We’re right in the middle of the holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. I love this time of the year because I spend time with the people I love and cherish the most. Social gatherings are fun, but they can become overwhelming when added to our already busy schedules. We spread ourselves thin between work, trying to find the right gift for everyone, showing up at every party so no one gets upset with us, planning for the holidays, and keeping up with our everyday responsibilities. Being around family can also be hard at times. Besides, we tend to eat and drink more than usual and we have less time for self-care, making us feel sluggish, tired, anxious, stressed, and guilty.
Here are several tips on how to help you get through this season feeling like a rock star or at least better about yourself.
Keep it balanced: We all indulge around this time of the year; it’s hard not to. The day after a party, keep your meals balanced and nutritious. Eat lots of veggies, cooked, roasted, or raw; pay attention to the portions (eat just enough); and don’t skip meals. Skipping meals sets you up for more bingeing later in the day, and with that, feeling even more guilty. Regular meals will help you keep your belly happy and mind satisfied, and your energy level sustained through the day.
Drink lots of water: Make sure to hydrate after you’ve had alcohol. Drinking water will not only hydrate you but can keep that nasty headache away the next morning. Alcohol is a diuretic; so, besides losingwater, we lose electrolytes. Drinking coconut water is an excellent way to replenish your electrolytes.
Move when you can: it might be hard to keep a regular fitness routine. If you don’t have time to schedule a workout, a session with your trainer or a fitness class, that’s okay. There are other ways to make sure you get enough movement during the day to help you feel better and stronger, clear your mind, and release some stress.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Walk as much as you can
- Walk to get groceries
- Get off the train or bus one stop before your destination (if you live in a city with lots of public transport)
- Park your car a little farther from the store.
My favorite thing to do is to dance around my apartment when I don’t have a lot of time. Do you have children? Even better, dance with them! It will turn into some enjoyable holiday family time!
If you have time to work out, don’t punish yourself. Instead of participating in an intense workout, when you’re already sleep-deprived and stressed, do something more calming to your nervous system. Walking uphill on a treadmill is an excellent way to get your heart rate up and keep it low impact. Fit in as much exercise as you can. You might have to keep your workouts shorter, but that’s okay. Focus on what you can do that will help to bring your best out!
Take deep breaths to cope with stress: When you start feeling anxious or out of control, take a moment and start focusing on your breath. Take deep breaths consciously, inhale and exhale through the nose. Breathe in deeply and fill your belly up, letting it lift away from the spine, expanding the ribcage, and bringing the breath up towards the chest. As you exhale, let the chest drop, ribcage relax and belly rest toward the spine. Repeat this cycle five to 10 times, keeping focused on your breath. It will help you to get out of the monkey mind. We can only focus on one thing at a time, and by focusing on our breath, we break a mind pattern. Repeat this as many times as you need to in the morning, during the day, and before you go to sleep. I know, your breath won’t solve the challenges, but at a less anxious state, you can come up with better solutions for them.
Schedule your sleep: Can you plan to make sure you get six to seven hours of sleep on most nights? I know it isn’t easy, but if you schedule your time to relax, and you make it a priority, you will more likely make it to bed early enough. It will give your body the needed time to recover and restore to be ready to serve you the next day.
Use what you can from these tips to help you through this holiday season!
Do you have other tips that have helped you through the holidays? Please share them with us below.
I wish you cheerful holidays!