The holidays are an exciting time of year! Between the Christmas parties, the cookies, the gifts, and the quality time spent with friends and family, you likely have a jam packed schedule and full stomach in your horizon. Trust me, I know firsthand and as exciting as this time of year can be, it can also be quite stressful and taxing on our minds and bodies.
This week I am providing 4 steps you can follow to help ease the stress of the holiday season. Christmas is meant to be enjoyed, and here is how! As always, you can find the audio version on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play.
1. Get Plenty of Sleep
If you’re anything like me, you likely have a tendency to over commit. Between social gatherings, shopping, dinners, parties, baking, wrapping gifts, and so on, this time of year is busy! The last thing you need to be doing is getting sick.
Our immune systems rely on sleep to recharge and rebuild the cells we damaged throughout the day. While it may seem beneficial to ditch a few Z’s in favour of knocking out that To-Do list, I urge you to resist. Sleep is key, especially this time of year in order to maintain that pep in your step and provide you the momentum you need to get things done and get them done well!
Do not sacrifice your sleep – your mind, body, and immune system will thank you.
2. Avoid Restriction
Any of you who tried dieting or weight loss knows about restrictions all too well. You think that cutting carbs, cutting sugar, cutting fat, etc. is going to help you not gain weight during the holidays. I am here to encourage you to stop with the unnecessary added stress, and embrace the holiday food for what it is – delicious!
Trying to limit your intake is only going to result in binge. This is your chance to indulge! Those seemingly impossible last 5 pounds you are obsessing over are those slices of pizza you wanted on Friday, or the couple of beers you want to have out with your friends. You have to come to terms that those last 5 pounds are not worth your social life, those special moments with special people, and most importantly your sanity.
I am not saying the holidays are your excuse to go buck-wild and eat 5000 calories in a day, but if you accidentally do then hey! It’s done! It was one day, and you can try and be better the next.
Personally I find being mindful, and eating slowly help me listen to my body’s hunger and fullness cues. Maybe try starting with slightly smaller portions as opposed to a plate heaped high. You are better off to have to go up for seconds than to feel obligated to finish a massive plate just because its right in front of you!
Have your nana’s dessert that you’ve been waiting all year for! Try one of every flavour of cookie if you want. Satisfy your cravings and stop when you’re full. The holidays are only a few days so you might as well enjoy it. I promise the memories are worth the last 5 pounds.
Water is crucial to maintain energy levels when its busy, helping to de-bloat after a big meal, and aiding in hydration of your skin (which if you’re anything like me your skin is CRYING this time of year). The best thing you can do before and after you indulge in a holiday meal is to maintain your hydration. This will help you to a) control your appetite, and b) flush your body out when you’ve had an extra slice of pie (or two). Water is our most underrated resource, so get it into you!
4. Enjoy Yourself
Holidays can be stressful, fast-paced, and overwhelming, but they are meant to be enjoyed. So have fun! Embrace the time with family, spread the joy, and indulge in some delicious goodies; no judgement here!