As we all know, the holidays can be very stressful especially when you are trying to stick with some of the healthy eating and working out that you have been doing throughout the year. As we head into the holidays we have to prepare ourselves with the right mindset and the right motivation. In order to not ruin all the progress that we have made throughout the year it is crucial to have some steps to keep up with your goals. Please do not let these next two months go by and try to start over in January.
Here are some things that can help to keep you on track throughout the holidays.
Keep up With Your Workouts
Even through the holidays keeping up with your workouts is a must. I know for me it helps with the stress of the holidays along with giving me a little time just to myself when everything is crazy. It is ok to scale back your workouts through the holidays because things are really hectic. Just make sure not to stop them completely. Do things like go to the gym three times a week instead of five. Or if you usually only workout three days a week make one of those days a yoga or stretching day. Just enough to stay physical but not make it so difficult to keep up with. Check out the Aaptiv app that can help with some at home workouts.
Stick With Healthy Eating Most of the Time
As we all know the holidays brings the best yet usually unhealthy foods to the forefront of what is available to eat. Make sure when you are at home that you are eating as healthy as you can. It is ok to indulge a little bit when it comes to holiday parties. However, for me it is easier for me to be super mindful when I am at home that way I am able to feel less guilty when I want to eat something that is not healthy when I am at a party.
Don’t Let Halloween Get You
Try not to let the Halloween candy be your downfall into the “I don’t care what I eat or if I workout because it is the holidays”. If you are not mindful of how much of your kids Halloween candy you are picking away at by the time Thanksgiving gets here it can make you just not care about staying on the healthy track you have been on all year. If you do find yourself surrounded by candy bars by the end of the week bring yourself back out of that fog and be super mindful of what your are doing and snacking on for the rest of the month. It is so easy to let those mini candy bars get you!
Get Up Early
I know it sucks when but getting up early is something that can really help keep your stress down especially during the holidays. Use this time to work on things like addressing your holiday cards or just getting yourself ready for the day before everyone else gets up and is demanding. Sometimes getting up early will to get some stuff done will allow you to really enjoy some of those holiday parties at night since you will not be thinking about the stuff you were not able to get done that day. I have started doing this and it is amazing how much more relaxed I am. For some other morning routine ideas click here.
Even though it is cold spend a little bit of time outside. Even if it is to just fill the bird feeders and bring in the trash cans. Breath in that fresh air and really be grateful for what you have in your life. Whenever Ray is getting to be a little stinker that is my sign that we need to go spend a little bit of time outside. I usually bundle us up and let him just run around for a little bit. Sometimes we all just need this.
Take Time for Gratitude
Take time each day to be grateful for what you have and who you have in your life. Even though things are super stressful during this holiday season they could always be worse. Instead of stressing over what to get everyone for a gift be grateful that you have the money to do that. Also remember to take time to be grateful for the simple things as well. Things like how pretty your tree looks once you put it up or how much fun your kids are having baking cookies with you. Even if you are making a mess do not let that take away from the wonderful things that are happening right in front of you.
Schedule Quality Family Time
Sometimes we get so busy that we forget this is the time to spend with family. Make sure that you are scheduling time to spend with your family instead of trying to get your to do list checked off. No one is going to care if you did not get that third batch of cookies made. They are going to care about spending time with you more. I have found that creating a few holiday traditions has really helped with this. Creating some simple family traditions that you do every year makes it important and you are more likely to schedule them so that the whole family is there. Remember this is a time for family and love not for presents and parties. (Those are just an added bonus.)
Be Prepared and Start Early
Start getting yourself into the holiday mindset now. Do it before Thanksgiving is here because after that we all know that things get crazy. I like using these three weeks before Thanksgiving to get as much done as I can so that I do not have so much to do once December is here. I do things like get all my holiday cards and get them addressed to all I have to do is mail them. Start thinking about and buying some Christmas gifts. A lot of times you can buy things like bottles of wine for a hostess gift to have on hand if you know you will be going to a few holiday parties. This way you are not having to rush out and buy something last minute that day of the party. This year I might even go as far as putting my tree up before Thanksgiving. We usually do it the weekend of Thanksgiving, however, it is always super stressful and crazy. Even if we just get it up the weekend before but decorate it later would help with the craziness.
All those years working in retail made it really hard for me to want to do anything Christmas related until the very last minute but this year I am realizing that I helped create more stress around it when I waited until the last minute to do everything. Trying to do everything extra in only one month is crazy. No wonder a lot of people hate this time of year! However, remembering what this time of year is really for, getting a head start on some of it, making sure we are taking care of ourselves and being mindful throughout will really help with the keeping the joy in our holiday season.