As the New Year approaches, many of us are thinking about what we want to incorporate more of in our lives going forward and at the top of the list most often is our health. Health isn’t a destination—it’s a journey that will inevitably have ups, downs, and roadblocks. As you learn what foods and lifestyle routines make you feel your best, you’ll also discover that these may change over time or even change depending on the physical season as well as the emotional season you in.
The holiday season tends to be challenging for many people, whether it’s dealing with the abundance of irresistible holiday foods or being around friends and family members that don’t share your values. By learning how to tune into what your body and mind need from one day to the next, and one season to the next, you will build resilience and create valuable tools for maintaining and even making a way for lasting health.
We’re coming out of the season for indulging in comfort foods and de-prioritizing exercise. There’s nothing wrong with comfort foods, and eating differently this time of year, but if it causes you stress or you are using food as a coping mechanism for dealing with emotions, below are ways to manage.
Eat Balanced Meals and Indulge in Cravings Mindfully
The holiday season can take you out of your normal routine, especially when it comes to food. If you know your evenings will be filled with finger foods and dessert tables, eating meals that focus on quality protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats can help you stay on track with any of your health-related goals. And if you find yourself eyeing those desserts at the party, give yourself permission to indulge mindfully, by really savoring the experience.
Reframe Your Workout by Building in Natural Movement
It can be difficult any time of year to create a consistent exercise routine, let alone during the holiday season. One of the best ways to make exercise a regular part of your day is to reframe what exercise looks and feels like to you. If you can’t take a dedicated chunk of time to work out, try splitting it up into smaller timeframes, like 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes in the middle of the day, and 10 minutes in the evening.
Working out also doesn’t need to mean spending your time at the gym—do housework or some gardening, walk to the store for groceries, take your dog for a walk/jog, or use your kitchen counter as a barre to do standing exercises. When you start to see parts of your day as opportunities for movement, your whole mindset around exercise will change for the better!
Keep Healthy Snacks within Reach
From Halloween to New Years, it might feel like there’s always something decadent in the pantry you can snack on, from mini candy bars, to cookies, to leftover cake. Instead of stocking up to be able to indulge in these sweet treats, try implementing the concept of crowding out, which means prioritizing healthier foods that leave less room for the less-healthy foods. This could look like keeping the fridge stocked with veggies and hummus, leaving fresh fruit out in a bowl, or simply eating a spoonful of your favorite nut butter.
Do Breathwork or Meditate
Breathwork and meditation can be powerful tools for dealing with stress and anxiety, especially as these feelings arise in real-time. It's so easy to get stuck in overdrive and over-doing, jumping from one challenge to another without any breaks. When we do that, not only do we add overwhelm (and often overeating), but we shortchange ourselves. Time for evaluation and rest is key to really creating change. By implementing these couple stress-management techniques into your routine, you can feel prepared to handle anything that comes your way during this season and beyond.
Be Patient and Kind to Yourself
Probably one of the most important mental and emotional health tips! Do you find that your self-talk is often negative? Would you talk that way to a friend or loved one? Adjusting your
inner self-talk to be kind, supportive, and patient will go a long way in how you feel and how you manage tough situations. It could even look like creating affirmations you repeat to yourself first thing in the morning or when you start to feel anxious.
Marinating, Pausing and Reflecting
Marinating, pausing, reflecting, and taking stock are strategies that we tend to skip as busy people, but these are the places where real choice happens. These are the opportunities for us to evaluate, course-correct, and even get back on track. Take time to reflect and then pull out your schedule and put these practices on it. Schedule a weekly check-in time with yourself when you’ll ask, “How am I feeling?” and “What do I need?”
Change is hard! What if you had a strategy, personalized to meet your needs and fit your lifestyle, from a trained healthcare expert who's been where you are and who will empower you to become all you want to be? NOW, that would be EASY. Click here to schedule your free discovery call.