Stress can ruin your holidays AND hurt your health. Battling crowds of people while shopping, attending back-to-back holiday parties, and hosting houseguests or relatives are all normal demands of the season (and some of our biggest stressors!)
We can't control the world around us, but we CAN be mindful of how we're feeling and make choices to help keep our holidays bright.
Keep reading to see our top fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness tips to help you have the happiest and healthiest holiday season possible!
Holiday Nutrition Tips
Make Time to Prep for the Week
Making healthy food choices is hard when you're busy. Typically what we eat and whether we work out are the first things we push off when we're short on time.
There's a strong link between what we eat and how we feel (mentally and physically.)
By prepping some meals ahead of time, you won't have to waste time deciding what to eat during those jam-packed days. Taking just one to two hours each week to meal prep a few days of lunches is a great place to start!
Avoid Going Hungry
There are probably many of us guilty of trying to eat less food during the day if we are going out for a special Christmas lunch or dinner. But, this can make it harder for us to moderate what we eat if we let ourselves get too hungry.
During the holidays, try to eat meals at a regular time or choose healthy snack options if you feel hungry between lunch and dinner!
There's a lot of cooking going on, so try these simple snacks that can get you in and out of the kitchen fast (with little to no dishes to wash after!):
- Fresh Fruit
- Chopped Veggies and Hummus
- A Handful of Nuts or Trail Mix
- Greek Yogurt with Honey
- Whole Grain Bread with Peanut Butter
Holiday Fitness Tips
Keep Up with Healthy Habits
Maintaining healthy habits is one of your best defenses again holiday season stress. This means getting enough sleep, eating well, and staying physically active.
It also means trying to follow as much of your daily routine as possible, like following your workout plan, going to your weekly trivia night, or keeping a time slot open for some daily self-care. You spent all year finding a daily routine you're comfortable with, so now's not the time to lose it!
Make your holiday obligations fit into your everyday routine rather than letting them control you!
Enjoy the Social Time
Recent years have shown us the importance of social connection. It's been a big couple of years for everyone, and we all need some time to rest, relax, and reconnect with friends and family.
Give yourself time to switch off your TV, phone, and laptop and be present in the moment. Allow yourself to enjoy your time to be social and face-to-face with those around you!
Being socially connected with others improves our mental health and well-being, which can help us start the new year motivated to try new things and reach new goals.
Holiday Mindfulness Tips
The holiday season can feel long when your calendar is full of commitments, from office parties to family gatherings.
To help prevent stress, try making a list of upcoming events on a calendar to get a feel for what the next few months will look like. Take time to make a budget and decide the amount of food and gifts you can handle coordinating for those upcoming Christmas parties.
Remember that you don't have to prepare everything yourself, the gifts you buy don't need to break the bank, and everything doesn't have to be perfect just because it's Christmas!
The spirit of the season can cause a lot of us to overcommit.
Decide what events are most important to you and where you want to go the most, and allow yourself to say "No" to events that don't fall under those categories.
This can go for traditions too. It's perfectly fine for your traditions to change and to create new traditions to fit the evolving lifestyles of you, your family, and your friends. If there's one that causes unnecessary stress to you and others in your family, consider trying to make a new one this year instead!