1) Don’t use the Holidays as an excuse or a trigger to fall off the wagon
Just because it’s the Holidays it doesn’t mean you need to toss out the healthy habits. Understanding that health is a lifestyle, not a phase. We need to keep practicing healthy ways. Keep up with your regular exercise routine. If you are traveling make sure you take what clothing you need to exercise and look up ahead of time where the closest yoga studio or gym is and go there. You can go for a run or a walk where ever you are. After the big Thanksgiving and Christmas meal, why not suggest to everyone that you all go for a walk together and get moving? Sleep can take a back seat during the holidays. If this time of year makes you stressed, being sleep deprived can exacerbate anxiety and diminish joy. Make an effort to prioritize sleep.

2) Make the healthiest choices you can with the options you have
If you are at a party or an event ask yourself, “What is the most nutritious choice I can make right now?”. Limit the fried foods, high sugar desserts, processed foods. If you are going to someone’s house, prepare a healthy dish to take with you so you have an alternative if choices are limited. Set yourself limits e.g 1 piece of pie, but not 2. How we talk to ourselves matters, if you are trying to resist an unhealthy food say to yourself, “I choose not to eat that” rather than, “I can’t eat that”. If we give ourselves the power to choose, we are more empowered.

3) Maintain your regular self care practices/daily wellness rituals
The same as exercise and sleep, try to stick with your usual self care routine to stay balanced. Keep up your gratitude journaling, meditation, reading, taking a bath….whatever it is that helps keep you grounded. Often the rituals that nourish us the most are first things we let slide over the Holidays.

4) Put on your silicone coat, take a break and say “No”
Certain relationships can drain our energy. How can we be less reactive? Try to let any negative comments slide off you, imagine you are wearing a silicone coat. If you start to feel stressed, go outside and take a break. Get some fresh air, center yourself and breathe. Even just a few minutes change of scenery can make you less reactive/take the emotion out of the situation. Know your limits. It’s good self care. You don’t have to say “Yes” to every invitation. If you are tired, say “No”. Over-committing can take its toll.

5) Be in the moment, take a mental photo, give gratitude
During the celebrations take a moment to step back and take a mental photo of what’s going on around you using all your senses……hearing someone laugh, the delicious smells coming from the kitchen, seeing a grandchild sitting on a grandparents lap, the taste of the food. Using all our senses allows us to be present, to live in the moment. Focus on the good. Be grateful for your blessings.

Bonus tip: Give yourself permission to enjoy, allow treatsLet go of the guilt. Guilt creates negative energy in our bodies. Food is meant to be enjoyed. Deprivation can take away the joy and have the opposite effect of binge-eating. Try to set reasonable limits but if you do over-indulge, forgive yourself and start again with healthy habits the following day. The body can handle small amounts of indulgences, just not days on end of them. Be kind and gentle to you.

Courtesy of Sara Green of Passionfood Health Coaching

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Originally published at wellness.townhallohiocity.com on December 14, 2016.