The holidays can be one of the most special times, filled with connection, delicious food that reminds you of childhood, and your ability to slow down with work. However, at the same time, I think we can all agree that the holidays aren’t always sunshine and rainbows (in fact, it’s the opposite of sunshine with this 4:30pm sunset).
But why? The holidays change your routine, which may throw a wrench in the habits you’ve been working hard to build for your health, such as proper sleep, balanced meals and snacks, daily walks and more. This may lead to self guilt when you’re feeling disappointed in your changed routine. We have something to help!
Keep reading for 4 tips on how to navigate your health over the holidays.
#1 Make time for movement.
By now, you likely know that exercise has more benefits than just on your physical health. Exercising regularly can reduce stress by making your brain’s “fight or flight” system less reactive, improving your mood and brain function. Read more about 3 Surprising Benefits of Training here!
TIP: Have someone or something hold yourself accountable during the holidays. Your schedule is busy enough, let someone else take on the planning and prepping aspect and all you have to do is show up! This could look like hiring a personal trainer, joining a small group program, or participating in an online workout program! Also, movement goes beyond your workouts. Ask a family member to be your walking accountability partner over the holidays: it’s a great time to connect and improve your movement, double whammy!
#2 Eat foods that make you feel good!
A big part of the holidays can involve connecting with others around food. These moments are meant to be enjoyed however, it’s understandable if after 5 social gatherings in a row, your body starts to crave food from your “regular” routine.
TIP: Make time to prioritize foods that you know will make you feel good in conjunction with celebratory meals and food items. This could look like eating breakfast and lunch from your regular routine, then enjoying a big family dinner the same day! This will help you feel balanced over the holidays.
Are you feeling guilty around the foods you are eating outside of your “regular” routine? Read more about How To Navigate Food Guilt here!
#3 Check in on your mental health.
Do you find yourself feeling stressed/anxious/tired/overwhelmed over the holidays? That’s totally normal! The holidays can be a busy time, which can make you feel any or all of those ways.
TIP: Make a list of things that you know make you feel calm, balanced and your best self. Make a date with yourself and schedule a few of those things into your week, so that you have a planned time to connect with yourself and make sure you are feeling the way you want to feel.
#4 Prioritize sleep.
If you can prioritize one thing, it’s your sleep! Consistently getting enough hours of sleep has profound effects on your emotional and mental health. It also has a domino effect on your nutrition and movement! Sufficient sleep, especially REM sleep, facilitates the brain’s processing of emotional information. A lack of sleep can impact our positive emotional content, memory, mood, cravings and more.
TIP: Read more about 10 Tips for Better Sleep so you can feel your best over the holidays.
I hope you’ve found those tips helpful! If you have any questions or want to talk more about how you can better navigate your health over the holidays, feel welcomed to reach out to me (Joe) on IG at @joelledellerede or email firstname.lastname@example.org. I am always here to support you!
YOU’VE GOT THIS!
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