It’s 8:00 P.M. Sunday night, I’m eating dry peanut-butter granola by the handful for dinner, my face is pasted in a turmeric concoction, and I just found the first 5 consecutive minutes to sit down and write.
Not to worry! The weekend were ‘rest days’ (for both of us!) and today we are back on the grind.
Day 8 Exercise: Side Lunges
Ready to try it out??
Day 8 Workout:
This weekend was so busy, I let my commitments get in the way of taking care of myself. Last night I enjoyed a ‘friends Christmas’ with some great people, tasty treats, and a super festive taco dinner. As amazing as my evening was I over indulged, stayed up too late, and paid for it all day today.
It is so important that even when we think we can’t possibly find another second in our day to care for ourselves, is actually when we need to be making our health a priority.
The holidays are a perfect example of putting our health first when everything around us gets a little crazy.
Here are the top reasons to prioritize health even when you’re stressed
Making Health a Priority During the Holidays
There are always things that need to get done and never enough hours in the day. Those presents need to be wrapped, lunches prepped, house cleaned for coming guests, errands to run, appointments to make, we get busy and the first three things that get neglected are our diet, commitment to exercise, and sleep. According to a study in the New England Journal, Americans on average gain about a pound overall during the holiday season. To fully enjoy the season and time with our families, don’t we want to be the best version of ourselves? How can we do that if we aren’t giving our body the opportunity to be?
Here are the top stressors and tips to make your holidays a little healthier this season!
As much as we try to prepare, the holiday season can sometimes feel like anything but celebration leaving us physically, emotionally, and financially stressed out. Stress, any time of year, can cause an abundance of health issues. Pair this with the flu season, less natural vitamin D from sun exposure, cold temperatures, and lots of little kids running around touching things and you’re just asking to come down with something. Try to pin point your triggers and strategize how you will minimize they’re effects. Give yourself the gift of stress management this season and your family, and your anxiety, will thank you!
Get Enough Sleep
On a similar note, it can’t be stressed enough how important sleep is. Pun intended. The higher our stress levels, the less exercise, and the worse our diet the more likely we are to get poor quality, or just plain less sleep. In any case, this can wreak havoc on our overall health. Adequate sleep doesn’t just reduce stress it fends off illness, repairs the body of the day’s stressors, maintains heart health, improves memory and brain health, controls body weight, and reduces chances of long term chronic conditions. The scary side effects of too little sleep are double the list of benefits. Bottom line, your body needs sleep and it needs enough of it to function properly so don’t skimp when you need it most!
It’s common to justify letting our physical health go when we feel we don’t have the time for it. As easy as this solution seems, don’t wait until January to start taking control of your health. If you’re not sure where to start with stress management, start by devoting at least 30 minutes a day to just moving. This could be in a gym, at home, on a walk, doing simple stretches, playing with the kids or grandkids, whatever works for your schedule and fitness level. Still not sure where you could possibly find 30 minutes today? Try replacing time spent in front of the T.V. or on Facebook with a physical activity! Assess where your time is actually going and you would be amazed by the extra time you’ll find.
Maintain, or improve, your Diet
The holidays can be a difficult time for anyone trying to improve or maintain a healthful diet. Aside from the temptations of baked goods and gooey cheesy goodness at grandmas Christmas dinner, it can be hard to find time to cook or even eat some days. Emotional eating and stress eating are all too common this time of year so learn your triggers and don’t put yourself in a position where you can reach for a jar of candies more easily than a healthier option.
Control your Perfectionism
We all want to have and create the perfect holiday for ourselves and those around us. Half the stress of the season stems from a desire to make everything flawless. Trying to stuff every little tradition into such a short period of time, making the perfect center pieces, decorating guest rooms, wrapping presents from yourself and ‘Santa’, making sure your Christmas socks match your Christmas sweater, it can be exhausting and not just cause stress but a full on burn-out. Cut yourself some slack and remember that the time with family and friends will be memorable to matter what set of utensils you used for Christmas Eve dinner.
With so much going on, these months are stressful enough. Why make it worse by running your body down and not properly fueling and resting it? Take care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally through balance and moderation, and come January 1st you won’t feel like you’re starting all over. There is no better time than the now to get started making your health a priority!