December often marks that busy time of year filled with holiday gatherings, end of the year project deadlines and last minute plans (or change in plans). Perhaps your personal life and work commitments have you so bogged down, you are having thoughts about quitting your wellness goals?
Many people believe that wellness goals are all or nothing and need to be followed perfectly. This is just not the case and why I always encourage clients to implement repetitive behaviors consistently. Why? Because behaviors that are done consistently are always easier to maintain than irregular behaviors.
Sure, you might slip up with your nutrition plan during the holidays, but this doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Reminding yourself that no one is perfect and keeping a healthy mindset perspective on the long-term maintenance plan, will allow adjustments during vacation and holiday times.
Finding excuses is easy to do. Instead of skipping your workouts, falling off track with your nutrition plan, slacking off with your sleep schedule and stress management practices, consider the following tips for your mind, body and soul.
You’ve heard it before, but planning ahead can be a big, positive support. Did you know that when you communicate with friends and family ahead of time, this helps them feel more supportive and creative with the holiday meal planning. I encourage clients to have open communication with family and friends to avoid awkward situations. Your wellness goals are your goals and when you respect them, others will, too.
Mindful eating allows for optimal enjoyment of meals and surroundings. Really focus on slowing down, enjoying each meal and eating mindfully. Be present, in the moment and enjoy the company and conversations around you. Focus on the taste of the food, the texture and smell. When we eat mindfully, this not only helps with healthy digestion, but also provides our brain enough time to signal satiety. Pause in between servings and tune in, your brain will let you know by sending a signal of feeling full.
Moving the body and getting activity in is definitely a priority during your travel, vacation and holidays. However, this does not mean that you must stick with your exact exercise routine. There are several options. You can lighten the load or intensity and still maintain your strength training and cardio. Getting friends or family together for fun activities can also be an option. Taking after dinner walks together. Enjoy a morning jog, hike or bike ride. Get creative and have fun by trying something new or different.
Take some time for self care or de-stress time. This can be as simple as taking a 20 minute nap, meditation or a solo walk. I highly encourage communicating to friends and family and simply explaining you need a few minutes to yourself. This is reasonable and respectful.
Remember to prioritize sleep. Studies show we need 7-9 hours per night. By maintaining your sleep, you will have the energy needed to keep active, experience a more positive mood and make any last minute decisions with clarity as well as help manage any additional holiday stress.
It is important to enjoy yourself during the holidays, after all, they are for fun, relaxing, unwinding from the monotonous work, school and the chaos. It is still possible to maintain some of your wellness goals. Hiring a life coach for encouragement, support and accountability can help get you through the holidays and right back on track post holidays.