It’s that time of year. Despite the pandemic, there are some things that are “normal” as we venture through the holiday season. We feel a sense of celebration, excitement, and, yes, even stress. Part of that stress results from our thoughts (and worries) about how much to indulge, how to deal with it when you do, and consider if it is possible to have a wellness-centric lifestyle and enjoy the holidays?
See my quick tips below for ways to make this season work in your (wellnesses) favor.
1. Develop a “Positivity Plan” and WRITE IT DOWN.
If you want to aim for five days with no alcohol, or no dessert, or whatever your “celebratory” splurge may be, plan what you will do.
It can be to move every hour, eat five fruits and veggies daily, get your sleep, breath consciously, whatever your goals. Now is not the time to let them go by the wayside. Now is the time when those habits will help you muscle through this season better than ever.
Plan it. Not what you won’t do. The mind being told to “deprive” simply is a bad idea and goes into “deprivation” mode. Has it worked for you in the past to think about what you will deprive yourself of this time of the year? Probably not.
Write down what you will do, when you will do it, and how you will do it instead of calorie counting and over-cardioing right now, which is a negative approach.
It all starts with you telling your brain – “this is my plan for the week.” When you write it down (bonus: say it aloud to another person), the brain thinks you are actually already doing it. Map it out on a calendar.
Instead of the self-talk of “I can’t (avoid) (stop eating) fill in the blank. You know what your “go-to” negative talk is – a glass of wine, sugary foods, binge-watching _____.” Change the self-talk to “I have a plan for what I am going to do.” You can write it on a piece of paper or even the notes section of your phone.
It would look something like this:
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2. Get Your Sleep
I cannot emphasize this enough: Your sleep is directly related to your cravings, your ability to stay on your wellness “course,” and really your happiness. It is so stinking aligned. Get sleep and you are more likely to choose sleep over another episode of (fill in the blank) or that walk to the kitchen for a sugary whatever.
We crave more, our ability to feel full is decreased, our immune systems become compromised, and we become carbohydrate dependent if we lack that seven to seven and a half hours of sleep.
3. Move Every Day
We sit a lot. Compare your sitting hours to your moving hours. Then look at your goals. How can you achieve them if you sit more than you move? If you want to achieve a wellness and a fitness lifestyle, sit less and move more – especially now through the holidays.
If you are unable to get a full workout in, below are a few examples of ways you can move throughout the day:
Five push-ups on the kitchen sink every day at 10am.
A thirty-second plank before you shower.
Pick up a bag of soil and carry it around your yard, condo, apartment parking lot.
Park at the furthest parking space you can find.
Carry your grocery bags and avoid the cart to car trip.
Stand up every thirty minutes for a quick glut squeeze and posture check-in.
Check in with your breathing – make sure you are! – every fifteen minutes.
Walk to the end of the driveway every thirty minutes.
Get up and down from the floor ten times every two hours.
A little throughout the day is just as important as your hour-long preferred exercise!
4. Plan and Cook Your Own Meals
Planning your meals is the key to your food success. It is well worth the investment of time, even when you insist you “have no time.” If your wellness is a priority, you will plan your meals. How you fuel yourself, especially now, is crucial.
The old days of depriving yourself so you can splurge shall come to a shrieking halt. The new days of taking the time to prepare beautiful nutrient-rich meals will make you less hungry, cranky, and ready to enjoy much more than the food and drink – and more the company of friends and family this holiday season.
Meals don’t have to be complicated. A bit of prep a few nights a week after work can go a long way to helping you fuel yourself with nutrient-rich foods.
5. Choose Splurges Wisely
While you intuitively know splurging is not great for your body, choose those where you get the most bang for the buck.
These are the questions I ask myself when I want something I know will be a detriment to my next day, my training session, my mood around my kids and husband:
Is it really worth it or are you just craving?
Can a walk around the block fix the craving?
Did I train that day?
Am I eating to “reward” myself for my “tough” day?
I normally now decide it is not worth it and I breathe. If it’s See’s Candies licorice, well, that is a different story! 😉
I know so many of these factors seem super challenging right now. Everyone is working harder and longer and feeling massive COVID and Zoom fatigue. I believe you have it in you to celebrate the holidays this year abundantly grateful, focused on your holistic wellness, and in January, look back at the holidays as a huge step toward your wellness for 2021.