Ah, the holidays. Does anyone else consider the month of December one long holiday? Somehow, when December 1st hits, vacation mode is immediately set in motion. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of positives with this way of thinking! People are happier, anticipating the upcoming holiday they will spend with friends and family—and let’s not forget all the holiday parties you’ll be invited to. But there’s one downside to the mindset often associated with this time of year.
People tend to completely throw healthy habits out the window. For some, it can be unconditional permission to eat whatever they want, whenever they want, in whatever quantities. We can rationalize this by saying we’re going to “start fresh in the new year.” I know it can definitely be a challenge to stay on track with your morning yoga or filling half your plate with vegetables at every meal, especially when there are a lot of celebrations that can throw off your routine.
Here’s the thing. You would probably feel way less overwhelmed come January 1st if you treated each holiday, each party, each celebration as just that: One celebration. It’s ok to have that extra chocolate truffle that’s lying around the office or Kahlua hot chocolate being passed around at a party. However, just because you had that truffle on your break at work today doesn’t mean the rest of your day is “ruined”. If you were going to have grilled salmon with a Greek salad and sweet potato for dinner, eat the salmon, salad, and sweet potato for dinner.
Here are five tips you can try over the holidays to help you keep healthy habits while still enjoying this festive time:
- On days you know you’ll be going to a party, make sure you eat regular, balanced meals and snacks throughout the day. “Saving up” your calories so you can eat as much as you want later will cause you to overeat—not to mention feel sick!
- Stick to your normal sleep schedule. I know this can be tricky, especially when you have time off from work, but going to bed late and/or waking up later will throw off your circadian rhythm.
- Stay hydrated! Water can be something we struggle to get in at the best of times, but during the holidays when we’re drinking a bit more alcohol and eating more comfort foods, it’s especially important.
- Make movement fun! It’s winter and the snow can really be magical. It doesn’t have to be going for a run in –30-degree weather. Go tobogganing with your kids or skating with a friend!
- Be kind to yourself. Sometimes, just acknowledging that you may have overeaten or had a bit too much to drink allows you to be more mindful of it in the future. This happens to everyone. Don’t let one extra piece of cake derail you for the next month!
And, of course, if the holidays end, and you need help getting your sleep back on track, book a free consultation at a Sleep Therapeutics clinic—we’re here to help.