As we move into longer darker days we are headed into the full blown holiday season. This time of year brings people into my office tired, sad, stressed, and excited. They are running a gamut of emotions with weeks to go.
If you want to feel grounded this holiday season, get proactive about creating your plan to stick with the healthy habits that keep you feeling strong and balanced.
- Stay with your workouts:
Just like sleep exercise is often the first to go when we get crunched for time. However, our workouts are key to keeping our bodies functioning when things get stressed.
Exercise helps us metabolize stress hormones in a healthy way, thus leaving our bodies with less inflammation and better able to meet increased stressors headed our way1.
There are lots of ways to adjust your workouts and compact them when needed. It’s more important to get moving any way you can than to get it perfect. Plan to move everyday.
- Be the one who brings items you can eat and drink:
Those of us interested in taking our health to the next level are often eating foods that might not be mainstream with our communities. If you are adhering to a particular food plan that helps you feel your best and reach your goals, stick to it.
Of course you can always practice moderation with the items that are not usually on your meal plan, however there is no reason to throw out your whole thing. Especially if you feel better when you are on it.
Sticking to your meal plan during the flurry of the holidays will help your mental and physical health, immunity, and physical support you as you work on building the life you love while enjoying the joyful activities this time of year.
Big note: instead of focusing on deprivation, focus on all the good foods you can eat. Be the eating well role model without judgment or ridicule for others. And remember you do not owe anyone a reason for why you are not partaking in unhealthy food choices at the party.
- Get enough rest:
Is sleep one of the first things to go when you are spread thin? Well, it’s the last thing that should go. Sleep is vital for many of our bodily functions and keeps our mental health on track, too2.
When our schedules get harder it is important to make sure we get enough sleep. Sometimes our sleep schedule will fluctuate, however make sure you are planning to get enough rest the day after a late night. Keep your standard bed and wake times as much as you can. And remember, on average adults need 7-9 hours per night for optimal functioning.
These might sound like simple no-brainer ideas to stay on track this holiday season, yet so many of us fall off the healthy path. We end up stressed, putting on pounds, and sleeping poorly only to miss the wonder of the season and feel deprived rather than delighted.
Follow your plan, stick to the healthy habits that help you feel balanced and strong. Watch your holiday season sparkle with more than the millions of twinkle lights you attached to your house last week.
- Nicolini C., Fahnestock, M., Gibala, M. J., & Nelson, A. J. (2021). Understanding the Neurophysiological and Molecular Mechanisms of Exercise-Induced Neuroplasticity in Cortical and Descending Motor Pathways: Where Do We Stand? Neuroscience, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2020.12.013
- Garbarino, S., Lanteri, P., Bragazzi, N.L. et al. Role of sleep deprivation in immune-related disease risk and outcomes. Commun Biol 4, 1304 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-021-02825-4
Stacy Reuille-Dupont, PhD, LAC, CPFT, CNC, licensed psychologist, addiction counselor, personal trainer and nutrition coach. She’s passionate about helping people create a vibrant life using psychology and physiology. With over 25 years coaching people to be their best, she understands how to find adventure and bliss with balance. Book a FREE 15 minute consultation at www.studiob.life or join her monthly Q&A group at www.stacyreuille.com