‘Tis the season. And wasn’t it always? With stores putting out Halloween decorations in August, it’s felt like the holidays for quite a while now. That means plenty of fun times ahead — and plenty of challenges staying healthy. There’s something about the holidays that makes food and busyness abound, tempting you to stray from your fitness goals.
And, to be honest, you can. You deserve it. Eat that pie! This isn’t a time of year to burn yourself out trying to stay on your A-game health-wise with everything else going on. But it also doesn’t mean you need to let yourself go. There’s no need to be bummed when January 1st rolls around.
Want to be proactive? There’s a way to make the most of your holiday season while still protecting your physical and mental health. Here are a few of our fave tips to get a headstart on your New Year health goals.
Eat before you go: If you’re going to a potluck or cocktail party, eat before you go. You don’t have to make a full-blown meal (who has time for that?), but put something healthy in your stomach so you’re not tempted to overindulge on cookies and brie cheese. Pro tip: down a bottle of ICONIC to give yourself a fast, filling, nutrient-rich head start on the night.
Drink up: Okay, yes, we love a good holiday-themed cocktail. But here, we’re talking about water. With all the heavy drinking and sodium-rich foods that usually come with this time of year, hydration is critical. When you’re out and about, bring a water bottle with you. And when you start drinking at an event, down a glass of water between every alcoholic beverage.
Schedule your workouts with friends and family: One of the trickiest things about the holiday season is the way it packs your schedule. And when you’re feeling slammed, it’s super tempting to free up some time by skipping your workouts. But then you don’t reap the mental health benefits of getting active, which leaves you feeling even more stressed. Basically, it’s a lose-lose. Want a great way to make sure you get moving and take advantage of the friends-and-family focus of the season? Plan workouts with the people in your life. A calm hike with your parents or a Pilates class with your coworkers is a perfect social event that helps you feel great, too.
Get sleep: It’s possible that not a creature will be stirring during the evening of December 24th, but most evenings leading up to that point are full of holiday office parties, Friendsgivings, and family gatherings. Even so, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Sounds dorky, but it’s worth leaving a party 30 minutes early so you’re sufficiently rested to take on whatever else the holiday season brings your way.
Schedule off days: Busyness is definitely a theme this time of year. So pull out your calendar. Now mark at least a couple of days on it with a big, fat “OFF.” If someone tries to schedule something with you that day, sorry, you’re busy. Self-care is super critical and having the downtime you need ensures you don’t ring in the new year feeling totally burned out.
Ho-ho-hope these tips help you take care of yourself this holiday season. You deserve it!