The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas tend to be when we let ourselves go. We fall out of routine. We overindulge with food and drink. We stay up late. We stay inside. We stay….still.
The season becomes a daze. Then we wake up in January and feel the need to reset.
But what makes the holidays scary in regards to keeping healthy habits – lack of structure, not being at home, relatives, having too much time but nothing to do etc – can also be the very things that ignite new life into our healthy habits. It’s all about your perspective. How you use this time. How you view this time.
Here are 4 tips on how to not fall off track during the season:
1. Don’t let one day or meal set the tone. - If you eat/drink too much or not as healthy as you would like, remember it’s only one meal, one day. No pressure. Eat/drink the way that fits with your health goals the next meal or snack, the next day. Every time you eat or drink is a new chance, another choice. It’s not all or nothing.
2. Create a colorful, balanced plate. – Avoid the beige, monochromatic plate. Before you make your plate, visualize what you want it to look like in detail. Then make a plate that matches that image. It’ll help you avoid impulse grabbing. You know what you are looking for. Visualization is key
3. Think differently about traditions/rituals. – If you always bake a lot with your sister out of nostalgia, what’s something else you can do together that serves that same purpose? Or what are only 1 or 2 recipes that you can make vs 4?
Also, how can you rethink leftovers? If you don’t want to keep all that food around but don’t want it to go to waste either…could you surprise a neighbor? A friend? Share.
4. See this time as a vacation from your normal routine, not your routine. – Take advantage of having more time and more friends/family around. Instead of going to the gym, maybe you go on a long walk with your boyfriend. Maybe you take your dogs to a state park for a hike. Maybe you meal prep with your mom and aunts for the week ahead (meal prep party!). Maybe you try a crazy workout class with your husband in the middle of the day because…why not? Then you can grab a fun lunch afterwards.
The holidays are meant to be fun and relaxing. A healthy routine can be too. Flex your habits in new ways this next month. Explore. Experiment. Get others involved. Accept that things will be different and be ok with it. Your routine will not be perfect, but is it ever?