Healthy Balance During the Holidays
The holiday season is officially here. We have worked through the Halloween candy, enjoyed our Thanksgiving meals, and the holiday treats are beginning to roll into our homes and offices. It’s no secret that this can be a challenging time to focus on your nutrition and health. Additional temptations and busier schedules can derail your wellness routine. But the added hustle and bustle is exactly why it’s even more important to enter the season with a plan.
How do you stay on track during the holidays? First things first – like every other time of year, it’s about finding good balance. It’s about figuring out the right recipe for your individual health. To keep things interesting, it can also look different from day to day. Balance means different things to different people and its definition is very personal. It is about what works for you and your daily life.
My definition of balance: your perfect, individualized wellness prescription. It is the combination of everything that allows you to do those things that are important to you. Balance is having a healthy relationship with food and appreciating the power and strength of your body. It’s how you care for yourself so that you feel energized and fueled to live your life to the fullest.
The secret to staying on track during the holidays is balance. As we head into December, set aside some time to consider the steps that you can take to continue to take care of yourself despite the busyness of the season. These 5 tips are a great place to start:
Set yourself up for success. Continue to plan ahead as you enter each week. Consider your schedule and dedicate time to creating an environment that promotes health. Remember to set aside the time to take care of yourself. You are worth it!
2. Move your body
In my opinion, this becomes even more important (and challenging) during the holiday season. Choosing to move every day helps manage stress, improves sleep, and energizes you. Don’t get hung up on the need to sweat it out at the gym every day. Simply commit to doing some kind of activity every day. A quick walk during your lunch break or during a child’s sports practice works perfectly. Prioritize the time and get moving.
Drinking enough water throughout the day promotes good digestion, energy and focus. It helps transport nutrients to give you energy and keep you healthy. Water is essential to maintaining the function of every system in your body. Have I convinced you yet? It’s important.
This is a really busy time of year. We are often faced with too much to do and not enough time. I challenge you to be really mindful about how you spend your time. Think about the traditions that are meaningful to you and prioritize those things. This applies to the events that you attend, the meals that you prepare, and the desserts that you bake. Be deliberate about including the things that are most important to you. Then enjoy every bit of it.
5. Relish in the season
This is a special time of year where people come together to celebrate. Approach each day with intention about how you want to spend it. Allow yourself the freedom to enjoy what you choose without restriction. Then soak it all in.
The beautiful thing about balance is that it gives you flexibility and freedom to make choices. It affords you the chance to prioritize the things that are important to you in a given moment. This is part of what makes this time of year so magical. But achieving balance does not happen overnight. Take it one day at a time and know that each step that you take gets you closer to your healthy. Commit to the journey and enjoy the ride – even during the holidays.
Sarah Marjoram, MS, RDN, LD
A Registered Dietitian supporting nutrition businesses with impactful content and marketing strategy.