Deck the Halls with Health
With Christmas ONE WEEK away (omg) and Hannukah already here, things could potentially be feeling a little hectic. Actually, I’ve been feeling all over the place since the beginning of December! It’s easy for health and wellness to slip through the cracks this time of year, but I want to remind you that YOU are in control of your health. You still have the right to make it a priority, even amidst the holiday madness. Keep these tips in mind this week so you can actually enjoy this special time of year while still feeling like your best self and not turning into a monster!
Of course one of the most challenging things about the holidays is the food! BUT, food doesn’t control you or run your life. With a good sense of balance, you can stay healthy around the holidays and still enjoy your favorite pie and Christmas cookies. One of the best ways to create balance is through mindful eating! This means slowing down and enjoying every bite, as opposed to inhaling it then feeling totally unsatisfied and reaching for 5 more cookies. Chewing is crucial here. When you take a bite of something, try to completely chew that bite into nothingness before putting the next in your mouth! This sounds obvious, but if you really start to pay attention while eating, you’ll notice that you may be guilty of taking in a new forkful of food while your mouth is still full! Chewing your food fully is not only good for digestion, but you’ll be much more in tune to when you actually get full. By slowing down, you’ll savor that meal so much more and be much less likely to overeat! Be patient when re-teaching yourself how to chew slowly, this is something that still challenges me!!
2.Let go of the guilt
This goes hand in hand with mindful eating. Release the guilt or shame you feel after indulging. I believe strongly in balance, and that means eating kale but also your favorite cookie or side dish at Christmas time! Beating yourself up for eating something you are craving that isn’t “healthy” isn’t going to make you feel better. It’ll send you down a hole of self destruction and depression. Let’s avoid that!! The key here is BALANCE and not over doing it. Use the mindful eating tips above to indulge wisely, and be totally present while eating. Life is meant to be lived guys! That home cooked meal isn’t going to eat itself 🙂 And if you do accidentally eat 3 pieces of pie (it happens!) and feel like poop after, practice self love instead and talk to yourself like you would a friend. Think of it as a learning experience, and know you’ll be able to eat more mindfully next time!
Don’t even get me started on all the benefits a daily sweat has for your mental health. I know it’s more challenging to get up and move when it’s cold outside and the sun comes up later, but it is especially important this time of year! Exercise is such an amazing way to release stress. As your schedule gets full, don’t forget to make movement a priority! It doesn’t have to be long to be effective. Or intense! A short walk on a trail or around the neighborhood can bring you back to yourself and help you gain energy.
A lot of traveling will be taking place this weekend, which can make you curse the holidays and want to hide under a rock until 2018. Whether driving or flying, you can practice wellness while commuting! If on a long road trip, take some breaks to stretch it out and breathe some fresh air. Speaking from a lot of experience on the road, movement can turn a rough trip into a more tolerable one! If you find yourself on a long layover in between flights, walk around the airport for a bit to get that daily sweat in! Bonus points if you have added weight from a carry on. In addition to avoiding sitting for long periods of time, be sure to pack some protein & fiber filled snacks or prep a meal ahead of time to avoid expensive and processed airport (or heaven forbid-gas station) food!
Most importantly, practice presence in everything you do!! It is super easy to get in robot mode right now and just feel like you have to check things off your to- do list, but if you just go through the motions you’re going to miss out on life! Even if you don’t turn into a Christmas elf like me, you have to admit there is a magical feeling in the air this time of year. Spend less time looking at screens, and more time talking to the family and friends around you. Tools like meditation, listing out gratitudes, and breathing exercises like this one can be really helpful for finding peace in stressful moments! Take some time to soak up all the love that surrounds you.
I’ll be practicing what I preach this week too, and enjoying all the craziness December has to offer! Let’s go into 2018 feeling rejuvenated instead of depleted and stressed out. Happy Holiday’s guys!!