These five tips for prioritizing wellness help me feel good all year long. I would love for you to put your health first and practice healthy habits all year long too – but especially over the holidays.
The holidays are a time when we want to feel good – we gather with family and friends, and focus on giving to others. But, sometimes the holidays can become a time of stress and exhaustion. We make too many social commitments, spread ourselves too thin, let go of our self-care routines, and end up feeling anxious, and even depressed, come January.
So I say this year, and every year, and all year, we prioritize our own wellness!
Consistent movement & exercise decreases anxiety, increases feel-good hormones, boosts confidence, improves digestion, and strengthens your immune system. I don’t know about you, but over the holidays I need these things more than ever. Prioritizing your workout is a great way to support your mental and physical health. Scheduling your workouts into your calendar helps to ensure you’ll make the time for them. Even 15 minutes of targeted, focussed movement is helpful for mental & physical well-being.
2. Be the person who brings the healthy food option!
I love being this person (shocking, I know!). But I find others appreciate having a healthy option in the mix. The holidays can be difficult because often we’re in situations we cannot control, eating food, that for some of us, may trigger digestive issues. Healthy options don’t have to be complicated – a veggie tray, or a fruit and nut tray are simple options. If you have more time, a festive salad with dark leafy greens, walnuts, apples and pomegranates is one of my favourite choices.
3. Find non-alcoholic swaps for alcoholic drinks.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to drink just because you’re at a gathering. If you’re already feeling holiday-induced stress, alcohol can make this worse. Alcohol (even one drink) disrupts our sleep by decreasing our REM sleep cycles, and increases cortisol (our stress hormone. Alcohol helps us fall asleep, but not stay asleep. This combo can leave us feeling wired but tired. I would rather spend my holiday season feeling rested!
So how to cut back on alcohol? Create some festive alcohol-free drinks. I love sparkling water or kombucha with pomegranate, mint and berries.
For more tips on ways to cut back on alcohol and reduce burnout, check out my fave burnout and alcohol coach, Wendy McCallum. Her tips and podcasts are insightful and eye-opening!
4. Ask yourself: will this make me feel good?
This one really applies all year. Asking yourself how a choice will make you feel is a good practice to get into, but I find it especially helpful when applied to food and drink, or even exercise.
How will I feel if I skip my workouts 4 days in a row? If the answer is fine, then allow yourself those rest days. If the answer is that by day 3, you’ll be sluggish and cranky, maybe see where you can fit a workout in (see point number one!). Or ask yourself, “how will I feel if I schedule in a quick 15 minute workout today”?
When you’re faced with a food choice you’re not sure about, ask yourself, “how will I feel if I eat this? If the answer is, “I’ll enjoy it!” – then eat it! If the answer is, “I’ll have stomach cramps and feel yucky,” then maybe it’s not the best choice for you.
5. Let go of guilt & make the next best choice. You want to feel good and enjoy the holidays – and you can’t do that if you’re feeling guilty about your choices. All is not lost if you eat foods that are not as healthy as your usual choices. Enjoy yourself, and make your next choice a healthier one, but don’t waste time feeling guilty.
Remember, sometimes saying no to something can mean saying yes to yourself!
Want to even more tips for feeling your best? Check out my blog on my Top Five Feel-Good Healthy Habits!