I’ve created a helpful list of 10 tips to stay healthy in the holiday season. Whether you implement one, all, or none, hopefully, this list will bring awareness to any current holiday traditions that may not be working for the nourishment of your body and mind.
I don’t know about you, but each holiday season my year’s work of health and fitness goes out the back door and into the trash. Okay, not as bad as that. In fact, each holiday season I grow better self-awareness of what I truly do and don’t want, as well as what makes me actually feel good. Hint: a long-lasting Christmas food coma does not feel good.
1. Continue Your Exercise Routine
The holidays are a time when people either slow down their workouts, or increase them (especially on the morning of an event day!). It’s all well and good to do an extra workout on Christmas Day to offset some food, but don’t let that be an excuse to completely over-indulge in a meal and still feel worse off after.
Stick to your usual habits where possible, as this will ensure you maintain your fitness throughout the holidays, feel good, and feel a sense of normality throughout what can sometimes be a stressful period.
2. Show youself compassion / manage stress
Talking of stress, holidays can be stressful for some people, whether it’s the gift giving, money concerns, providing food for an entire village (or so it feels), so don’t forget to look after yourself, whether it’s a spa day, or as simple as a 5 minute breathing meditation. Be kind to yourself, and using the same point above, try and stick to any positive habits you have, whether it’s journaling when you wake up or your weekly Sunday night bath. Show up for yourself so that you can show up for others.
3. Incorporate healthy meals on the menu
You may not be in charge of the menu or can BYO, but if you can, think more hearty salads, roasted vegetables, maybe some vegan and vegetarian options too. You don’t have to remove any traditional Christmas meals, but you can always add more to the party!
4. Be aware of your portions
No matter the type of dishes, healthy or hearty, it’s ok to indulge. However, stay aware of the feeling of being satisfied with delicious food, versus the feeling of being in a food coma. Know that there’s plenty of food to go round this season, so you don’t need to consume it all in one meal.
Tip: This is definitely my weak suit, however these holidays I plan on being mindful by being self-aware. I know what makes me feel good, I know what doesn’t. I’ll remind myself to savour each bite and really be present and grateful for the food, kind of like a positive affirmation!
5. Choose to feel ok with some indulgence
And whilst considering the above point, there’s also no need to feel guilty by creating strict guidelines of what you can and can’t do. Rather, focus on being mindful and savouring the amazing food and memories around the table. Set kind intentions before you eat (food affirmation in point 4) but include the reminder that it’s ok if it doesn’t go as planned. Be compassionate to yourself no matter what. To stay healthy in the holiday season also means to get back on track if you fall off the wagon.
6. Have realistic New Year’s Resolutions
AKA – January 1st is not the best day to start a total overhaul of your health and fitness goals. Been there, tried that. There will be sleep to catch up on and leftovers to be eaten. Give yourself a wind-down period and slowly implement changes to get back to your usual food and exercise routine. Then you can level up!
7. Stay hydrated
Drink water to keep hydrated, promote digestion, help keep clear skin, and everything else wonderful about water.
8. Hygiene still matters
Remember that washing hands for 30 seconds, wiping down equipment that is touched often, potentially wearing a mask around elderly or immune-compromised, is all important to keep everyone safe this holiday season.
Follow your country’s/city’s guidelines in relation to physical distancing and checking into places using QR codes if available.
9. Drink wisely
Some alcohols are rich in calories. Depending on your health goals, you may be mindful of what and how much you consume. All in moderation. Indulge, and remember to stay safe.
10. Practise gratitude
Notice what you do have and what you can do. Appreciate that you can celebrate the holidays, and if not, still appreciate what you can, whether it be a nice phone call to connect with a friend, face time with the parents, a hot coffee, a beaming sun, a clear night sky full of stars – sometimes the seemingly small things can shed the most light on our situation.
Final Thoughts on the 10 tips to stay healthy this holiday season
Enjoy the holidays and stay safe. Use this list as inspiration to stay healthy in the holiday season. Implement anything you wish, but also don’t if you don’t want to! This is a guide to help keep your body and mind healthy during an otherwise indulgent period. Enjoy yourself and stay safe.