During the holidays, it can be easy to fall off the wagon when it comes to our health, routines, and habits. For many, we just accept it as part of the package deal that comes with October through December.
But what if you didn’t have to fall out of routine at the end of every year? It’s actually quite possible to have an enjoyable holiday season AND keep your healthy habits on track! It’s all about your mindset. So here are six excellent ways to do just that.
1. Remember Your “Why”
Why are you exercising, eating right, and getting enough sleep? The bottom line for most of us is we just want to be healthier, but you likely have a deeper reason you’re aiming for better health.
Think on the “why” behind wanting to be healthier, and keep it in mind during the holiday season. Give yourself regular reminders by sticking it on the fridge, saying it every morning as part of your affirmations, or writing it on your white board at work (or all three). But the most important thing to do during the next few weeks is keep that “why” at the forefront. This will help you find the motivation to stick to your healthier habits when you need it most!
2. Keep Your Routines
It’s easy for us to get wrapped up in the busyness of the holiday season. Many will find the days and weeks have passed by at an extremely fast rate and they had very little time for themselves. With all the planning, present shopping, cooking, and more, it’s easy to go to sleep an hour or two later, skip a meal, or decide not to exercise for a day.
However, sneaking by on less sleep can impact your mental and physical health. Skipping a meal can cause you to become irritable. And failing to exercise may not have an immediate impact on your well-being, but once you skip one day, it’s easier to skip others.
Keeping your routines during the holidays is one of the best ways to maintain your habits! Make sure you’re going to sleep and waking up, exercising, and eating at the same times you do throughout the year (though some may have to adjust their routines to account for the colder weather!).
3. Carve Out Time for You and Your Health
As mentioned before, the holidays are busy. It can be easy to lose track of time. Therefore, I fully recommend setting time aside for yourself each and every day. This may only be 30 minutes or an hour, but it will make all the difference in the world. If you’re setting time aside in your busy schedule, you’ll find the time to stick to those healthy routines!
4. Allow Yourself to Have Fun
With the holidays comes plenty of indulgences. Maintaining your healthy habits doesn’t mean you can’t give into a few here and there. October through December is a fun time – and you should allow yourself to have fun.
When you’re presented with unhealthy food options, for example, you don’t have to cut them out completely. Instead, let yourself have some of those, but make sure to add more healthy foods to your diet, too.
And if you indulge a bit too much — whether that’s eating too much cake or drinking too much wine – it’s okay! You don’t have to be on guard 24 hours a day for your health. Mistakes are normal and a part of life. Aiming for perfection with healthy habits can backfire as “perfection” is not obtainable. It’s all about consistency.
5. Know Your Boundaries and Limits and When to Say “No”
Whether it’s the fourth cookie or third glass of wine, it can be difficult to say “no” when you’re having so much fun with family and friends, especially if there’s peer pressure involved.
When you go to a get-together, know your limits and how much you’ll let yourself indulge. Keeping your boundaries, limits, and “why” in mind during the next few weeks will make all the difference and make it easier to say, “No, thank you.”
6. Know When to Ask for Help
It can feel like you have to handle everything from the food prep to the present shopping to the decorations. This is especially the case with women who may have been raised to believe it’s the “woman’s job!” However, you don’t have to handle it all. It’s absolutely okay to ask for help, especially if you find yourself overwhelmed.
This is also where being able to say “no” comes in. If you already have a lot on your to-do list and someone comes to you with a task that they can handle or is unnecessary for you to do, it is alright to tell them, “no.”
This mindset will make a huge difference for your health and well-being. Instead of focusing on massive tasks that you feel you need to complete yourself, you can devote that time to keeping your health routine instead.
Maintaining your healthy habits can feel like a monumental task during the holidays, but it really is all about maintaining that mindset that keeps you motivated the rest of the year. Knowing your “why” before you dive into the other steps will definitely help you stay on track, too!
Want more focus on yourself and your healthy habits during the holidays? It may be time for a change of track. Schedule a consultation with me to focus more on a healthier you going forward.
Alkhas, Helena. “How to Stick to a Routine during the Holidays.” A Personal Organizer, 14 Dec. 2021, https://apersonalorganizer.com/how-to-stick-to-a-routine-during-the-holidays/.
Kalil, Skye. “How to Keep up with Healthy Routines during the Holidays.” PlushCare, 18 May 2022, https://plushcare.com/blog/healthy-routines-during-holidays/.
TodayShow. “I’m Traveling for the Holidays. How Can I Maintain a Healthy Routine?” TODAY.com, TODAY, 22 Nov. 2021, https://www.today.com/health/i-m-traveling-holidays-how-can-i-maintain-healthy-routine-t239818.
“Why Consistency Beats Perfection for Losing Weight: Nutrition: Myfitnesspal.” MyFitnessPal Blog, 12 Dec. 2019, https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/why-consistency-beats-perfection-for-losing-weight/.
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