We all know how this goes. At the start of the holiday season, our plan for staying on our wellness wagon is to... well, NOT. If there's ever a time that we throw the healthy baby out with the vitamin enhanced water, it's historically been right now. We decide to eat ALL the things ALL the time, ditch the exercise, and allow the stress of the season to get to us, only to land in the same spot every January:
frustrated with ourselves, feeling mentally and physically terrible, and starting from square one again.
I'm here to tell you that you CAN enjoy the holidays AND stay on the wagon! If you do these 3 things, the wellness dread in the New Year won't be there waiting for you.
1) Make a modified holiday exercise plan.
Ok, so maybe setting the expectation for yourself to exercise 5 days a week during the holiday season isn't a realistic goal. No problem! Instead of not exercising at all because your ideal exercise routine isn't happening, make a compromise with yourself. How about exercising 2 days a week instead of 5? Would a 20 minute walk in your neighborhood weekday mornings instead of taking the time to go to the gym feel more manageable? What if you use some of the time the kids are home for the holidays to check out new playgrounds, hiking trails, local parks, etc. with them? The point is that even half as much exercise is WAY better than no exercise.
So, make a modified holiday exercise plan and stick to it!
2) Enjoy holiday food... just not every day.
A major joy of the holiday season is the party food. I would hope that everyone would indulge at least a little bit! The problem is when the holiday food turns into every day food. You know what I mean -- when leftover apple pie becomes breakfast the next day, a store-bought sugar cookie in the big round tin (are those really that good, anyway??) in the office break room is snagged every time you walk by, or the spiked eggnog becomes an after dinner drink every night. Don't turn into the holiday-food-in-the-house police; but to a reasonable extent try to keep the holiday party food at the parties and out of the house, enjoy the heck out of the festive grub at parties, and otherwise eat as you would for any regular, non-holiday day.
I'm a broken record when it comes to harping on sleep, but it's the most important aspect of wellness that will determine whether you keep your s**t together during the holidays (or any days), or crash and burn. Without sufficient sleep you're more likely to reach for the leftover Halloween candy for energy, skip out on your 20 minute morning walk, and feel the energy of the season more as stress than fun. Make sleep a BIG priority... like, always.
There you have it! Totally doable, right? You can have your mulled wine and drink it, too... just not every night.
Life is short - ENJOY the holidays... while staying on the wellness wagon along the way.