It’s that time! The time that the holidays are upon us which encourages spending time with family, having happy moments, delicious treats and sales at your favorite stores. The holidays are also notorious for stress from packed shopping and grocery stores, financial strain from increased spending money and from traveling to visit with family members, and overindulging on those sweet treats causing your pants to become tight and sometimes, having negative physical feeling right after eating them.
In addition, people find that they have less personal time to focus on themselves, so they tend to eliminate healthy habits from their schedules. Which then begins the vicious cycle I have discussed in past episodes. The cycle of how we eliminate healthy coping skills to keep up with external stimuli which then makes us feel physically and mentally worse, which then adds to the stress, and so forth.
So, today I want to discuss some basic tips that will help you get through the holidays with hopefully less stress and a healthier body, both mentally and physically.
Tip: Stop Neglecting Yourself and Focus on Selfcare
Selfcare is an important habit to incorporate no matter what is going on and should never be eliminated especially during high stress times like the holidays. The holidays are about giving, but like the old saying goes “you can’t fill someone else’s cup if your cup is empty”.
Now, the rest of the tips I have actually can fall under selfcare but let’s separate them into physical health, financial and stress management. The next two tips fall under physical selfcare and can help you keep the holiday weight off all the while reducing stress.
Tip: Eat Healthier When You Can
This doesn’t mean deprive yourself of some goodies, rather it’s about enjoying but not overdoing it, it’s about balance. For example, if you know there is an event coming up with high calorie foods, try to eat healthier earlier in the day, or eat shortly before you go so you won’t over indulge on all the sweets and high calorie foods. Also, if your high sugary lattes increase because of all the yummy holiday concoctions, try alternating high with low sugar lattes, or go just for a smaller size cup.
Tip: Stay Active
If you find yourself cutting out exercise time due to your schedule, try to find little ways to keep your activity up. One example is park further out in the parking lot at the shopping or grocery stores. Not only with this help you avoid the traffic jam around the front of the store where everyone else is trying to park, it will also give you a minute or two to work on relaxation techniques like deep breathing before entering a chaotic store.
Tip: Budgeting to Help Deal with Financial Stressors
Yes, I know many people do not like to talk about budgeting, but let’s be real, if you want to decrease financial strain this year, you need to know what you have and then decide where it should go. How much do you want to set aside for gifts and how much do you want to put towards holiday parties?
So, if you are struggling financially during this time, look at giving more personal, heartfelt gifts versus expensive gifts. If you are invited to several holiday parties where you have to bring something, decide which are the most important to you and just go to those. Or talk with your friends and family members about setting a specific spending amount.
One last thing about finances, if you are use to getting and giving expensive gifts but feel some stress around finances, then maybe it’s time to take a moment and redefine what the holidays mean to you. Adjusting our mindset on how we view events and things, and figuring out what is most important to us may help adjust our habits and behaviors which can lead to less stress.
Tip: For General Stress Management
If you find your stress level increasing, find ways to relax, ie coping skills which I have discussed in the past. Remember, there are the most common coping skills, diaphragmic breathing and visualization. Then there are coping skills that involve activities that you find fun or relaxing, like having a movie night at home with your family, go for a hike, read a book, exercise, or take a hot bubble bath by yourself, or take one with your partner which could be fun too, or utilize any stress management tool you have used in the past.
Now these are only a few tips on how you can counterbalance the stress and potential weight gain of the holidays. Just take a moment and look at your lifestyle, see what you can do for yourself that will help you through the holidays. Also remember, it is okay to say no to someone else’s request. A lot can be demanded of us throughout the holidays, and well in life in general, so think about your own health a create some boundaries without guilt.
Alrightly then, if you have any other questions for me, life, health & fitness topics you would like to request, or are interested in working with me on your life, health and fitness journey to a healthier, happier, stronger you, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope you found this information to be useful and if so, please subscribe to my newsletter you so you can receive updates on new blogs and new podcast episodes!
Stay tuned for more blogs on helping you create a healthier, happier, stronger life for yourself and make sure you are doing at least one thing today that will get you one step closer to one of your goals.
Have a great day!!
About the Arthur:
Renee Thomas is the founder of Body and Mind Strong who brings extensive experience, education and passion to help others achieve their goals and improve their lives. Her mission with Body and Mind Strong is to help you achieve your life, health and fitness goals and maintain long-term success by giving you the proper tools through online health, wellness, fitness training and behavioral coaching.
She has over 18 years of experience helping others achieve their goals in both healthcare, fitness and education environments. Renee is an ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer and Health Care Life coach, and recently obtained her Master's in Business Administration/Finance. In addition, she has helped others with behavior modification since 2008 as a master level Behavioral Health Counselor.