5 Tips to Maintain Wellness During the Holidays
With the holidays rolling in (for those celebrating) I decided to compile a list wellness tips so the holidays don’t become a hindrance on your wellness goals. This time of year, tends to take a toll on our minds and our bodies so it’s wise to mindful of unhealthy habits and temptations that may sabotage our goals. Follow these tips if you want to maintain your goals and be right on track before the “new year, new me” brigade makes its presence.
Here are five tips towards maintaining wellness this holiday season!
Don’t Let Exposure Be Your Excuse:
This time of year, your social calendar tends to always feel jammed-packed. It’s as if you are invited to every holiday get-together, gathering, “friends-giving”, work holiday party, and other local holiday events known to mankind. Not to mention you have your kid(s) school holiday functions and family obligations to attend. We all know, where there are joyful people, there is almost, always—FOOD-unhealthy food!
While you are scheduling your social events, make sure you also schedule and pencil in all the tempting foods that you will be exposed to. This is the time of year when you walk into work and it is almost guaranteed that you will be offered some kind of homemade sweet treat or not so healthy dessert or dish. The best way to plan for this is to prepare! You can’t make an obstacle on the track an excuse if you prep for the obstacle in advance, … right? Here are a few quick tips to combat over indulgence:
- Pack healthy snacks you enjoy and take them to work with you or have them prior to your holiday event as a substitute.
- Eat small portions of food offered while at the holiday events.
- Always look for smaller plating options to sample food items.
- Rule of thumb: If you can’t read the nutritional labels from a dish you likely shouldn’t be eating multiple serving sizes or have a large serving size of it.
- Ask for recipes when applicable so you know what you’re eating.
Sure, it’s ok to indulge once in a while, but don’t let the exposure be your excuse! If you’re going to give into temptation, be mindful about it! And whatever you do, do not take any leftovers home! 🙂
Don’t Skip Workouts
This is the time of year you want to maintain not gain. Studies show that during the winter season, daylight savings time, and holiday time seems to contribute to weight gain. (Also, speaking from personal experience here). Make it a goal to maintain and not gain. Host workout or step challenges with friends, family members, or co-workers to ensure you are not slacking on your physical activity. Look into local fun-runs or holiday workouts or host a workout yourself with friends! If you know you have a planned event in the evening, get your workout done earlier in the day! Your body and mind will thank you! Working out will help to alleviate some of the stress that tends to build up-especially around the holiday time.
Mind Your Fluid Intake
This time of year, it’s important to be mindful of your fluid intake.
- Quality H2O! Drink more water throughout the day as it will help you feel fuller and of course keep you hydrated.
- Drink green tea! Green tea helps to boost metabolism which can minimize weight gain. Green tea has other added benefits that can improve brain function and physical activity which is especially needed this time of year. For those of us in the colder areas, what’s not to love about curling up with a hot beverage, a blanket, and a good book. Try it! Here’s a good book recommendation: The Light Within Us All: Life Lessons through Self-Discovery by Tyrone M. Robinson, III.
- Don’t blame it on the alcohol! For those of us who drink, this is the time of year that you are exposed to alcoholic beverages the most, especially at holiday events. Limit yourself to 1-2 drinks at each event (this includes egg-nog). Know your limit and of course, drink responsibly.
Spend Time Alone:
The holidays are a time for spending it with loved ones, but don’t forget to spend time with yourself. This festive season tends to be the time of year where most of us give more of ourselves to others. For some of us, especially if you often give all year long and are in a helping profession, this can become mentally and emotionally draining! I am all for spreading love, spreading kindness to others, giving gratitude, and generosity, however, make sure you leave some of that kindness, gratitude, and generosity for YOU! Take some “alone-time” to reflect or meditate. Remember, you can’t spread love unless it comes from within.
Let It Go!
This time of year, can be draining for us all! We tend to have soo much more to juggle and so much to do on top of our normal daily obligations. Let go of anything negative that may be holding you back. Don’t dwell on past disagreements with loved ones. Don’t beat yourself up over that piece of chocolate candy you had. Let go of all guilt, shame, negative self-talk, inadequacies, expectations, fears, judgements, and doubts. Have fun, enjoy time with your loved ones, and most importantly-yourself. Be joyful, be merry, and be accepting. Whenever you are feeling any of the above check in with yourself and remind yourself of your greatness.
I will leave you with my personal mantra:
“I know my heart and I know my intentions.”
Try repeating this to yourself, take a deep breath, and Let. It. Go!
Season’s Greetings to you all!
Iris L. Mendez is a mental health professional, certified wellness coach, and blogger dedicated to spreading awareness on mental and physical health. She enjoys empowering, inspiring, and motivating her clients to live healthier, happier, holistic lives through fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness.