It’s hard to get anything done around the holidays—but there are a million things to do. As a result, taking care of ourselves often ends up at the bottom of our to-do list. Between shopping for presents, hosting or visiting family, and tying up loose ends before we head out on vacation, who has time for going to the gym or worrying about that diet we put ourselves on two months ago?
Here are a few simple rules you can follow:
Everything in moderation. It’s too hard to stay away from all the fatty foods and high-cal sweets lying around during the holidays, but it is possible to cut down on how much of them you’re eating. Stock up on healthy snacks in the next couple of weeks and try to eat some of those before every big meal and get-together—you’ll be less likely to eat as much of the rich food later on if you do. Same goes for alcoholic beverages: one glass of eggnog is fine; five is probably pushing it a bit!
Go on walks. Going to the gym may not be an option for you if you’re out of town or hosting family at your house for the holidays, but if you can just escape from the house once or twice a day for ten or fifteen minutes, you’ll burn off some of the food you’ve been eating. Getting even that little bit of exercise will reduce your stress levels, too, which is better for your health on all levels.
Don’t set the bar too high. As I already said, trying to avoid all temptation during the holidays is virtually impossible. If you start out the season by denying yourself everything, you may give up entirely by halfway through December. Be flexible; if you’re on a diet, instead of trying to continue to lose weight in the next few weeks, maybe just try to maintain your current weight until January. Be kind to yourself—the holidays are stressful enough as it is without you adding unreasonable expectations to the mix!
It is possible to stay happy and healthy all the way through the holidays and out the other side—it simply takes some extra self-discipline. I hope these tips help you enjoy the holidays just a little bit more!