It’s here!! The most wonderful time of the year. It starts with Pumpkin Spice everything, Halloween candy and chocolate, chili cook-offs, S’mores and more! Then we move on to turkey and cranberry everything – sandwiches, salads, hors d’oeuvres – homemade pumpkin pie, apple pie, gingerbread houses, and cookies. Next comes peppermint mochas, hot chocolate bars, cookies with Santa, Christmas cookie exchanges and holiday cocktails. Wrapping up the season, we have New Year parties and celebrations with a variety of yummy foods and drinks!
Furthermore, we have all the end-of-year parties – school party, travel ball party, church party, neighborhood party, office party, spouse’s office party – and the shopping, decorating, cooking, baking, cleaning, hosting for FOUR completely different holidays. (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year).
Additionally, someone in the family has a birthday or an anniversary. There are concerts to attend, plays to watch and performances to see, flights to catch, resorts to enjoy and adventures to experience.
The schedule is full, our homes are full, our hearts are full, our stomachs are full. It’s the most wonder-FULL time of the year.
However, just like every year before, as we begin the month of January we step back and WONDER why we are so weighed down by the FULLness of the past three months. Our pants are tight and so are our wallets. We suddenly realize the busyness broke down those healthy habits we had worked so hard to establish throughout the year. We feel like we are back at square one all over again. Or worse! We have taken a few steps backward.
So, we start AGAIN … the gym, the budgeting class, the time management book and anything else that can help us get a grip on life again.
But!! What if this year could be different! What if there were just a few things we could do that would help us enjoy this holiday season to the FULL-EST and maintain those same healthy habits and goals we worked so hard this year to achieve? What if we could start the month of January even better off than where we were in October?
Here are a few Health Coach tips to help you stay on track through this wonderful festive season:
Think Fuel! When you choose what to eat keep in mind that you want to fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to stay strong and healthy during the holidays. Make sure you are consuming nutrient dense foods – like veggies and dark leafy greens. Remember to use portion control and to drink your recommended ounces of water (1/2 your body weight in ounces).
Exercise! Don’t skip your workouts. You have been doing great so far don’t slow down now. Movement is medicine. Once you have fed your system with the nutrients it needs, consistent movement helps release those healthy nutrients into your bloodstream and get them to where they are needed. Exercise will also help with managing your stress and boosting your mood.
Listen to your body. This is one of my all-time favorite coaching tips. Our bodies are always communicating with us and it is important to listen. We sometimes get so busy that we can’t hear what it’s saying. Take time to listen.
Plan ahead! I find that I often get so excited about the season and plan for all the festivities and forget to plan for self-care! Take a few moments during your plan to plan when, how and what you are going to fuel your body. Plan when and how you will get movement and exercise into your day/week. Plan when you are going to rest, quiet down and listen to your body, with quick check-ins with yourself to make sure your pace is sustainable. Plan your budget, plan your schedule and plan your health!
The goal of the holiday season is to be present, to enjoy our time with family and friends. So, give your body the rest, the fitness and the fuel it needs to stay healthy, feel strong and stay on track toward the health and wellness goals you set for yourself.
Then smile, knowing that when January comes, the fullness of the season is not weighing you down and you are still on track to meet your goals.