The holidays are an exciting time, but they can also be very stressful. You have to juggle many people’s expectations with your wants and needs. Often, this results in your wellness being put on the back-burner, so you can make time for all of the holiday activities, meals and parties that fill your calendar. While making some sacrifices is often necessary during this time, it does not mean that you need to completely loose track of your needs. Here are four ways to improve your holiday experience at home and ensure your physical wellness.
1. Keep Your Exercise Schedule
While missing a workout or two isn’t the end of the world, it can really take a toll on you both mentally and physically when you miss too many. This holiday season, keep going to the gym and working out at home. This may seem like it will add too much stress to your schedule, but exercise should be considered non-negotiable. You may need to make modifications to the length and intensity of your workouts, and that is okay! A 30 minute walk is still much better than a 0 minute walk.
2. Stay Hydrated
To help you stay on track food-wise, make sure you are getting plenty of water. It is very easy to indulge in holiday treats from November through December. This can result in unwanted pounds and disappointment in yourself for not sticking with your goals. Staying hydrated will help you feel fuller, so you’ll be less likely to indulge and keep you feeling good. Plus, your skin will stay more moisturized and your workouts will go much better too!
3. Practice Meditation
You may think meditation is only for your mental health, but it plays big role in your physical health too! Since the holidays are so stressful, it is important to reduce stress any way you can. When cortisol, your stress hormone, becomes too high, you gain weight and increase your belly fat. It also keeps you from sleeping and increases your blood pressure. So, take the time to focus on your breath and mediate for at least one minute every day. You can use an app on your phone or practice on your own. Whatever it is, try to do it daily so you are prepared for whatever the holiday season throws at you.
4. Learn to Say No
Make a list of your priorities for this season. What traditions do you and your family value the most? Schedule those and then take a close look at all the invitations and ideas your friends, family and co-workers send your way throughout the season. There is no shame in saying “No!” You have to give yourself time to breathe and relax. You also need to have time to exercise, prepare healthy meals and sleep. This will keep your stress levels lower, so you will still be healthy once the holidays are over.
Remember that you need to practice wellness in order to have the best holiday season. This may mean that your schedule and habits will look very different from previous years. And that is okay! Making positive changes that will increase your well-being is exactly what you need to do. You will be better equipped to fully commit to the holiday season, which means you can be fully present and make lasting memories. Enjoying the season means taking care of yourself!