I know it’s just October, but if you’re anything like me, then you’re already planning for the holiday season. I usually start and finish my holiday shopping before the end of October.
That helps keep away a lot of stress from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
I don’t have to wait in long lines. I don’t have to worry if a store’s inventory is going to run out. I don’t need to wake up early (or not go to sleep) just to stand outside waiting to get into a store on Black Friday.
I try to have healthy holidays, both physically and mentally, as much as I can.
What I mean by having a healthy holiday is that I stave off as much stress as possible and I do my best to keep myself healthy because we all know that the extra food that we eat over the holiday season, on top of the stress we have, can cause our bodies and minds to go a little haywire.
As moms, we like to plan and to make sure that everything from the food, to the décor, to the presents are perfect for our families.
Sometimes we forget about self care, so by the time the season is almost over, we’re tired and worn. We haven’t been staying healthy during the holidays because we have so much on our minds.
I got tired of all the stress and holiday eating wreaking havoc on my body and mind, so I came up with a few ways to combat it.
Here is how I now have healthy holidays and I hope you can use these healthy holiday tips, so you can enjoy the upcoming season.
*These tips aren’t meant to diagnose or treat any type of illness.*
Healthy Holiday Tips
Mindful Eating for the Holidays
During the holidays we all love to indulge in foods that we usually don’t eat throughout the year. I’m definitely guilty of doing it. Some of my favorites includes pies and cakes. Yes, I have a pretty big sweet tooth and desserts are my downfall.
I also would over eat when it came to holiday parties. Even though finger foods may have been served on platters, I’d still go back for seconds or thirds if I really liked something. What can I say? I love to eat.
When I got in my late 20’s, I realized that it was harder for me to lose holiday weight than when I was younger. I had to make a change. Over 10 years later I still stick with this.
I made a promise to myself that during the holidays I would eat what I want, but the amount that I was eating had to change.
My tip to you for staying healthy during the holidays is to enjoy all of the food, but to eat in moderation.
It’s ok to not pile on the food. Take small portions of things you’d like to try. Do not go back for seconds.
If you eat something that you really like, take the time to savor every bite. That way you’ve fully experienced that dish and won’t have to go back for seconds.
One last tip I’d like to offer for mindful eating for the holidays, is to not forget about the veggies. We focus so much on sweets and the big dishes that we may not even worry about putting a morsel of a vegetable into our body.
Don’t do this!
Veggies provide vitamins and nutrients that we need to stay healthy during the holidays.
P.S. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water too.
Get Some Holiday Exercise
I love running, but once it got cold outside I didn’t do it as much. I’d still go for a run, but I had to bundle up with several layers. It took forever for my muscles to warm up and I hated it.
Now that I’m in Miami I can run anytime of the year. The only issue that I really had (besides pain back injuries) was that during the holidays I got too busy that I didn’t even worry about getting in any type of exercise.
I told myself that I didn’t have any time because I was so busy with getting gifts, writing menus, planning our holiday family games, setting up travel itineraries, and anything else holiday related that you could think of.
Getting in some holiday exercise was definitely not on the top of my list.
On top of assisting with the holiday weight gain, not getting enough exercise helped cause unwanted stress.
When we exercise, our bodies release endorphins which basically help keep us feeling happy and positive.
Now that I finally know how to have healthy holidays by incorporating a little exercise. I no longer am stressed to the max.
If you cut down on your workouts during the holidays or just never exercised that much at all, I implore you to have a little workout routine.
As moms, we feel that we may not have enough time to add something extra on our plates, but I’m telling you, this will do you a world of good.
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Go for a walk around the mall before you start your holiday shopping. Have a dance party with the kids before bedtime. Try a little yoga before everyone else wakes up in the morning. Go online and find a Zumba DVD that you enjoy.
Whatever you do, just get your body moving and let those endorphins kick in!
Relax Your Mind
Yes, we all know that the holidays are a big pile of the S word.
No, not that word! I’m talking about stress.
We worry about entertaining friends and family, attending all of the holiday school events, buying presents, making sure we don’t overspend, and so much more.
Our minds are bogged down with so many things that we forget to take the time to clear them. A moms mind can go a mile a minute and if we forget to give them a break, it can lead to trouble.
One year I was constantly exhausted and had a hard time staying focused on tasks. There were a million things that I had to do and I was going to make sure I got it all done. I had lists for everything.
I’m a planner by nature, so my lists were very detailed. I had to make sure everything was done step-by-step and I hoped that there weren’t any snags in my plans.
When something did derail my plans I got irritable. Everything had to be done by me or it wasn’t going to get done.
At least that’s what I thought.
I didn’t think about slowing down and taking the time to not worry about so much. I was always on the go during the holidays and by the end I was a mess, physically and mentally.
It was truly hard for me to enjoy the fruits of my labor because I was taking care of everything and everybody else.
I forgot to take care of myself.
Before you get as far as I did and forget to realize that mental health is just as important as physical health when it comes to having a healthy holiday, I want you to slow down.
Since I don’t want you to learn the hard way, like I did, I’m going give you a few tips for relaxing your mind during the holidays.
Do your best to get some alone time. I know it may seem a little hard because most moms don’t have a free minute (not even in the bathroom), but it’s important that you be alone as much as possible.
When you’re alone, don’t think about holiday gifts, planning school parties, or writing out holiday cards.
Just focus on yourself and where you are at the moment. If you need to, go to a quiet area, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Take in the sounds and scent of your surroundings. Mindful meditation during the holidays can really help relieve stress.
Another way to relax your mind is journaling. It can help you relieve holiday stress and relax your mind by allowing you to get all of the holiday emotions out.
You can share openly and freely without being judged. Let everything that you’ve been holding in, come out through your pen and onto your paper.
Instead of worrying about what you need to do the next day in order to plan for the holidays, listen to soothing music right before bed.
Either play it out loud or put some comfortable headphones on (I prefer the headphones) and allow your mind to wander.
Let the music carry your mind away from the holidays and stress.
Do you have any healthy holiday tips that you’d like to share?
Hello There Thanks for sharing this with us. I know it can be pretty difficult and tiring during the holidays. Amidst all this chaos I really forget to eat properly. Your tip about mindful eating really helped in my case. Thanks a lot.
Linda D recently posted…Ultimate Weight Gain Meal Plan On A Budget: 7 Tips
Thank you for this amazing motivation, Kendra!
While I have been able to successful implement physical workouts into my schedule, I haven’t been able to get hold of the mind. Is there anything you suggest to someone who is starting out in the process of taking care of their mind, especially meditation or healthy thoughts?