One great way to stay healthy over the holidays, is to stay focused on what really matters to YOU. Why? Because this season is filled with temptations, invitations, solicitations, all of which lead to more stress, less sleep, and lots of occasions for overeating and heavy drinking. Let me share with you 3 tips that will help you stay focused on what truly counts during the winter holidays this year.
As you can imagine, none of those things score very well on your health record. Not to mention the fact that because you are so busy, running all over the place, you can't even find time to think about self-care and the best way to feel like you are doing something for yourself is to stuff you face with whatever you can grab. That sounds familiar, right? So, how can you avoid to lose your mind, shove your health on the back burner, and pile up extra weight during this stressful and busy time of year?
1/ Don’t do things mindlessly
We have already mentioned food in our Healthy Holidays - TIP #1 and drinks in the Healthy Holidays - TIP #3. Now if we want to tackle the holidays in a healthy way this year, we have to be mindful not only of what we put in our body, but of every single thing we do.
Whether it’s sending holiday greeting cards, going to parties, or volunteering for charities, being truly aware of every single “decision” we make will help us be more selective. We will reduce stress, frustration, exhaustion, and even avoid accumulating extra pounds.
2/ Concentrate on what/who really matters
I am not saying “do only what you really wanna do”. Let’s be realistic, there are people we want to make happy, good deeds we can’t pass on, and chores we can’t avoid. But if we CHOOSE the things we do, there is a good chance we will eliminate a portion of our season’s load. And no matter how big or small that portion is, it will always help us with stress, sleep, and waistline!
It takes practice to be mindful though. So let’s not wait until the last minute. Let’s reflect NOW on what we usually do during the holidays, and ask ourselves:
- Do I really want to do this?
- Why is it important to me?
- Will I feel better after I have done it or will I feel worse?
- What will happen if I don’t do it?
Sometimes we do things to please others, to advance our career, to feel accomplished, to avoid guilt, or for the pleasure. Those (and many others) are all very good reasons to do what we do! And no one besides ourselves should be judging our own personal motivations. But when we do things just because we assume we should, or because we have always done it this way, or “just ‘cuz”… that’s when it’s worth pausing for a second, and taking the time to make a mindful decision.
If being selective and prioritizing is a tough thing to do on your own, check out my brand new coaching program "Holiday Weight Loss for Women". It's a small-group coaching program that starts Mid-November and will provide you with all the tools and support you need to enjoy guilt-free holiday celebrations without extra stress and without piling up extra weight. It's packed with resources, recipes, a meal plan, a holiday guide, and you get the direct support and guidance you need for only a few dollars per week. Honestly, this program is a power house, I love it! If you are a woman who wants to lose weight over the Holidays, my Women Lose Weight Over the Holidays is what you need!
3/ You don’t have to please everybody
One big drive for our actions is wanting to make people happy, especially during the holidays. And that’s commendable; we want to make the world a better place, right? But can we take a second to make sure that what we are about to do will really bring joy around us? Is there maybe another way to spread the love, or another time? What if we say "no" once in a while? Will that make a big difference?
If you find it hard to pick what is and isn't important to you, ask yourself who the people are who matter the most in your life. Don’t answer “my family, my friends, my loved ones...” Write down their names. Make a list of specific people you care the most about. And those who don’t make it on your list, well, maybe you can see them in January! Do the same for causes, charities, traditions. Come up with a list and stick to it.
BONUS: Cut yourself some slack!
It’s all about being selective and making decisions rather than going with the crazy flow of things. Mindfulness. That's what it is. And once you have decided that a certain party, a certain food, a certain group of people, or even a certain cause lies toward the bottom of your priority list, stick to your decision and DON’T FEEL GUILTY. You are not Santa Claus! You don’t have a flying reindeer (do you?). You cannot do it all and please them all while caring for your health and happiness. Let go of what doesn’t matter THAT much (even if it's still important to you) and throw yourself entirely into what/who counts the most. You will be able to make things more special and exceptional, because you won’t be stretched so thin. Try it this year, and let me know how it works for you!
One step that you can take today that will help you stay focused on what matters to YOU, is to commit to doing something JUST FOR YOU, regularly, throughout the holiday season. Whether it's a walk in the park 2 time a week, sleeping in no matter what once a week, or joining a group of amazing women, just like you, for an hour once a week, make sure to commit to yourself and to taking care of yourself.
If you are actively trying to lose weight or prevent Type 2 Diabetes and you want more tips like this before and during the holidays, I encourage you to join my Private Facebook Group.
As always, if you feel that you need a bit of extra help figuring out what to do and how to do it, reach out!