Is it just me or do the holidays have you feeling super scatterbrained and somewhat panicked as well thinking about the logistic nightmare with kids school schedules, daily routine change ups, additional scheduling, and holiday parties?!
Keeping it all together can be a challenge but we don’t have to let the holiday chaos get the best of us! Today I am sharing 6 ways to thrive this holiday season with some of my favorite tips for supporting and building a strong body and mind.
1. Be Prepared!
Food can be another source of stress, especially during the holidays – parties, family gatherings, and the barrage of ‘goodies’ at the office can be a huge challenge. How are you going to stay prepared?
Here are a few ideas for you: preparing a healthy dish to bring to a party, eat a healthy meal beforehand, bring a healthy meal and snacks to work so they aren’t as tempted to overdo it.
2. Practice Mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness is a wonderful way to help you shake off holiday-related stress. Being mindful means practicing awareness of yourself and your surroundings. Mindfulness occurs when you take the time to know yourself. What is causing you to feel stressed? Dig deep and be specific. When you practice mindfulness and get to the root of what is stressing you out then you are better equipped to keep the stress at bay. And a good addition to this is being grateful and thankful so we don’t lose sight of what the holidays are truly about.
3. Walk It Off
Exercise is so important to staying stress-free, feeling good, and getting those endorphins flowing. Exercise releases feel-good hormones that help us to stay focused, energized, and balanced. Studies have shown that just a 10-minute walk is as effective at keeping stress at bay as a 45-minute workout. Going for a walk, taking a short yoga break, or hoping over to the app for a quick sweat sess can help you stay on track with your health + fitness goals!
4. Just Say No
Saying no is probably one of the biggest challenges you will face during the holiday season. The endless barrage of party invitations, work obligations, volunteer opportunities and family events are enough to make anyone stressed out!
Work on saying no to unnecessary obligations by identifying what is mandatory and what is recreational. I highly recommend utilizing your calendar to plug in all of the additional things you and the kiddos have going on over the holidays. It will free up some headspace and help you enjoy the little things. Being able to recognize when to say no will keep you balanced + stress-free and is beneficial for not only yourself but everyone around you!
This might seem like a no-brainer, but knowing how to breathe can keep stressful thoughts at bay. Deep breathing quells a rapid heart beat, balances high blood pressure and promotes a feeling of calmness. Practice a breathing regimen that focuses on breathing in through the nose, to the lower abdomen. Exhale slowly through the mouth. You can practice this technique anywhere, anytime and if you have a FitBit scroll to the ‘calm’ screen and simply push the start button for guided breathing!
6. Do something enjoyable
It’s perfectly okay (and important) to just take some time for yourself to do something that makes you happy – if it’s going for a manicure or to Target (solo!). It can even be something as simple as taking an hour to enjoy reading a good book.
The holiday season is only temporary, and it is possible to get through it in a low-stress way; it just takes a little planning (and a few good ideas for how to de-stress). And remember, a strong mind and healthy body can anything!
BONUS: My personal favorite tip comes from the foodie in me. Don’t dwell over what you can’t have. Embrace what you CAN have. Eat the foods that make you happy - yes! Just do it, otherwise you will feel deprived. However, if it’s a food you know that isn’t good for you and makes you feel like garbage after eating it then limit yourself to a SMALL portion.
I hope these tips and tricks help you stay balanced over the holidays! What is your favorite stress-busting technique?