The holidays are a wonderful time of the year filled with friendship, family, and holiday cheer. This season can also be a source of stress due to busy schedules, emotions of missing loved ones and trying to navigate the “dos & don’ts” of your wellness journey. My goal is for you to embrace the holidays as they are and limit undesired emotions surrounding all things health.
Here are the 10 Wellness Tips For the Holidays:
1. Plan, Plan, Plan
Without a plan, expect that anything can happen. Take time each week to plan out your meals and workouts. Additional commitments are inevitable; it’s all about piecing your wellness essentials around them during this temporary time.
2. Don’t Skip Meals
Skipping meals before a holiday gathering will leave you ravenous by the time it’s time to eat. Eating on an empty stomach makes it challenging to honor your fullness and hunger cues. If you “ate too much” at a holiday party, this is NOT a reason to skip your meals the following day.
3. Stay Active
It’s essential to keep your regular exercise routine (or start one… no need to wait for January 1st to start a new goal). Though it may take a little extra planning, exercise is a great way to improve your mood and give yourself a sense of accomplishment.
4. Stay Hydrated
It can be hard to stay hydrated when the weather is cooler than normal and you are extra busy. When we get dehydrated, it can present as hunger and feelings of light-headedness… thus, making us want to eat! If choosing to drink alcohol, opt for low-sugar options and try drinking a glass of water with every alcoholic beverage.
5. Implement a Mindfulness Practice
Great examples of mindfulness practices include stretching, journaling, walking, listening to podcasts, and meditation. These are lovely ways to slow down and be thankful for this season instead of wishing it away with stress.
6. Don’t Resist Temptations
It is ok (and encouraged!) to enjoy the holiday season, including eating food you might not normally eat. When we resist the food we want, we often start to obsess, then give in to temptation and eat way more than what we would have in the first place. This can turn into a vicious cycle filled with guilt and physically feeling sick. Enjoy your cravings and listen to your hunger cues.
7. Browse Your Options
Before eating everything available in front of you, look at all of your choices first. Take time to think: “What sounds good right now? What will help fuel my body and get me closer to my goals?”
8. Listen To Your Hunger Cues
It’s common for people to suppress hunger cues and eat past the point of being hungry during the holidays. Chew your food well, slow down eating, and honor when your body is full. An added reminder: you don’t need to eat food if you are full OR simply don’t want it. Even if a loved one made it.
9. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is a fantastic way to support your body on a foundational level. When we don’t get adequate sleep, we are more susceptible to changes in our mood, increased stress, lower functioning immune system, and increased cravings.
10. Make ⅓ of Your Plate Veggies
Whether you are eating at home, on the road, or at a gathering, try to fill at least ⅓ of your plate with veggies. Veggies contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber which is food that fuels your gut. A healthy gut = strong metabolism, strong immune system, and more. Rounding out your plate with protein, fat, and whole grains is important too.
To conclude, the holidays do not need to be an excuse for “getting off track.” The truth is, a lot of positive changes can be made during this time! Take one day at a time and enjoy this season.
If you continue to feel overwhelmed or desire additional support, working with a dietitian is an excellent option. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary nutrition strategy session.