Ah the holidays – a time of joy, celebration, magic…and guilt.
I am so tired of hearing about all the ways I can NOT partake of the joys of the holiday season in the interest of being healthy. I’m over it. Apologies to everyone out there trying to eat clean, master challenges, and double down on their virtuous healthy lifestyles. I wish you all the luck in the world, and this post is not for you.
I’ve written about living seasonally before, and I treat the holiday season no differently. I really believe that this is THE season to indulge, enjoy, and give yourself a little wiggle room. This year, I’m giving up the guilt and living it up. I encourage you to join me! Here are my best tips for navigating the holiday season while fully satiated.
Eat the damn cookies
The holidays are about spending time with loved ones, celebrating & making traditions, and hoping for the future. They also tend to be exhausting, over-scheduled, and occassionally flat-out stressful. Are you really going to spend precious energy worrying about calories and feeling guilty? You have so many other things to worry about: hectic travel; politically opinionated relatives; the perfect gifts; everything you absolutely will not finish in time; fitting a month of work into three weeks – I could go on. This is a bananas (and wonderful) time of year. Cut yourself some slack already. When you get a chance to sit back and actually enjoy the holidays – eat those delicious, once a year, homemade cookies (and pie) with relish!
Stick to your routine when you can, take the stairs when you can’t
I really try to stick to my regular routines over the holidays, but I don’t try to fool myself into thinking I’m going to be perfect. There are too many demands over the holiday season to expect perfection. So, when you miss a workout, eat out for the fifth night this week, or overindulge in the eggnog, don’t get mad, get moving. Take a quick walk around the block, drop and give yourself 20 (pushups), or do lunges while you brush your teeth. It doesn’t have to be a lot, just get your blood pumping. Instant gratification!
Drink lots of water
Always a good idea, but especially helpful this time of year. Carry around a water bottle and just keep filling it up throughout the day. If you’re someone who struggles to remember to drink water, there are a bunch of apps available to help you out. Just search “water tracker” in the app store.
Build some active quality time into your holiday traditions
We could all use a little more physical activity in our holidays. Why not make it a family affair? Sign the whole family up for the Jingle Jog. Plan a family ski day. Have your crunchy cousin Cathy lead everyone in some pre-dinner yoga. Start a competitive game of freeze tag with all of the family kids (and big kids). My family goes for a hike on Black Friday. It’s turned into one of our favorite traditions!
The holidays aren’t the best time to work on your bikini bod, but that’s not what it means to be healthy. You can eat the cookies, enjoy a little eggnog, spend some of your usual workout time celebrating, and still be healthy. Maybe I’m a lush and a glutton, but I think its important to let yourself live a little. ‘Tis the season, right? Life’s too short to spend the holidays worrying about your waistline.
What are you most looking forward to this holiday season?