glass of water before a party and take small portions of your favorite indulgences only. Offer to bring a dish to the family dinner; this ensures you will have a delicious meal that meets your health goals and your hostess will appreciate the help. Fizzy, fruity alcoholic drinks may dance like Sugar Plum Fairies before your eyes, but they will hinder your health goals. Choose your favorite beverage and sip slowly, savoring it fully. Keeping regular sleep patterns will help your body maintain a healthy weight; since excessive alcohol and food disrupt your sleep patterns, stop eating and drinking several hours before bed. The energy boost will power you through your long to-do list.
Resist the urge to abandon your exercise routine and keep moving. Reduce the number and duration of workouts as necessary, but don’t eliminate them. Daily exercise benefits your body and your mind.
Seasonal sanity can be more challenging than weight maintenance. Keep the crazy at bay by limiting your calendar to essential events; say no to the others. Fight seasonal blues with nostalgic music that connects you to fond childhood memories. Music boosts your mood, increases positivity, and can reduce pain and anxiety.
Take time for yourself. The holiday season has a way of sucking every spare minute of time and then some. Carve out time to soak in a tub, meditate, read a book, or anything else that relaxes you. As little as 15 minutes can calm your nerves and clear your mind.
You can enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season by focusing on people over food, experiences over gifts, and relationships over status.