It’s that time of year. That time when we are invited to parties where there is amazing food, have gifts to purchase, activities for children if you have children, and if you have had a loss the sadness can settle in big time during this time of year.
The holidays are supposed to be a wonderful time. Time spent with family and friends. Being grateful for all that we have. I truly love the holidays. But I also know that I need to maintain my personal health and fitness in order to survive them. I need to make time to make sure I meditate, journal, and exercise. Even if it is not as often as I typically would get in.
So let’s talk about how to maintain all that you have applied to your life during these stressful but wonderful months!
- View self-care as a gift to yourself. Not as time that is taking away from others.
- Don’t get caught up in the planning of holidays. Take a moment to breathe. Know that no one is going to judge your turkey if it’s not perfect or if your house is a mess. Have someone in your life who you feel will judge you? Remember that they will forget about it. Don’t let someone take control of what your holiday is going to look like. Take the time to appreciate who you are spending time with. That you are able to spend time with these people and know that in 10 years your children, grandchildren, etc. are not going to remember the way the house looked. They’re going to remember that special time with you.
- Acknowledge your feelings rather than eating or drinking them away. I can’t tell you how often I hear people say that they are going to need a bunch of wine to get through the holidays. Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a glass of wine occasionally myself. But instead of having wine so you can deal with your mother-in-law, for example, take some time to fully acknowledge how you’re feeling. If you have a moment of stress or an argument with someone, step aside and think about the outcome if you decide to drink or eat that piece of pie rather than process how you’re feeling. It’s not worth the 5 minutes of indulgence and all of those frustrations and feelings are still going to be there after you’ve had the pie or drink.
- Allow yourself time off when needed. There are going to be days that are just too busy and you sincerely cannot fit in the workout. Be ok with that. Know that these times are going to happen periodically in your life and learn to move on from it. Get in what you can when you can. I personally find that I get a cold and my immunity goes down when I try to get too much in and find myself lacking sleep and rest. And remember to forgive yourself… something you hear often from me. But you are going to have many moments (not just during the holidays) where you slip up on something. Telling yourself it is ok and that you’re ready to move on is key. It makes our lives much simpler when we learn to forgive ourselves for our mistakes. Learn from them and move on.
- Mediation. If you must give up a workout one day, fit in 10-15 minutes of mediation when you can that day. If you’re unsure how to meditate or what this should look like, revisit the My1FitLife website and search under blogs. Guided meditation is my personal favorite; but taking just 10 minutes to breathe and allowing your body to focus on you rather than all that needs to be done can make the holidays less stressful!
- Take time to be grateful. This can occur first thing in the morning, during meditation, or in the moment. I appreciate those moments when I look at my children, my husband, my family or friends and just feel this overwhelming love. It reminds me that I am truly blessed with amazing people in my life, even though I am under a great amount of stress or frustration. I can always turn to them for hugs or just a conversation that makes me feel better. Be grateful for a body that is capable. Be grateful for a home. For the food on your table. For a job. There are many, many things you can be grateful for that many others don’t have. Take time to appreciate that and you will find your outlook on life brightens up.
In the end, just remember that you are taking time to care for yourself. In turn, this makes you a better spouse, significant other, parent, sibling, employee, employer, friend, and son or daughter. Here’s to a healthy holiday season!