With the holiday season officially upon us, this is just a friendly reminder to seek balance over the next few weeks during a time of year when your nutrition and exercise can easily get off-track. While most of us look forward to this special time of year, busy schedules, family obligations, holiday parties, or travel plans can sometimes get in the way of us maintaining our normal sleeping patterns and healthy eating and exercise routines. Sure, this is a time of year intended for friends and family to gather and celebrate but it can also sometimes bring about feelings of stress or anxiety as our calendars begin to fill up and we get caught up in the holiday frenzy of adding more activities and commitments to our already full plates.
You don’t have to say “yes” to every social gathering and now especially, it’s important to remember that adequate rest, relaxation, and self-care strategies are essential components of your balanced weekly practice. In the midst of all the holiday hustle and bustle, make your personal health and well-being a priority. As we round out 2017 over the next few weeks, work on finding more balance in your life and making the commitment to taking care of yourself first.
Eat Real Food. Over the next few months, shift your focus towards eating nutrient-dense whole foods like fresh vegetables, lean protein, nuts, seeds, beans, fruit, and whole grains 80% of the time. This will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to process those over indulgences you might enjoy over the holiday season.
Stay Active. Find consistency in your exercise routine and schedule your workouts ahead whenever you can but forget the “all-or-nothing” approach. In case you can’t make it to your normally scheduled workouts, take the option to be active whenever possible — invite your out-of-town guests for a hike, take a walk or a jog at your lunch break, choose the stairs over the elevator, or just do a few sets of squats and push-ups in your hotel room which can be just enough to boost your mood and keep you in shape even when you can’t hit the gym.
Make sleep a priority and work towards 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Besides getting enough sleep, make sure to carve out some much needed “ME” time! Find ways to de-stress whether it’s scheduling a massage, taking a few minutes each day in solitude to reflect, meditate, journal, or read, or tap in to your creative side with a DIY project or hobby.
Be present with the people you love and foster those relationships that matter to you most. You don’t have to say “yes” to every party, social gathering, or holiday event but you should make time for those people that positively support and influence you. Respect their time, limit distractions, and tune-in to make the most of the time you have together.
This year, give yourself permission to set boundaries and say “no” once in a while. Practice daily habits that foster health and happiness in your own life so you are healthy, vibrant, and better able to give your time and energy to those you love!