I love the holidays. I love when it starts to get cold. For me, this means cuddles on the couch, cozy jammies, fireplaces, and cute mugs with yummy hot cocoa and hot toddy’s. It’s a time of relaxation and spending time with loved ones.  But it’s also super busy and full of Christmas cookies, holiday happy hours, and big meals. It’s a time of indulgence and celebration and then come New Year’s Day and we’re all re-upping our gym memberships and setting our goals to “get it together” in the New Year.  But what if keeping your already healthy lifestyle managed through the holidays was possible without feeling like the Grinch was possible?  I believe that it can be.

I believe that we can indulge and enjoy without feeling guilty about it afterwards.  Here’s how I do it.

  1. This is the time to really up your mindful eating practice.  Mindful eating is a principle that focuses on being present in the moment when we’re enjoying our meals. I find this to be vital for our health and something as a society, we’re not the best at . We’re eating, more often than not, for the sake of it and not really enjoying our meals to the fullest. This is the time of pure enjoyment and indulging in life’s simple pleasures. Enjoy the cookies, holiday drinks, {insert item here}. But at the same time, don’t mindlessly eat. Pay attention to what you’re doing. Take the time to really savor the treats at the office holiday party. And then listen to your body when you’ve had enough.  And then stop. Don’t judge yourself for your 4 cookies, don’t beat yourself up about it. Enjoy them and then let it go.
  2. Get Creative.  In the swarm of holiday parties and happy hours, sometimes you just want a night in celebrating with friends. How about instead of a celebratory happy hour with your girlfriends you have a celebratory ClassPass workout meet-up? Or gift each other brunch following a fun kick boxing class?
  3. Take control over what you can. You may not be able to control what Aunt Jane is serving at the annual family dinner. But you can control what you bring for lunch at work throughout these weeks and you can control what you make for dinner or bring to the potluck.  If you don’t want to be tempted by the butter, refined sugar filled cookies that your coworkers are bringing to the party, bring your own and share it with them!
  4. Create your own holiday traditions. Casey and I are in the process of starting our first new tradition together this year and we both couldn’t be more excited about it. Our families live all over between Philadelphia suburbs, Central PA, and Northern Virginia. And we’re lucky enough that we get to go and see everyone.  The only time that we’re not seeing everyone (by choice) is on Christmas night. We decided instead of driving from one family home to another (and spending 3 hours in the car) – we decided that we’re going to start our own tradition of having hot cocoa in front of the fireplace, in our pajamas, with our dog, Billie.  We’re going to cook our own Christmas dinner just us.  We couldn’t be more excited about it.  We’ve had so much fun thinking about what we’re going to cook together and being able to just relax instead of worrying about driving down to see family that day. And the best part is, we’re not losing the opportunity to spend the holidays with all of our family.  We get to see everyone and just relax in front of the fire with holiday movies on. The only thing we’re debating is what the feature Christmas movie should be – Home Alone or Miracle on 34th Street? Tough decisions!
  5. Speaking of new traditions, another key survival (at any time of the year!) tip for the holiday season is to make time for yourself.  Now is the perfect time to say no to something you don’t really want to do and curl up on the couch for a good Netflix and chill session or getting those bubbles going in your bath with a cup of tea (scratch that – glass of wine).  The holidays are full of spending time and thinking about the people that you love – it’s part of what makes this season so magical and special – but please don’t do that at the expense of your own me time.  Take care of yourself and then when you do get to gather with friends and family – you’re not running on empty.  


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  1. Health and Fitness 2 years ago

    I really appreciate this post. I have been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thank you again!