By Lindsay Patton-Carson
Whether you had too many plates at Thanksgiving or you’re giving into all the baked goods flying around this season, staying on your wellness path sure is difficult during the holidays. There are more than enough distractions happening over the next month that make it easy to derail your wellness plans and even more so if you're traveling this season.
What’s important to remember is every healthy change counts during this season. With all the holiday parties, family time and carbs at every turn, even the most disciplined people can slip. We’re only human!
We’ve compiled some best practices to incorporate into your wellness life during this time. Take these tips as guidelines and not rules – you shouldn’t feel pressured into doing it all. You can implement one or all into your holiday plans – either way, you are still making at least one healthy tweak to your holidays.
Schedule your workouts
Workouts are easier to follow if you schedule time for them each week. Every Sunday, look at the week ahead and pencil workouts into your schedule. Whether you use a calendar or day planner, put all your planned workouts in there. Every single one. Having workouts on your daily schedule makes it easier to keep to your workout plan and putting your workouts into a calendar isn’t the only thing you can do. Be extra prepared by laying out or packing your workout gear each night. To help motivate yourself, ask friends for workout music recommendations and create a new playlist. Maybe there’s a podcast or audiobook out there you’ve been wanting to listen to. Putting in the extra effort around your workouts will help you to not only get in the right mindset, but maybe even look forward to your holiday-season workouts.
Get your nutrients first
It’s important to recognize which seasonal foods have the best nutrients. Place those on your plate first, since nutrient-dense foods also help fill you up and energize you when holiday fatigue kicks in. Stick with protein and fiber-rich foods before you hit those empty-calorie carbs. (Don’t worry, there will be time for carbs later.) After you’ve finished the good stuff, wait a few minutes before you move on to the other good stuff. By waiting 10-20 minutes before you dive headfirst into carb utopia, your stomach will have time to send signals to the brain that essentially say, “I’m getting full!” By waiting, you won’t risk overeating, which means you won’t have that agonizing full feeling after a big meal.
Schedule time for mindfulness
It’s easy to get carried away and become overwhelmed with all the holidays have to offer. One tool that can help during these times is mindfulness, which looks different for everyone. Some people are mindful by daily meditation, while others try to be conscious of how their brain is wandering. Overall, it’s a great way to check in on the here and now. When you’re dealing with holiday stress, take a moment to sit in your emotions, let your mind acknowledge them and let them go. Mindfulness helps to center us during hectic times, bringing you in closer to your surroundings and what is happening to you in that moment. This can be anywhere – you just need to practice until you make a habit of recognizing your thoughts and emotions and gently letting them pass through your mind.
Plan out your meals
Meal planning is a hot practice in the wellness world, with good reason. By planning and being mindful about your meals each week, you are less likely to choose an unhealthy, fast-food option during your lunch break. Instead, you control your portions, nutrients, calories and give your wallet a break when you preplan your meals. Don’t worry if you’re a beginner, there are plenty of guides available online on how to start meal planning, how much food to buy and how to prepare it so it lasts all week long. By implementing meal planning around the holidays, you can monitor what’s going in your body and adjust to make room for big meals during the season.
Don’t beat yourself up
Let’s get on thing straight. Indulging isn’t a bad thing. Life would be so boring if we didn’t allow ourselves some treats here and there. Even the most disciplined people admit that indulging in moderation is a positive thing. What you need to remember is that every day you wake up is a new start. If you fall off your wellness wagon, just get back on, leaving your guilt behind. Just make sure you are being mindful of what you have consumed/are consuming and that food and drink aren’t used as rewards.
At PiperWai, we think all positive steps toward wellness are great. We believe there is no all-or-nothing part of wellness and every healthy change or tweak is beneficial. Really! Whether it's planning your meals and workouts or simply switching to a natural deodorant, we want you to know that you are doing a great job.