How I Stay Healthy During The Holidays

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The holidays are a time filled with joyous occasions such as parties, elaborate dinners, festive gatherings, and more. During this time, it's easy to go overboard on food and cocktails as well as become more relaxed about our exercise routines. It's difficult to keep it all in check while still enjoying yourself so you don't feel completely deprived.

But it's not completely impossible. The holidays can be exciting without being stressful. Here are a few of the ways I stay on track during the holidays while still enjoying a fabulous meal, a festive cocktail, and a fun dessert.

1. Make exercise a priority
When we are short on time, exercise is probably one of the first things to get the boot from our schedules. Just as you write down the parties you'll be attending in your planner, you should also schedule your workouts as well. If you can't hold yourself accountable to make it to the gym, schedule a class so you know you HAVE to go. My gym requires you to sign up for spin classes since there is limited space available. When I sign up, I know it's non-negotiable. I have to go or I have to pay a no-show fee.

Plus, burning calories will help offset the ones you take in, making you feel less guilty about the guilty pleasures of the holiday season (Christmas cookies, I'm looking at you!).

2. Limit alcohol
I know how ridiculous this sounds when for many, alcohol intake increases around the holidays. But if you know how many parties you'll be attending in a given week, you can set some limits and plan accordingly. Don't drink on days when you are not attending a party. When I am out or at a party, I always alternate an alcoholic beverage with 2 glasses of water. This way, I won't dehydrate, and I always feel better the next day when I've had plenty of water before, during, and after the party.

3. Balance what you eat
It's a slippery slope once Halloween hits. From candy to hot cider to pumpkin pie to Christmas cookies, the holiday food can send you into a tail spin. Again, just as with alcohol, set boundaries and stick to them. At Thanksgiving, I allowed myself one slice of pumpkin pie for the entire month of November. I love pumpkin pie and could probably eat an entire pie at one sitting. So, allowing myself only one slice was a major accomplishment for me and my sweet tooth. But once December rolled around, I was proud of myself for sticking to my limits, and I didn't feel the post-Thanksgiving food guilt that I have in the past.

Once you get to a party, survey the food offerings and make a mental plan of what you will eat. Load up on crudités early in the party. Starting with raw veggies will help set a healthy tone for what you eat during the remainder of the party. Don't deprive yourself of anything that you really want, but go for a smaller portion.

4. Always wash your face before bed
After a long night of partying the absolute last thing you want to do is wash your face. But, you must! I never go to sleep with makeup on. It's just not an option for me. I have very sensitive skin so if I don't cleanse my face every night before bed, I pay for it the next day in the form of breakouts and redness. This is my current favorite cleanser, and I follow it up with this moisturizer and this one (which I use every third night).

5. Drinks lots (and lots) of water
Drinking water has so many health benefits, but during this indulgent time of year, it's essential to load up on it. It flushes the toxins from your body. So all the alcohol and the not-so-good-for-you food that you're eating? Yep, water will help flush those impurities from your body. It also helps you to feel full so you don't overdo it at the parties. I always keep a few bottles in my car this time of year. As you are driving to a party, drink a bottle of water. Once you arrive, you won't feel the need to head directly to the food table.

6. Take vitamins
I am super crazy about taking vitamins daily. You can read more about my favorite daily supplement here. This time of year when I tend to be somewhat overextended between work and personal commitments, I never skip a day. Plus, germs run rampant during the winter months, and the last thing you want right now (or ever) is to come down with a bad cold.

7. Get out of your head
This time of year can be incredibly overwhelming. With so much to do and the pressures of getting everything done and done perfectly, you could literally go mad. Every week I aim to get to yoga at least 3 times. It helps me drop from my thinking mind for an hour, and when I leave class, I'm not so hurried and stressed about my growing to do list.

I also use the Headspace app daily. Headspace is like having a guided meditation coach in your back pocket. What I love most about it is that there are themed sessions from stress to sleep. If you are short on time, there are bite-size sessions that are shorter than the regular sessions. Once you dive in, you'll look forward to your daily meditation practice. It has helped me live more mindfully and thoughtfully.

OK, so who's in? It's time to take our holidays back and not let them take control of us.

No comments