How to keep your fitness goals this festive season
The holiday seasons is all about joy, giving to others, family and good food. For others, it can be a stressful time of diving into the depths of family dysfunction, overeating and high credit card debt. With the pressures and expectations of home decorating, home cooking and holiday parties, coupled with endlessly overcrowded malls and parking lots, tis the season for stress, emotional eating and chronic fatigue.
The party season will be getting underway any minute now and with it comes late nights. As some of us begin to feel the pressure of the season on our shoulders, sleep deprivation may make the tiniest molehill look like a mountain.
A good night’s sleep — anywhere between seven and nine hours of deep sleep — has amazing restorative powers and will provide us with the resiliency we may need to get to the New Year (with our nerves intact.) If getting to sleep is a challenge, try turning off the screen 30-45 minutes before bedtime and/or taking a hot shower or bath to help relax and induce sleep.
Eat a Vegetable
With all of the home baked goodies at work and home, it may be challenging to remember to eat our veggies. Chronic ingestion of chocolate, cookies and fruit cake may be lovely in the moment, but can lead to fatigue, gastrointestinal challenges and even depression.
It may be necessary to plan a few meals during the day that include as many servings of veggies as possible or prepare a plate of veggies with dip to sit on the kitchen counter for munching instead of chips. By keeping up with our healthy eating time, it will be easier to sustain our energy levels throughout the festive season.
Just Say No
With the holiday season comes the pressure to entertain, be entertained and give our money and of ourselves. For some, this comes naturally. But for others it leaves them feeling exhausted, overwhelmed and stressed out.
Establishing personal boundaries for ourselves is one of the best things that we can do for our health during the holidays. Learning to say “no” more often will only leave us with more time to focus on what is most important. Begin by drafting up a list of important events (a grocery list, so to speak) and refer to it when other offers arise. It is much easier to stick to a plan if you have one.
Avoid Setting the Standard of Perfection
Thanks to social media and all those home decor networks, we are exposed to more images of the “perfect” holiday season. Gone are the days of paper chain links on the tree and a simple string of lights on the house. It’s safe to say that holiday home decorating and party hosting is on steroids.
Perfectionism has been correlated to stress, anger and other mental health issues. We may work around the clock to prepare the perfect family dinner with all the trimmings, only to become frustrated and angry when we don’t attain it. If we expect perfection, we will always be disappointed because perfect doesn’t exist. It would do us all good to lower our expectations and be happy with the string of popcorn on the tree and the overcooked turkey for a change.