The holiday season is right around the corner (yay!) and with it, a pull toward more family gatherings and social commitments. It's a time when many of us feel "off track"
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a BIG fan of going off track. I'm talking "skipping the gym and having a night in watching movies and eating ice cream" kind of off track... or a "night out with girlfriends where dinner leads to a dance floor" kind of off track.
In fact, taking a few days or even a week or two to go "off the rails" (for lack of a better description) from your regular routine can be hugely beneficial in living a healthy, happy, well-balanced life.
What I'm trying to say is, breaks are good. Rest is good. Putting the goals to the side to simply be and enjoy time with loved ones is good. Taking breaks can actually help you in achieving your health and wellness goals.
However, the problem is, when we lean to the side of "oh well, life's short, let's just have fun!", our goals can take a hit, and our long term happiness is sacrificed.
Here's what I think, make sure to take the break and have the fun this holiday season, but don't throw your health and wellness goals all the way out the window. Maintaining actions toward these goals, even with all the holiday commitments, will help you prioritize yourself and keep you feeling great as you finish out the year. It's possible to do both.
Plan & Prioritize:
The key to navigating the holiday season successfully is thoughtful planning.
Take some time to map out your schedule, including social events, family gatherings, and work commitments.
Identify potential challenges to your health and wellness routine and develop strategies to overcome them.
Prioritize your workouts by scheduling them into your calendar just like any other important commitment. Whether it's a brisk walk, a yoga session, or a quick home workout, making exercise a non-negotiable part of your routine will help you stay on track.
Don't forget to schedule in a true break from your workout routine if you need it. This rest will help you head into the new year rested and strong.
I like to take about a week off between Christmas and the new year. It's a lovely time to rest and recharge, and makes all the difference in my energy levels as I head back into work in January.
Enjoy the Treats:
It's unrealistic to completely avoid the delicious holiday food and treats that surround us during this time, and I wouldn't recommend doing so.
Instead of feeling deprived, practice mindful indulgence. Allow yourself to enjoy the holiday dishes but also eat nourishing foods that make you feel good.
You could also consider incorporating healthier alternatives into holiday recipes. Experiment with nutritious ingredients to create delicious and satisfying meals that align with your health goals without sacrificing flavour.
Stay Connected and Accountable:
The holiday season is a time for connection, and you don't have to compromise your health and wellness goals to enjoy the festivities. Engage your friends and family in your commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Share your goals and encourage them to join you in making health-conscious choices.
Consider partnering with a workout buddy or participating in virtual fitness challenges with friends. This accountability can provide the motivation needed to stay on track, even when the holiday hustle and bustle threaten to derail your progress.
It's essential to approach the holiday season with a balance of enjoyment and commitment to your health and wellness goals.
By planning ahead, practicing mindfulness, and staying connected and accountable, you can navigate the holiday events while still prioritizing your well-being.