It’s officially the Holiday Season, which for its own reasons comes with stress, social obligation, and trying to find a balance for both the mind and body as your typical routine has a way of going out the door. As with everything else this year, Covid-19 has a huge role to play in defining what this season will look like and how we will interact with our family and friends, as social distancing, and for some, isolation, remains at the top of the list of important things to keep in mind during the season’s festivities. However, we have come up with a few easy ideas to help keep your mind and body in check, and how to make things a little easier this holiday season. Here are 5 ways to keep your mental and physical health in check this season!
1. Manage your Expectations.
Managing the stress of the holiday season is pretty hectic, however, you should do everything you can to manage your own expectations, while taking care of yourself. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you are unable to maintain the exact workout schedule and diet that you strictly follow. After all, the nature of the holidays means that you are probably going to eat a little bit too much of “the wrong things” and not find as much time to exercise as intensely as you typically do. There are many ways to continue living a healthy lifestyle during this time, and putting more stress and pressure upon yourself to maintain your temple isn’t always the best way to approach your mental health positively.
2. Indulge on specific days – not the entire Season!
Overindulging is not only encouraged, but expected during the Holidays. It’s so easy to let yourself dive into that mound of food on the table, eat ALL the candy, and drink ALL the punch in front of you. Everyone else is doing it! While this is fun and delicious, the post-binge consequences, both physically, and mentally can take you off track and bring you down to a place of self-punishment and anxiety. An easy rule to follow is to indulge for a night, but toss or donate the leftovers out as soon as you can. Your family will love a little doggie bag of the delicious meal and treats that they just enjoyed, and you don’t need the lingering temptation of heavy Holiday food sitting around.
3. Remember, It’s only a few Single Days.
Holidays are a wonderful time to come together to enjoy food, fun, and shared beliefs with those we care about. We all want to let go, be thankful, celebrate, and yes, even indulge a bit, or even alot! In reality, these single instances of indulgence will have little impact on a healthy lifestyle. Let yourself have those moments and enjoy the seasonal food and drink you look forward to all year. Don’t be too hard on yourself, and when the party is over, so should be the indulgence. Keep it tightly reigned in so that you can keep yourself guilt-free, and also truly enjoy the Holiday.
4. Find the time to Stay Active.
With a bit of planning, taking the time for a short workout isn’t that difficult. Even if you can’t make it to the gym, it’s easy enough to schedule a quick workout, run, or even a 15 Minute HITT session before bed. The key is to not let the stress of NOT working out how you normally would cause you to suffer mentally. Do what you can, when you can, and everything will be alright!
5. Remember there is always time for self-care
Intentionally giving yourself time for self-care can do wonders to keep you in the right mind space, as well as keeping your blood flowing properly. A few protips – avoid sitting for too long, give yourself time to go for a short walk, or plan a few minutes for meditation every morning. For additional self-care resources, check out our previous article on 5 Self-Care Tips to Protect your Mental Health.