Month: November 2014

Getting in the Holiday Spirit

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The Holidays are meant to be “the most wonderful time of the year,” but all of the events, shopping, and bustling around can also make the Holidays quite stressful. Add to that all of the sinful food temptations and consequential weight gain, fewer daylight hours, and cold, bitter weather, and people can find themselves absolutely miserable by the New Year. But this year can be different by going into the season with a game plan. Plan to take care of your body and spirit this year and avoid the winter blues.
1. Don’t graze at the food table; fill a plate and walk away.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is grazing at the food table. You may think you are eating less because you are only eating a bite at a time, but those bites can add up to be more than if you would have just filled a plate. This year, make a vow to fill a plate, walk away, and be done with the food. Limit yourself to two plates maximum: one with appetizers and main/side items, and one for a sampling of dessert. Wanna really push the envelope? Challenge yourself to fill half of your plate with a sampling from the fresh fruit and veggie trays.
2. Walk.
Don’t stress about making time for the gym. Instead, make those small choices everyday to walk. Park at the back of the mall parking lot instead of trying to find the close parking spot. Take the stairs or walk up the escalator instead of taking the elevator. Walk daily with your dogs, spouse, and/or children. Not only will you feel better for making the active choice, a daily walk with friends and/or family will make your soul feel good, as walks are a great time for meaningful conversation.
holiday-eating-caution-sign3. Leave the goodies at work…and SHARE.
I know you want to keep all those cookies for yourself, but don’t be a Grinch this season. Instead of taking all those baked goods and gifted flavored popcorn canisters home, leave them at work and share with your co-workers. In the long run, you will eat less and you won’t be beating yourself up later for a growing waistline. In fact, your soul may even feel better for having shared your goodies with others and for spreading the Holiday cheer.
4. Take time for you.
Yes, the Holidays are crazy, and I know you feel like you barely have time to breathe, let alone do anything pampering for yourself. But find time at least once or twice a week to do something just for you: a luxurious bubble bath, a relaxing massage, 30 minutes with a good book, or just five minutes a day alone to meditate. You will be amazed at the difference a little “you” time can make in the grand scheme of things. By taking the time to focus on your needs, you will allow your body time to de-stress – if only for a few minutes – and prepare for the next round of Holiday Hullabaloo.
5. Do something with your family (or whatever “family” means to you).
Have a board game night. Drive through a neighborhood or historic district of town to look at Holiday lights. Go see THE NUTCRACKER. Whatever you do, choose something that is fun or special to this time of year (or that you don’t normally make time to do), and do it with those you love most. Perhaps you will start a new tradition. Maybe you’ll discover you love something that you’ve never tried before. But the laughing and bonding with loved ones will soothe your spirit (and theirs) – a little breath of fresh air amongst the hectic atmosphere of the Season, a rare snapshot in time where everyone is happy and stress is forgotten.
Holidays should be a joyful, happy time, but we are often caught off-guard as the Holidays seem to come earlier and earlier each year. This year, approach the Holidays with a different outlook and a game plan to use those smaller moments to make the overall experience more enjoyable. Staying healthy during the Holidays is more than watching what you eat or hitting the gym even harder; don’t forget to feed your soul this Holiday Season. This Season, remember that the essence of the Season is to share the experience with others and create memories worth repeating. Get in the Holiday Spirit and have a Happy, Healthy Holiday Season!

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