Enjoy the Holiday Season While Taking Care of Yourself
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, or so the song says, but it’s also one of the busiest. The holiday season is when we typically overcommit ourselves with parties, family outings and shopping. Add in the other everyday activities that still carry on, and you’ve got yourself an overloaded timetable.
When time gets tight and something has to get dropped from the schedule, many of us drop the self-care routines and practices that we’ve cultivated all the rest of the year. But we don’t have to!
Watch what you eat and drink
Whether it’s the spread at your company event or the crazy good baking at your mother-in-law’s house, it’s hard to resist all the great-tasting treats that crop up during the holiday season. There’s no reason why you can’t indulge in some of your sweet and savory favorites, but just make sure that instead of piling your plate with all the goodies, you take small portions of several things and load up on the veggies, salad and other healthier alternatives.
Another area where we tend to overindulge at this time of year is in the drinks department. A glass of wine is fine. Two glasses of wine, a vodka cooler and a rum and eggnog? Not so much. Take care to alternate drinks with water so you stay hydrated and don’t end up overdoing it.
Stock the freezer with healthy meals
Everyone’s over extended during the holiday season, and most of us prefer to spend our time shopping, decorating or visiting with friends and family. Reduce stress by being proactive! Several weeks ahead of time, cook meals intended for the freezer. You’ll be glad you did when you can pop one of the meals into the oven or microwave and turn your attention to something fun, instead!
Throw perfection out the door
Stop obsessing over doing it all. The world is not going to come to an end if the house is a little cluttered or dinner is on the table a few minutes late. Focus your time on the people you enjoy spending time with. Don’t sweat the small stuff and your holiday will be much more enjoyable!
Set a spending budget
The holiday season and spending go hand-in-hand. Between buying gifts for your children, spouse and relatives, you can easily drop hundreds of dollars over the next few weeks. Set a budget and stick to it so you are not stressing about your finances over the holidays. Also consider that it's not necessary to give gifts to everyone you know or are related to. Limit gifting to those that are closest to you, and bake holiday cookies for those you'd like to acknowledge or thank.
Just because you don’t have the time to get in your usual 10-mile run during this time of year doesn’t mean you can’t do a lot to stay active. You just have to think strategically: walk to work or at the mall (before you start your shopping); take the stairs at the office; skip the third office lunch of the week and get out for some fresh air. A lot of shorter activities still add up, keeping your activity level up. If you can, start your day dressed in active wear so your workout is wherever and whenever you can fit it in without getting your party clothes all sweaty!
Minimize the stress
Trying to do it all and be everywhere during the holiday season just isn’t possible and it leads to a lot of stress. Choose the events that you will RSVP "yes" to with care. Make sure that family events are not stacked on top of each other, particularly if you have to travel to get to them. The holiday season is a busy time on the roads and in the air, so leave yourself some extra breathing room in your travel time to avoid the stress of feeling like you’re always late.
Keep daily rituals
If you have a daily ritual of doing yoga or catching up on the news with a cup of coffee each morning, continue that activity throughout the holiday season. Our everyday practices help calm and center us.
Shift your focus
We tend to think of holiday family time as sitting around a table or hanging around in the kitchen, drinks and nibbles in hand. But maybe it’s time to set up some new traditions that take everyone outside to do some different. Like what? How about going caroling? Or sledding, if snow permits? How about a long walk in the woods or an outdoor fire pit to enjoy? Shift your focus from food to the quality time spent together that the holiday season is all about!
Rachel Tabbouche is a health and wellness expert and the founder of UnderCoverWaterWear sun protective on the go wear, swimwear, and UCFit fitness wear. Visit UnderCoverWaterWear online at www.undercoverwaterwear.com or on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest or Instagram.