The holidays can be hard. Although they are a time for family, friends and lots of festive activities, for some they can bring on feelings of stress and anxiety. Around this time of year, I often have many of my clients coming to me and asking how they can stay on track and feel their best during the holiday season.
After working hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle, many worry the season will derail their progress. Inside today’s blog, I break down my top tricks to unwind, enjoy and maintain a healthy lifestyle over the holidays.
I believe in balance and that you should never feel as though you have to deprive yourself. So sit back, grab a cup of hot coffee and let me share my spin on helping you keep your holidays healthy and happy while still enjoying all your favourite holiday traditions.
Focus on Fun Fuelling
Instead of putting all your energy into focusing on what you should and shouldn’t be eating and labeling foods as “good” and “bad” give yourself a break. Start to reframe your mind around food. Unless it has actually gone bad aka. expired, let yourself enjoy all that Christmas offers!
The holidays only come around once a year and are a time to immerse yourself in whatever makes you happy: those amazing conversations, friends, down-time or a bit of everything. Your body is not going to suffer if you choose to spend this time enjoying yourself and indulging here and there — life is meant to be lived!
Think of food as the fuel that keeps you going throughout the holidays, while you may enjoy some goodies here and there for the remainder of the time, think about fueling up on food that will help give you that energy you need to keep up with all the festivities. Also remember that this time of year can be especially stressful, more so if you are perimenopause, and focusing on proper nutrition and regular mealtimes can help you to manage your stress.
Think about incorporating foods like:
- Dried fruits and nuts
- Quality meat sources
- Fresh fruit and veg
Consider taking a vitamin D supplement, few foods naturally contain vitamin D, some are fortified with it, however, taking it as a supplement is generally the easiest for most people. Vitamin D is beneficial to your skin, bones, immune system, and overall mood. As our bodies naturally produce vitamin D from the sunlight during the long winter months, when there’s less sunlight and shorter days we tend to see many people lacking this vitamin.
Make Movement Enjoyable
Don’t force yourself to get up and get a big workout in because you feel like you have to. Let your body enjoy the slower time, rest if it needs to and focus on doing movement that is enjoyable to you.
Christmas walks with your family admiring the lights
Grab a flask and make a picnic and head out on a wood walk
Have some fun and challenge your family with some active Nintendo Wii games
Keep that winder dip in the schedule
Getting movement into your day does not have to look like an hour at the gym. It can look different for everyone, focus on what brings you joy.
Make Mental Health a Priority
The holidays are a stressful time of year for many. Make sure you aren’t neglecting your mental health during the holiday season. It’s crucial at this time of year to make sure you are focusing your attention inwards as much as possible. Take the time to focus on what makes you feel good.
We often think we can fit a lot more into our day than we actually can during busy holiday seasons. Before you go ahead and commit to all the plans, sit back and realize what you want to do vs what you can actually do. The last thing you want is to feel completely overrun by events you truly don’t feel up to.
Let yourself rest. Resting over the holidays is key to ensuring you feel your best. While we have many commitments and lots of festive events to attend, our brains often need a bit more rest to feel 100%. Taking the extra time for a couple more hours of zzz’s in the morning could be one of the most productive things you can do.
Finally, in a world where we are always connected, whether that be by phone, email or instant messaging, take some time away to disconnect from your many devices and enjoy the moment. Enjoy the company you have, the moment of solitude or some time spent watching your favourite tv show. Our devices take up so much of our time and we often forget how amazing a moment truly is.
Yes, living a healthy lifestyle is important. But, that doesn’t mean that every single day will feel easy or be your best, and that’s okay. In between your goals, there is life, family gatherings, cocktails with friends and holidays that are meant to be enjoyed. In other words, a healthy lifestyle is about balance and enjoying your life to the fullest, and sometimes that means, eating the extra brownie, enjoying that cocktail or simply lounging in your Pjs all day.
Merry Christmas friends & happy holidays!