The holidays break up our routines and tug at our heartstrings. They have bring up old memories as well as old insecurities. For many people this season is a season of pitfalls and minefields for health vows. Here are 4 tips on how to navigate the holidays and maintain mindfulness around living a balanced and healthy life.
Cook more veggies: For thanksgiving many people have a CARB FEST. The
problem with this is that carbs have tons of excess calories and they
tend to make us sleepy and lethargic. You know all the stuff about
tryptophan in the turkey? Bogus. They have done studies and the reason
you get so sleepy is the massive intake of carbs. Instead try cooking
more veggies. This year I sautéed kale with golden raisins and my uncle
grilled fresh asparagus. Half of my thanksgiving plate was veggies and I
didn’t have to take a nap after dinner. If you are going over to
someone’s house, offer to bring some veggies along -- you will likely be
one of the few people touting leafy greens.
Make plans to exercise: If you can exercise with your family, great. If
not, include your exercise in your plans with your family. Family stuff
has a way of expanding to take up the time you have, so set clear
intentions and tell your family what those plans are. You are more
likely to follow through.
Don't drink too much: I made this mistake. My family is not a big
drinking family, but when everyone else is having a beer, it’s easy to
go along. I rarely drink, but when I was home I had a cocktail almost
every night. Because of this I tended to wake up later and a bit
groggier. You can be festive without imbibing and you are much more
likely to wake up early and go for a run. It’s OK to have a drink or
two, but an every other day rule might be the best policy.
Get enough sleep: I know you want to see your friends, and your
extended family probably wakes up earlier than you normally do. Going to
bed early every other night will ensure that you get to stay up and
enjoy that late night discussion of metaphysics with your cousin, or
hear things you never knew about your uncle. It will also make sure you
get enough sleep and thus have enough energy to exercise.
some time this week and create a plan for how you are going to get
through the holidays mindfully. Don’t forget to give yourself more slack
than normal. The goal is to maintain awareness more than any strict
rules that will be hard to stick to. If nothing else remember this one
simple rule: the holidays only last 1-2 months, just make it through
‘til January 2nd and then commit to starting back into your old routine.