I am heading to visit my parents for Thanksgiving and I can’t wait to spend time in the kitchen cooking with my family and sipping hot spiced sangria. With all of the traveling, shopping, and activities that come with the holidays, it can be easy to let your own health and wellness slip to the wayside, which can in turn leave you feeling out of balance and stressed out.
The key to staying balanced and feeling good during the holidays is making sure not to stress yourself out. Don’t stress over getting the perfect gifts or making the perfect dinner, and also don’t stress about whether or not to eat that second piece of pumpkin pie with extra whipped cream. The holidays are the perfect time to indulge in things you don’t normally do, so don’t feel guilty about it!
I want to share a few ideas for how to feel like you are still taking care of yourself this holiday season, even as all of the hustle and bustle is going on around you.
These are the perfect weapon if you think you may not be eating the most nutritious foods later in the day. Before your family is even up and about, you can blend a bunch of greens into a nutritious breakfast. By doing this, you will start the day knowing you have provided your body with some good fuel and nutrients, and then you won’t have to freak out if there are no healthy options later.
Your body can handle short periods of time of not eating the most nutritious foods, but water is a non-negotiable. Make sure you are drinking half of your body weight in fluid ounces of water every day, or else you will start to feel tired and sluggish, and your body won’t be able to handle the holiday stresses and indulgent foods as well. If cold water doesn’t sound good, sip on warm herbal tea instead. I would also recommend keeping ginger juice or ginger tea on hand to add to hot water and sip on after an indulgent meal to settle your tummy. I have a very sensitive tummy and I swear by ginger! Works every time.
Quick home workouts.
It can be really hard to get yourself to the gym around the holidays, especially if you are traveling to visit friends or relatives, or you have guests staying in your own house. In order to get your blood pumping and not feel like you are totally neglecting yourself, try to squeeze in short simple workouts at home. There are some great ones from Tone It Up specifically designed for the busy girl on the go. I tried this one called the Holiday Hustle last time I was traveling and didn’t have access to the gym, and it got my heart rate up and made me feel more energized and healthy in just 10 minutes. Here are a few more: Six Minute Lunch Break Toning, Busy Babe Abs, Three Minute Thighs, and 7 Minute HIIT. Try doing one of these first thing in the morning before your daily obligations begin, or whenever you have a short break throughout your day.
Stretch it Out.
For me, stretching my body helps me to slow down, take deep breaths, and refocus my mind. It also helps to ease the tension that can occur over the holidays. My favorite way to stretch is by following along with Yoga with Adriene videos – she even has some quick ones if you are short on time. Here is a quick one under 10 minutes called Yoga to Get the Juices Flowing. Or if you are more self motivated, just roll out your mat or find a cozy spot on the floor and stretch those tight legs, hips, neck and shoulders.
Truly make yourself practice the act of remembering what this season is about and let all of the little stresses go. Nobody will care if you don’t buy them the most expensive or amazing gift. Nobody will care if the turkey is a little dry. Focus on what is important and the little things will seem very, very inconsequential. Focus on the fact that you are able to spend this time with your family or friends, you have access to delicious food, you get to spend the day cooking with your loved ones, you have a cozy home to share with your family or your family is sharing their home with you. Whatever it is that brings meaning and gratitude to your life – focus on that, and that alone will help you let go of any worries.
I truly hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones. Travel safely and don’t feel guilty about indulging in that extra piece of pie!