Now that we are getting back to some normalcy post the pandemic lock-down, how wonderful it is that we will be able to gather again through the holidays.
For many of us, we look forward to the enjoyment and fun that festive gatherings can bring: the social gatherings, travel, shopping, and baking. For others, it is more a time of stress and perhaps even dread.
The one benefit we can take away from COVID lockdowns, if there is one, is that we can now decide anew on how we now choose to celebrate in ways that are more aligned with who we are and in turn gather with those people who value us as we truly are.
As a coach, coming up with strategies with my clients to stay both physically and emotionally resilient is key. Below, is a list of 5 ways you can assimilate your best health through the coming holiday season.
1. Switch Up Your Exercise Routine
If you find yourself saying “I just don’t have the time” for a workout due to holiday gatherings, increase the intensity of your workout while shortening the duration. Instead of an hour with the weights or hitting the cardio equipment at the gym, or hitting your favorite fitness class, add one or two brisk 15-30 walks to your day.
Have you dropped fitness out of your life lately? Never too late to start! Try doing intervals: walk faster for 30 seconds followed by 1 min at a slow pace, and then 30 seconds brisk walk again for the allotted duration.
It’s the stimulus of a workout that prevents the body from storing fat, so keep moving throughout the holiday to prevent unwanted weight gain. You can walk or march anywhere- make the commitment to keep moving- even allotting 2-15 to 30 minutes a day will be a game-changer.
2. Eat Smaller Meals More Often and Be Sure To Eat Protein
The key to feeling healthy and energized is fueling your body with healthy foods at regular intervals with foods that keep your system working synergistically. Strive to eat something every 3-4 hours and be sure to eat protein with every meal.
Protein boosts metabolism and increases fat burning while it uses energy/calories to digest longer and utilize the nutrients. Excellent sources of protein are chicken breast, turkey breast, white fish and even protein powders.
Studies show that the quickest way to weight gain is infrequent meals and massive calorie dumping at night, which trigger your smart machine to go into “starvation mode” and store fat due to the uncertainty of when that next meal might be.
Taking the steps to uplevel your self-care at this time is crucial and the benefits will be huge!
3. Let Go and Laugh More
Yes, let go. Let go of unrealistic expectations you have for yourself and others. During the pandemic, so many of us have had no choice but to let go of old traditions like hosting parties and overdoing holiday preparations. This is a great time to re-frame what is truly important in our lives. Make the commitment in this moment to cut yourself some slack as you reassess what traditions no longer brings you pleasure.
What makes you laugh? What brings you joy? Create a list of activities, movies or people that make you feel good. You deserve to feel more joy. Take the steps necessary by adding things into your day that lift your spirits and bring you peace.
It can be hard to remember to hydrate during the winter months as you don’t always notice your thirst when it’s chilly outside. But keeping your system flushed will improve energy levels, mental clarity, muscles and joints, cardiovascular health, skin, etc. Aim for 8- 8oz glasses of water a day. Your body will thank you.
5. Be Kind to Yourself
With the continued post-pandemic uncertainty we are experiencing right now, it is important to ensure that we establish some form of meditation practice to bring greater peace into our day. Even just 5 minutes of sitting still and breathing deeply will boost your immune system and make you feel as though you are able to cope with the added stress of the holidays and the health and financial crisis many of us are experiencing.
In fact, now is a wonderful time to start a daily gratitude practice. Each morning, start by setting intentions for your day, and then at the end of the day, write down what you are grateful for. By doing this simple practice has the magic ability to increase your joy in life and create a deeper sense of peace. And during this particular holiday season, we could all use more of that.
Want to create a gratitude practice that will stick? Check out my latest book “5-Minute Gratitude Practice for Greater Peace and Prosperity” now available on Amazon.
Sending Joy and Peace to you all during this Holiday Season!