It’s December! That means Christmas party platters, warm cozy beverages, and a cornucopia of cookies and candies. For some, these goodies can add stress to the holidays, taking away from the real focus of the season. Here are some tips to navigate the next few weeks while staying healthy in your body and mind.
Our natural tendency is to take a little bit of everything at any given holiday event. Often, though, we don’t even truly love all of these treats. Skim the spread and honestly ask yourself which items are sure to delight you. Which one would you be sad to leave without? Dish up and enjoy! If there are others that aren’t your favorites, don’t take them by default. Make sure to prioritize what you really love!
2. Set Yourself up for Success
It’s tough to enjoy a holiday when you aren’t feeling well, and we all know that certain foods (in certain amounts) affect us in uncomfortable ways. If a gathering is potluck-style, bring a food that you know leaves you feeling great. Then you know there will be at least one dish that won’t leave you feeling less than your best. If you don’t have the option to bring something, snack on some feel-good foods before you head out.
3. Take Your Time
Don’t rush the experience – eating holiday food is a seasonal delight to be savored. Make a plate, have a seat, and visit with a loved one as you eat. Take time to enjoy each bite and chew well (this helps with digestion as well as enjoyment)! After finishing your plate, give yourself 10-15 minutes before you go back for seconds. Our satiety signals sometimes take a bit to kick in. Waiting can help prevent painful over-fullness!
4. Get Your Move On
You don’t have to kill it in the gym (unless you like to!). Just keep moving to keep from cabin fever and prevent your muscles and joints from getting tight or achy. Go for a frosty walk with a pet, spend a few minutes stretching before bed, do a Christmas boogie, or head for the mountains for a day of sledding or skiing.
Do not let worries about your health or weight consume your holidays. Your mental health is a much larger part of your overall wellness than that Christmas cookie. Practice balance, give yourself grace, and enjoy every second with your family, friends and favorite foods.