10 tips for a healthy, happy holiday season
It can seem impossible to get through the holidays healthy and happy. We tend to white-knuckle it and plan to “get back on track” in January. I get more inquiries from potential health coaching clients in January than any other time all year. Gym memberships go up. So many resolutions center around losing weight, dieting and self-improvement.
But, there is a another way. A way to have a healthy, happy holiday season!
10 tips for a healthy, happy holiday season
Stressed? I’m willing to bet that you aren’t really breathing. When we’re stressed we tend to clench our bodies and hold our breath. Which is basically like suffocating ourselves. The quick, shallow stress breath just breeds more stress. Check in throughout the day (set a reminder on your phone) with your breath. Place your hand on your stomach and take a few long, slow deep breaths. Your stomach should expand on the inhales and contract on the exhales.
You aren’t sleeping enough and this is heightened during the holiday season. Make sleep your priority. All the healthy foods and tips won’t do much if you aren’t getting enough rest. We all need different amounts of sleep but aim for 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Establish your sleep schedule and then schedule the rest of your life around it. If you have trouble falling asleep, I love listening to Jordan Bach’s Bedtime Mantras. (not an affiliate – I just listen to the mantras most nights!)
Just like sleep, water is a key component to a healthy holiday season (and life!). The holidays can be filled with caffeine, alcohol, eggnog, and hot cocoa. Dehydration can lead to poor digestion, dry skin, headaches, brain fog, and food cravings. Aim for half your weight in ounces each day – more when alcohol and caffeine are in the mix. I divide my water in three: I drink a huge jar of water when I wake up (about 24 ounces), another 24 ounces throughout the workday, and the final 24 ounces as soon as I get home from work and before dinner. You can jazz up your water with fruit and veggies to keep it interesting. I love ginger, cinnamon sticks and cranberries or pomegranate seeds this time of year.
4. Eat more greens
You can’t survive on cookies alone (sorry). Dark leafy greens are nutrient powerhouses. Add greens to every meal. You can toss a few handfuls of spinach into your morning smoothie or steam kale to have with eggs. Have a collard wrap or salad for lunch. And sauté swiss chard and drizzle with balsamic for dinner.
5. Peace begins with me
This is my go-to meditation during the holiday season. You can bust it out in traffic (you can do it with your eyes open!), in line during holiday shopping, or under the table at your family holiday party.
Press your thumb to your pointer finger and say PEACE
Press your thumb to your middle finger and say BEGINS
Press your thumb to your ring finger and say WITH
Press your thumb to you pinkie and day ME
Breathe deeply as you go and continue to recite PEACE BEGINS WITH ME for 1-3 minutes.
Start your day with warm water, lemon, and ginger. The lemon and ginger are detoxifying, jumpstart your metabolism, and are anti-inflammatory. Warm water with lemon is also great if you’re feeling constipated from too many holiday treats.
7. Ask for help
One of the most important things you can do this holiday season is ask for help. You don’t have to do it all yourself. Ask your partner to pick up a few of gifts or help with wrapping or sending out your holiday cards. When you are hosting a party and someone asks what they can bring — tell them!
8. Make time for yourself
Have a date night once a week…with yourself! Take a bath, watch Netflix, go to yoga, read a book – whatever you truly enjoy. This time (even if it’s just a few minutes) will help recharge you and reduce stress.
9. Move your body
Commit to moving your body in some way every day. Moving your body helps to move your energy, boosts your immunity, and increases energy. And I’m not talking about hitting the gym for hours on end. Bust a move in the kitchen while you make dinner, take a walk, go snowshoeing, or take the stairs.
10. Be grateful
Gratitude turns what you have into enough. The holiday season can bring a lot of joy but also a lot of stress, comparison, and lack mentality. Finances can be strained. Focus on gratitude this month. Write down 3-5 things that you are grateful for each night before bed. Your focus on gratitude will infuse your energy with positive, abundant vibes. And what you focus on grows – they more you focus on what you DO have, the more it will expand.
I hope these tips serve you this holiday season and always!
Stephanie is a holistic health coach at Spirited Well-being. She merges spiritual principles with practical wellness strategies to empower women to lose emotional weight and gain healthy habits. Stephanie has completed the Spirit Junkie Master Class Level One and Two training with Gabrielle Bernstein and graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.