It’s that time of year! You're on holiday, enjoying the festivities, spending time with loved ones, attending parties, eating delicious foods and drinking themed cocktails. This is also a time for high stress and intense schedules that could derail any healthy eating and exercise routine you had. It is so easy to kick healthy habits to the curb and swap for an “all or nothing” thinking pattern. Instead of letting it all go by the wayside, here’s some tips to help survive December so you feel refreshed and ready to take on the new year.
1.) Meal Planning: Sit down and write out your meal schedule ahead of time. Include fresh fruits & veggies in addition to your seasonal favorites. Swap out heavy casseroles for lean proteins and whole grains. When you have a written commitment, you’re less likely to eat something you’d rather not when planning in advance.
2.) Stay Hydrated: Aim to stay well hydrated. Carry a water bottle with you. Sometimes thirst can be mistaken for hunger and we find ourselves reaching for snacks.
3.) Practice Moderation: Who said you couldn’t enjoy a holiday treat? But do so in moderation and with conscious awareness. Eat slowly and mindfully. Savor the taste. This will allow you to pay attention to when you are full so you can avoid mindless snacking during that holiday movie.
4.) Incorporate Physical Activity: When planning time with family and friends, choose something active, like walking around downtown, on the beach, or playing a backyard game, instead of only food-related activities.
5.) Schedule Exercise: Mark it on your calendar and hold yourself accountable. Short on time? Turn on the radio and dance for 10 minutes.
6.) Limit alcohol beverages: If you choose to drink, do so in moderation. Alternate alcoholic beverages with water or swap it out for a delicious mocktail. You’ll avoid the hangover the next day and wake up ready for the next holiday even
7.) Prioritize Sleep: It’s so easy to stay up late in order to get all the things done on your list, make cookies and wrap presents, etc. But, if you keep swapping Zzz’s out for your to-do list, you won’t show up as the best version of yourself to these holiday parties. Ask yourself, what do I need to prioritize and what can wait. Or, even better. Do I even need to do this at all?
8.) Practice self compassion. If you slip up, don’t beat yourself up, it's about survival not perfection.
Action Item: Grab a Journal & Set realistic expectations. Ask yourself: What do I want this next month to look like? What can I handle?