I don’t know about you but for me the holiday season is always a mixed bag. I do enjoy a lot about this time of year. I enjoy connecting with people I love. I enjoy spending quality time with my amazing daughters and wife Heather. And, I have to admit, I enjoy a lot of the corny movies, television shows and the music that comes out only once a year.
That said, many of us experience a lot of stress over the holiday season. Between all the expectations, holiday parties and the endless supply of cookies and snacks, our health can take a real hit. So, here are my tips for staying healthy this holiday season.
First, be empowered by how you eat. We tend to mindlessly eat all those cookies and snacks available at holiday parties, and there are a lot of parties. Focus on how good you feel when you eat well.
* Stock up at home with plenty of fresh produce and whole food options. You can’t eat junk if it’s not available!
* Before you attend a party, drink three glasses of water and eat something healthy so you aren’t so tempted to devour a plate of cookies.
* When you do tuck into one of those delicious looking cookies or snacks begin by taking two or three bites. If you don’t love it stop eating; if you do love it then savor it. Honestly, how often do we eat just because it’s there? Eat and enjoy the food you love and pass on the rest.
* Try baking sugar free (no I’m not kidding). There are actually quite a lot of delicious desserts that use natural sweeteners. Try Carrie on Living for tons of great recipes.
Second, slow down and enjoy life. Nobody said you have to attend every party you are invited to. Give yourself permission to say no in order to take care of yourself and do something you love.
* Schedule at least one day of self care - go to a yoga class, get a massage or just make time to read a book. At our house we will schedule down time so everyone can just relax (schedule means literally put it on your calendar).
* Do some low intensity exercise every day. For example, a short, slow walk will help keep you calm and centered.
* Breath! Breath in, breath out and repeat. It is impossible to feel stress when you relax and focus on your breath.
Third, connect with family and friends you love and want to spend time with. There is a lot of obligation over the holidays. Focus on people who support you and find time to connect even if you skip another event.
Remember, the things we accumulate over the holidays will never be as important as the people we love. Make this holiday season about strengthening these relationships and taking care of your own health.
How do you plan to care for yourself this this holiday season? I'd love to hear from you!
I would love to take an hour to talk to you about your health. Contact me today for a free, no pressure consultation!
I wish everyone a happy and peaceful holiday season!