You know, some things are just plain weird to me. It’s particularly weird how we treat the holiday season as some panic-inducing few weeks where we must stick to a regimented healthy holiday exercise routine and restrict our food intake so we can “safely indulge” at parties.
Sorry, but that’s not even close to what the holidays are about.
Yes, the holidays are a time where we relax more than usual and enjoy delectable treats and multi-course meals, but the holiday season is ultimately about connecting with our loved ones, spreading kindness and cheer, and reflecting on the deeper meanings of life and faith.
With all that said, I’m not going to tell you how you should plan your holiday to “avoid falling off the wagon” but I thought I’d offer a little advice if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed.
5 Tips For A Truly Healthy Holiday
1. Don’t drastically change your routine
If you already exercise 3-4 days a week, then stick to it. Or plan to exercise only 2-3 days so you can spend a little extra time gathering with friends and shopping for family. Regular exercise helps me keep my anxiety and energy in check, so I understand the need to maintain a routine. But just remember to do what makes you feel best, not what you think you should do because some diet book or fitness personality says so.
2. Allow yourself some downtime
Yes, the holidays are busier (and stressful at times!), but that doesn’t mean you should deny yourself some personal time to reflect on the year, decompress from a full social calendar, or veg out in front of Rudolph or the cast of Love Actually. Giving your time and support to others is so rewarding, but without personal time, your cup will be empty.
3. Remember that a healthy diet is one of moderation
Don’t go out and make yourself physically ill by eating ALL the treats, but do not for one second think it’s ok to deny yourself a slice of pecan pie, a bag of homemade cookies, or an extra cup of hot cocoa simply because you didn’t eat enough vegetables at lunch. Indulging in baked goods and candy is a big part of the holiday for me, and a little extra splurging for a few weeks will not cause you to gain an exorbitant amount of weight. Just be smart—and remember that you deserve good things!
4. Do something for others
I said this last year and never made good on my promise, but I want to give more this year. Whether it’s passing along a $10 gift card to the couple behind me at Starbucks or buying lunch for a homeless man outside of Panera Bread, I want to do more random acts of kindness. Kindness is lost sometimes, and the holidays are a good time to remind others that we’re in this big crazy world together.
5. Remember the “why”
I grew up going to church, so Christmas is about more than Santa Claus, gift-giving, and big family dinners—it’s about celebrating the birth of Baby Jesus. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus 😉 or nothing at all, it’s still important to remember your own “why” at this time of year. Just keep that in mind when the traffic starts to make your anxious or when you forget to bake for the holiday potluck.Follow these 5 tips for a truly healthy #holiday! #sweatpink #TOL #healthupyourholiday Click To Tweet
[linking up for thinking out loud]
So tell me…
- What’s your tip for enjoying the season and overcoming holiday stress?
- What’s your favorite holiday tradition?