Healthy, Happy Holiday Habits
Holidays are supposed to be about love, family, and togetherness, but instead, they are all about parties, alcohol, and food, and that’s OK. Wait, did I say that’s OK?? Yes, I did. Why, you might ask, would a person who most of the year coaches, councils, and holds her clients accountable to change bad habits now endorse them?
The answer is easy. You need to pick your battles. Habits can be challenging to change. Guilt, depression, and generally feeling bad about yourself are not going to help your health. If you want to get through the holidays and come out the other side healthy, start now to create an exercise habit, eat healthy food in moderation, and get some sleep! Do the work before the holiday begins, and then give yourself permission to relax and eat some of your favorite foods because you probably will anyway. What is the point of eating the food and not enjoying it?
I already have several well-meaning newsletters in my inbox telling me what I “should” do to survive the holidays. Frankly, I don’t want to survive. I want to thrive, and I do. I exercise 6 days a week, eat healthy automatically, and get 8 hours of sleep most nights. It has become a habit, so I will continue eating healthy when the holidays arrive. I might eat several slices of my mother’s cheesecake (pick your battles). But most of the other foods don’t thrill me anymore.
So let me ask you a question. If you no longer wanted to eat piles of mashed potatoes, a massive mound of turkey or roast beef, and three different pies on your chosen holiday, do you think you would miss it? You won’t. That is the key to having healthy habits that drive you to feel and be healthy. The new patterns, over time, become automatic and replace the old traditions.
So this year, do the work now!! Get some healthy habits in place for the next couple of weeks, and during the rest of the holiday season, you might not want all the extra stuff. But if you do have some, enjoy it. Feeling guilty is not going to improve your health and well-being. Free yourself from saying,” I shouldn’t have eaten that.” Eat it or don’t, but drop “should” from your vocabulary this holiday season.