We have options of how we choose to be and what we choose to do every day of our lives. The holiday season can add some complexity, but it’s important to remember that those options are still there. Here are some habits that are easy to fall into – and some tips to help maintain your well-being and your energy along the way.
Don’t get enough sleep
While consistency is important, there are likely to be some festivities you’ll want to be a part of. Plan it out in advance as much as possible so that you can maintain a good amount of rest (that means minimum 7 ½ hours per night). Remember, sleep regulates hormones, appetite, and fat storage, among other things, so besides having more energy, you’ll put yourself in the best possible situation to watch your weight as well.
Too many cocktails and pop, and not enough water
What can I say but hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! I’m not here to tell you what not to have (hey, I like my pinot grigio, prosecco, and eggnog with or without a little something extra in it!) but do alternate your beverages with a good glass of water.
Load up on the sugar
This piggybacks on the last one: I believe that feeling deprived is a recipe (no pun intended) for failure and when you do eat some sweets, do it without guilt, eat slowly, and savour every morsel (that’s how it’s easier to eat less, by the way). And be sure you eat ample amounts of veggies and a bit of protein FIRST.
There can be a lot going on over the holidays and a lot of high expectations (yours and others’). It may be tempting or there may be pressure, but the meaning of the season is NOT to go full out and impress or pacify everyone. Do what you need to do, do what you enjoy doing, and nothing more.
Need everything to be perfect
The meaning of the season is also not to get stressed over having the perfect decorations, the most baking, the impressive outfits, and being the perfect hostess who gives the best gifts. Cut yourself some slack, be strategic about what you want to accomplish, and enjoy the process.
Too much stimulation if you’re highly sensitive
I’ll go one step further for those of you who are highly sensitive: plan out your outings if you can get overstimulated and worn out. It’s easy to find yourself at places with lots of people, crowded visuals, and noise. Decide what’s important to you and be sure to intersperse with quiet alone-time to recharge. Catch up with people one-on-one instead of in groups if that helps keep your energy up.
Forget the joy of the season
Whether you’re religious or not, and whether you celebrate Christmas or not, there’s a certain something in the air this time of year. Enjoy the goodwill and beauty around you amidst the hustle and bustle. Look for the things that are going well.
Forget to play
And while you’re at it, make time for fun too! Have a snowball fight, make snowmen and snow angels. Take time to relax, sing, and do whatever else catches you on a whim!
The countdown to Christmas is on – enjoy yourself, take care of yourself, and hold love in your heart.
(Photo credit: Roberto Nickson)