The holidays are rapidly approaching, and it’s the time of year when social calendars begin to fill with corporate cocktail parties, family gatherings, and many nights out with friends. It’s often a time when you may be too busy to worry about your health and, like many, make poor decisions regarding your diet and drink choices. But there's hope! Here are five ways you can take advantage of all the fun the season has to offer while still maintaining the healthy balance you can be proud of.
Mindful Eating – Eating mindfully is a practice that allows you to be more in tune with your body as you eat. It uses mindfulness to be aware of your experiences, cravings, and physical feelings when you eat. Mindful eating is eating slowly, choosing nutrient-dense meals, listening to your body for hunger cues, and stopping when you’re full. It’s a great practice to begin during the holidays when you constantly find yourself surrounded by food!
Stay Physically Active – The days may be colder, and you may be busier but staying active is just as important during the fall and winter. Fitting in a workout session can be a little more challenging, but even 30 minutes of activity can do wonders for your health. Try to work out in smaller intervals when you can, and if you can’t make it to the gym, there are a lot of incredible online resources that can guide you through online workouts.
Make Room for Vegetables – During the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, you and everyone around you will want to make the classic delicious comfort foods throughout the season. While you can still enjoy your favorite recipes, including healthy vegetable-based sides and dishes can improve your odds of making healthy choices. Eating vegetables first can be a great way to start a meal to ensure you’re getting enough healthy foods before you dig into the feast.
Sleep, sleep, sleep – Never underestimate the value of a great night’s sleep. It’s hard to maintain a good sleep schedule when the family is in town and every night seems to be another event. But without a good night’s sleep, you can struggle with fatigue, leading to poor eating habits. Sleeping is both a relaxing and restorative way to recharge and prepare you for a day full of activities.
- Practice Self-Care – When your social calendar is full, and there always seems to be something you need to take care of, it’s essential that you take care of yourself too. Holidays can be mentally draining, stressful, and overwhelming. Practicing self-care can help you recharge and revitalize your spirit by taking a walk, reading your favorite book, or meditating. Self-care looks different for everyone, so be sure to do what you love, even if it’s only a few minutes a day.
Making it through this gauntlet of merry-making events unscathed may seem like a daunting task. But by simply mixing in a few smart strategies, you can keep a sensible balance and start the new year maintaining your healthy, happy body, instead of having to start from scratch. Instead of the all-too-familiar "New Year, New You!", this year's battle cry could be "Same you, Better You!" Good luck!